Confederate Commissary Center

Confederate Commissary Center (HMBW0)

Location: Franklin, VA 23851
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 40.461', W 76° 55.166'

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Swimming in Bacon

Before the Civil War erupted, Franklin became a regional transportation and commercial center for the Blackwater-Chowan River basin because the seaboard and Roanoke Railroad connected with steamship lines here. When the war began, the town immediately became a Confederate commissary depot for millions of pounds of food and fodder en route to soldiers in the field. Produce from eastern North Carolina and Virginia farms arrived on boat and wagon to be transported via the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad to the Garysburg, North Carolina, junction with the Petersburg Railroad. This roundabout route became a lifeline for the Confederacy.

Vast amounts of supplies were brought here from east of the Blackwater River during Confederate Gen. James Longstreet's April 1863 Suffolk Campaign. "We just swim in bacon," one Texas soldier recounted, "and all of the time we have an immense wagon train hauling out bacon, corn, wheat, flour and great droves of beeves." Most of the supplies were sent on to Richmond and helped sustain Gen. Robert E. Lee's army in 1863.

The Unionist mayor of Edenton, North Carolina, lamented that the Blackwater-Chowan corridor provided the Confederacy as much as ten million pounds of bacon and pork. A brisk trade also flourished along the Blackwater between Confederate and Union soldiers, in which Southern cotton and tobacco were traded for much-needed clothing, coffee, and sugar. Military officials on both sides overlooked this trade. Franklin's war ended in April 1865 when Union troops occupied Southampton County. When the town's residents returned, they found warehouses, bridges, rail lines, and houses destroyed but found the wherewithal to rebuild Franklin.
HM NumberHMBW0
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 2:45pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 328481 N 4060464
Decimal Degrees36.67435000, -76.91943333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 40.461', W 76° 55.166'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 40' 27.66" N, 76° 55' 9.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 398 US-258, Franklin VA 23851, US
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