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Franklin, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Confederate Commissary Center

Swimming in Bacon

 
 
Confederate Commissary Center CWT Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, April 18, 2009
1. Confederate Commissary Center CWT Marker
Inscription. 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,
Franklin Virginia Civil War Trails Markers (facing north). Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, April 18, 2009
2. Franklin Virginia Civil War Trails Markers (facing north).
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.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 40.461′ N, 76° 55.166′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and South Street, on the left when traveling south on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Franklin VA 23851, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Blackwater Line (here, next to this marker); Battle of Franklin (a few steps from this marker); The Barretts: A Franklin Pioneer Family (a few steps from this marker); The Age of Steam (a few steps from this marker); War Comes to the Blackwater (a few steps from this
...swimming In Bacon Photo, Click for full size
Confederate Commissary Center Marker, Courtesy Library of Congress
3. ...swimming In Bacon
marker); "Can't Is Not in the Camp's Vocabulary" (a few steps from this marker); The Age of Gasoline (a few steps from this marker); Recovery and Progress (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Franklin.
 
More about this marker. On the right are two period photographs captioned, “The Confederate and Union commissary departments each stockpiled and distributed enormous quantities of supplies and maintained large herds of cattle to furnish the soldiers fresh beef. The unsavory byproducts of slaughtered beef (heads and horns, left) and a small part of the vast Federal supply depot (above) at City Point were photographed in Aug. 1864." – Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler - Tidewater Virginia - More Sites. Franklin area. Battle of Franklin and Franklin During the War. (Submitted on May 18, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The unsavory byproducts of slaughtered beef (heads and horns) Photo, Click for full size
Confederate Commissary Center Marker, Courtesy Library of Congress
4. The unsavory byproducts of slaughtered beef (heads and horns)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,290 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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