We must always to put West Virginia into historical context, it was cut from the Commonwealth of Virginia during the Civil War by President Lincoln, partly as punishment for the act of secession and partly as an earned reward to Union loyalists.
This historical markers near this monument reflect the significance of Union in both the Colonial Era and during the Civil War. It has quite a history.
One of the sons of Monroe County, Lt Col Andrew Summers Rowan, gained the reputation as the ultimate "Go To Guy" at the outset of the Spanish-American War.
Rowan, raised just a couple of miles east of this monument, was specifically requested by President McKinely to make a liason contact with rebel Cuban forces. For his actions he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, but he was made famous in an essay by Elbert Hubbard, published in 1899, entitled "A Message to Garcia." He was praised as the perfect example of individual initiative. It's an interesting essay and Rowan's account of the mission may be found at the Arlington National Cemetery website.