Roanoke Valley Civil War History
Did you know?
- The Roanoke Valley was the site of an important Civil War battle, "Hunter's Raid" of 1864, of which took place where Peters Creek empties into the Roanoke River. It was an important prelude to the Battle of Hanging Rock, near Salem, becoming a Confederate victory. Union General David Hunter, notorious for his hatred of slave-holding states, was driven to retreat.
- The Battle of Hanging Rock in Salem is marked by a monument on Rt. 311. Confederate forces under General John McCausland won a substantial Southern victory here against General Hunter, who was ultimately beaten in Lynchburg. General McCausland's grandson is Dr. Alexander McCausland, a Roanoke physician.
- Soldiers weren't the Civil War's only victims. Following General Hunter's retreat, 700 horses died of exhaustion trying to climb massive Potts Mountain in Craig County on the way to West Virginia. It took local residents two weeks to bury them all.
- The Village of Bonsack, on U.S. 460 near Vinton, was the site of two important woolen blanket mills during the Civil War. One was burned by Yankees; the other was saved when its owner promised not to sell any blankets to the Confederate traders at the Roanoke depot. Legend has it that the latter owner's fingers were crossed as he made his vow.
For more information, go to http://www.huntersraid.org/