85-Year Old Civil War Historical Marker Still Stands

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Claude Bauer

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Jan 8, 2012
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In 1934, the state of Virginia put this historical marker near the road to Chester Gap, VA where we own a small piece of land on top of the mountain. At the very bottom it reads, “Write for literature to Commission on Conservation and Development, Richmond, VA 1934.” I looked them up, and discovered that the Commission suspended the historical marker program during World War II because of rationing of metals, but managed to place 1,400 markers across the state. The Commission's direction to "write for literature" now seems like a quaint instruction from another age.

A more recent Civil War Trails marker is nearby and provides a much more detailed account of Chester Gap's involvement in the war: Chester Gap was used during the Antietam and Gettysburg campaigns, "intense skirmishing" took place there, two thirds of Lee's army passed through at one point, and 5,000 Union cavalry camped there in 1864 prior to a failed winter raid to disrupt the Virginia Central Railway.

What struck me about this 85-year old marker is that the war had only been over for 69 years when it was put up, and it's still there.

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alan polk

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Jun 11, 2012
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In 1934, the state of Virginia put this historical marker near the road to Chester Gap, VA where we own a small piece of land on top of the mountain. At the very bottom it reads, “Write for literature to Commission on Conservation and Development, Richmond, VA 1934.” I looked them up, and discovered that the Commission suspended the historical marker program during World War II because of rationing of metals, but managed to place 1,400 markers across the state. The Commission's direction to "write for literature" now seems like a quaint instruction from another age.

A more recent Civil War Trails marker is nearby and provides a much more detailed account of Chester Gap's involvement in the war: Chester Gap was used during the Antietam and Gettysburg campaigns, "intense skirmishing" took place there, two thirds of Lee's army passed through at one point, and 5,000 Union cavalry camped there in 1864 prior to a failed winter raid to disrupt the Virginia Central Railway.

What struck me about this 85-year old marker is that the war had only been over for 69 years when it was put up, and it's still there.

View attachment 313921
Thanks for posting! I wonder if the Commission was part of some work program from the Depression era like the WPA?
 

Claude Bauer

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
613
Thanks for posting! I wonder if the Commission was part of some work program from the Depression era like the WPA?
Probably was a connection, even though it was created in 1926, prior to the Depression. Apparently there was a Division of History and Archaeology within the Commission that sponsored the Federal Writers' Project for Virginia and conducted the WPA's Virginia Historical Inventory. I was also wondering why the state was putting up historical markers in the depths of the Great Depression.
 
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jackt62

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Jul 28, 2015
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I remember seeing many of those type of marker signs around the Richmond battlefields, particularly those concerning the Seven Days Battles. Whoever did the writing for those markers had a real ability to succinctly convey information in a way that makes the modern observer feel like they have been transported back in time to the actual events depicted.
 
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Rick Richter

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Dec 6, 2012
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In 1934, the state of Virginia put this historical marker near the road to Chester Gap, VA where we own a small piece of land on top of the mountain. At the very bottom it reads, “Write for literature to Commission on Conservation and Development, Richmond, VA 1934.” I looked them up, and discovered that the Commission suspended the historical marker program during World War II because of rationing of metals, but managed to place 1,400 markers across the state. The Commission's direction to "write for literature" now seems like a quaint instruction from another age.

A more recent Civil War Trails marker is nearby and provides a much more detailed account of Chester Gap's involvement in the war: Chester Gap was used during the Antietam and Gettysburg campaigns, "intense skirmishing" took place there, two thirds of Lee's army passed through at one point, and 5,000 Union cavalry camped there in 1864 prior to a failed winter raid to disrupt the Virginia Central Railway.

What struck me about this 85-year old marker is that the war had only been over for 69 years when it was put up, and it's still there.

View attachment 313921
Many ACW vets were still alive at that time as well.
 
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