First Battle of Saltville, Virginia

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johnsneed

Corporal
Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
343
Location
Springfield, Missouri
My father was from Saltville, Virginia. So, out of sheer curiosity I googled "Saltville" and "civil war" and I found that two battles took place at Saltville, but the first battle was the most remembered.

Saltville is located in southwestern Virginia, up in the mountains, north and east of Bristol. It is surrounded by the towns of Abingdon, Plasterco, and Damascus. And if you know where those places are we just might be kin. Saltville and the surrounding area were known for their lead mines and ... yes, salt mines (which, as we all know, was used as a preservative in food). Two Union generals, Burbridge and Gillem, converged on Saltville with two cavalry units totally about 8,000 men on October 2, 1864. The Virginians were taken by surprised but put up a good defense with about 1000 militia and irregular troops.

The Union troops pushed to the edge of the town when support arrived in the form of Confederate cavalry under General John Williams. The reinforcements gave the Confederates 2500 troops to face the 8000 Union soldiers. The Confederates pushed back the Union troops and won a massive victory in spite of being surprised and outnumbered.

However, the victory turned to infamy, as it is recorded, that when the Confederate troops saw themselves opposed by members of the 5th and 6th Colored Cavalry, they charged the retreating Union troops focusing on the black soldiers, killing as they were running and shooting the wounded on the ground. This is also called the Saltville Massacre. The battle still counted as a Confederate victory, but a tainted one in history.
 

Virginia Dave

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
507
Location
Waynesboro, Virginia
My GGG Uncle Col. Legrand Shockley was KIA on October 2, 1864. He is buried in the Shockley Cemetary in Carroll County at that time Grayson. I have been trying to find more information on him and any images or photos of him or his wife. I want to visit his burial sight if I can this coming summer. I found the photo below on Find a Grave. His headstone needs to be cleaned.
Legrand Shockley headstone 2.jpg
 
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