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The American Civil War era was a trying time for the people of West Virginia and Calhoun County. Not only were families being torn apart as they sympathized with different political beliefs, but there were pilfering and badgering from both sides, the North and the South. Some of our people served with the Union Army, but since they initially lived in Virginia, most of them served with the Confederate Army. Location, political neighborhoods and possessions also had an influence.

 

We have had numerous stories printed in the Chronicle about these events. This weekend, you will have an opportunity to go back in time to actually feel what it might have been like. The presenters have studied many histories, documents, letters, biographies and local stories to make sure the facts are as authentic as possible.

 

We have learned to live together and face the future, but we can always look to the past to guide us in developing our state and county.

 

Following are three selected verses from the poem, “The Blue and The Gray,” by Francis M. Finch (1827-1907):

By the flow of the inland river,

Whence the fleets of iron have fled,

Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,

Asleep are the ranks of the dead;

Under the one, the Blue;

Under the other, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,

The generous deed was done;

In the storm of the years are fading,

No braver battle was won;

Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day;

Under the blossoms, the Blue;

Under the garlands, the Gray.

No more shall the war-cry sever,

Or the winding rivers be red;

They banish our anger forever,

When the laurel* the graves of our dead.

Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day;

Love and tears for the Blue;

Tears and love for the Gray.

*The laurel is the emblem of victory, the willow the sign of grief.

Source: “Calhoun County In the Civil War.”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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