Friday, April 6, 2012

The Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway

While traveling home from Tucson recently, I was startled to see this monument at a rest area near Lordsburg, New Mexico, on Interstate 10:

At the time, I wondered if the monument related in some way to Davis’ establishment of a Camel Corps in the mid 1850s while he served as Secretary of War. But, as it turns out the main clue on the monument is the mention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. According to an article by Richard F. Weingroff on the U. S. Department of Transportation's website, the United Daughters of the Confederacy promoted the idea of a Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway beginning in 1913. The Daughters envisioned a transcontinental highway that would be the southern counterpart of the Lincoln Highway. Apparently several other Jefferson Davis Memorial Highways were established as well. So, although it is not directly related to the Civil War, I found this little story deserving of a short posting.

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