Friday, June 6, 2008

Hunter's Raid in Buchanan

The Town of Buchanan in Botetourt has three markers commemorating the 1864 Virginia Raid of Union General David Hunter.

Hunter's Raid began on June 5, 1864, with the Battle of Piedmont. He proceeded to Staunton, burning government buildings and supplies as he went.

Hunter's orders indicate he sent troops ahead of him into the town. His soldiers captured prisoners and canal barges loaded with supplies. However, a bridge across the James River was ruined in the process. Eleven dwellings also were burned.

Approximately 30,000 Union soldiers camped around the area. Mount Joy, one of the larger plantation homes, also burned.

Hunter took his men away from Buchanan via the Peaks of Otter, to Bedford. The raid ended at the Battle of Lynchburg on June 17-18, 1864 where Confederate General Jubal Early defeated the Union forces.

Following the Union defeat, Confederates forces pursued Union forces back through Bedford, then to Salem where they fought again at the Battle of Hanging Rock.

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