On April 10, 2009 the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 404, which created the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. The Legislature found that “the role of West Virginia, its creation as a state and the roles of individual West Virginians in the American Civil War, from the time of John Brown's Raid through the formation of the State of West Virginia and the conclusion of the American Civil War, are of such historical significance as to warrant their commemoration.”
The legislation ascribed the Commission the following powers and duties:
(a) The commission may:
(1) Solicit, accept, use and dispose of gifts, grants, donations, bequests or other funds or real or personal property for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the commission, upon compliance with the provisions of section two, article two, chapter twelve of this code;
(2) Procure supplies, services and property and make or enter into contracts, leases or other legal agreement as necessary to carry out its duties: Provided, That no contract, lease or other legal agreement may be entered into by the commission with terms which would extend beyond the termination date of the commission;
(3) Plan, develop and carry out programs and activities appropriate to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War;
(4) Encourage civic, historical, educational, economic and other organizations throughout West Virginia to organize and participate in activities to expand the understanding and appreciation of the American Civil War;
(5) Provide technical assistance to localities and nonprofit organizations to further the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War;
(6) Develop programs and facilities to ensure that the sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War result in a positive legacy and long-term public benefit;
(7) Encourage the development and conduct of programs designed to involve all citizens in activities that commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War; and
(8) Focus its activities on the role of West Virginia and its creation as a state and the roles of individual West Virginians in the American Civil War.
(b) The commission shall report to the Legislature at each regular session and at the same time report to the Governor concerning the action taken by the commission during the previous year in carrying out the provisions of this article and make such special reports as may be required by the Legislature and Governor.
The mission of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission is to promote awareness, celebrate the unique creation of the State of West Virginia and the role of its people during the Civil War era, and its continuing effect on our people.