In the early spring of 1866, citizens of Hampshire County decided to form an association to honor the Confederate dead. Eventually they adopted a formal organization and on June 1, 1866, held the first ceremony to honor the Confederate graves in Indian Mound Cemetery. Later, they ordered a monument listing the names of all county citizens who died in the American Civil War. The monument was formally dedicated on September 26, 1867.
Shortly after the Civil War, Federal law prevented any monuments being made that would honor the Confederate States of America. As a result, the monument had to be brought in secretly. The monument was brought into the county at night and then had its last two commemorative words chiseled in on location, so as to avoid the possibility of being seized in transit from where it was created. The inscription says "The daughters of Old Hampshire erect this tribute of affection to her heroic sons who fell in defence of Southern Rights." Each year, Confederate Memorial Day in Hampshire County recalls the sacrifice and suffering of men and women on both sides of the Civil War.
Another memorial erected in the churchyard of St. David's in Cheraw, South Carolina is also sometimes considered the first Confederate monument, although the inscription dedicating it to the Confederacy was not added to the monument until after the dedication in 1867.
- Romney, West Virginia during the American Civil War
- West Virginia in the American Civil War
- Hu Maxwell & Howard Swisher, "A History of Hampshire County", 1895, pgs. 692-93, "It was discussed by Colonel and Mrs. White, Captain CS White, Miss Bessie J. Schultze, who afterwards became the wife of Captain White, and Miss Fannie White, now Mrs SL Flournoy. Others afterwards became interested and the project was discussed and a course of procedure decided upon. The first public meeting was held in Romney in the spring of 1866, a constitution was adopted and the association went to work, appointed committees and arranged to decorate the graves of confederates. The decoration took place June 1, 1866, in Indian Mound cemetery. The graves have been decorated every year since... On October 15, 1866 there was on hand $1,170.91, of which $421.58 was appropriated to the relief of the orphans of confederate soldiers. Other public exhibitions were given and on June 6, 1867 it was resolved to proceed with the erection of the monument."
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