Bedford (HMRQO)

Location: Bedford, VA 24523
Country: United States of America

N 37° 20.061', W 79° 31.426'

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Hunter's Raid

— 1864 Valley Campaign —

On the evening of June 15, 1864, the lead element of Union Gen. David Hunter's 18,000-man army arrived here and cam near Avenel. The main force arrived the following morning and started destroying the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad tracks, burning the depot and businesses before moving on toward Lynchburg. Hunter had taken command in the Shenandoah Valley on May 19, with orders to destroy railroad facilities and supplies in Staunton and Lynchburg, then either return to lower Valley or join Gen. Ulysses S. Grant near Petersburg.

Learning of Hunter's plans, on June 12, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee assigned Gen. Jubal A. Early the command of a diversionary corps from the Army of Northern Virginia to defeat Hunter. Later, if feasible, Early was to slice down the Valley, cross the Potomac River and threaten Washington. Lee hoped to induce Grant to detach troops from eastern Virginia and relieve the strain on Lee's defense of Richmond.

Hunter attacked Lynchburg on June 18, but Early had arrived in the nick of time. After his probes were repulsed, Hunter retreated the next day along the same route taken on his advance, with Early's 8,000-man force in pursuit. Early's advance caught up with Hunter just east of town and carried the fight to downtown Liberty. The Federals retreated west to positions just outside town, and darkness ended the fighting. Early planned to resume the attack the next morning, but Hunter pulled out during the night. Early set off in pursuit, out of Bedford County toward Salem and Hanging Rock.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 4:57am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 630775 N 4132985
Decimal Degrees37.33435000, -79.52376667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 20.061', W 79° 31.426'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 20' 3.66" N, 79° 31' 25.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804, 540, 434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 108 S Bridge St, Bedford VA 24523, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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