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Hanging Rock in Roanoke County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of Hanging Rock
A Union Retreat Disrupted
 
The Battle of Hanging Rock Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., November 24, 2007
1. The Battle of Hanging Rock Marker
 
Inscription. On June 21, 1864, following two days of fighting at Lynchburg, Confederate Gen. Robert Ransom’s cavalry, pursuing Union Gen. David Hunter’s retreating column, engaged in a conflict that would ultimately become known as the Battle of Hanging Rock.

Hunter, fearing an assault by the forces of Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early after the Union defeat at Lynchburg, withdrew toward New Castle. His troops followed the Lynchburg-Salem Turnpike.

Early sent his army in pursuit. He ordered Ransom to lead his cavalry over the Peaks of Otter to Buchanan, then to Salem on the Great Road (modern Route 11).

Hunter’s retreating forces included a wagon train of ambulances and supply wagons as well as artillery and munitions. The narrow gap between step bluffs at Hanging Rock delayed the column, creating a prime opportunity for Confederate attack. On the morning of June 21, Confederate Gen. John McCausland’s cavalry spotted the stalled Union artillery.

Early’s infantry had not caught up with Hunter’s army, so Ransom sent McCausland with only a portion of his cavalry to strike the Union column. Union guns and wagons sustained heavy damage; wheels were torn away, cannon trunnions broken, and limbers pushed into Mason Creek.

McCausland’s troops burned ammunition wagons, killed and captured horses, confiscated guns, and
 
The Battle of Hanging Rock Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
2. The Battle of Hanging Rock Marker
 
took prisoners. Finally, Union cavalry and infantry reinforcements arrived. McCausland was forced to abandon the gap, allowing Hunter to continue his retreat.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 19.677′ N, 80° 2.419′ W. Marker is in Hanging Rock, Virginia, in Roanoke County. Marker is on Dutch Oven Road near N. Electric Road (Virginia Route 419), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Salem VA 24153, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Morgan Jones (here, next to this marker); United Daughters of the Confederacy Monuments (here, next to this marker); Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Hanging Rock (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); McCausland Attacks (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hanging Rock Coal Trestle (approx. 0.2 miles away); Two Future Presidents In Wartime Retreat (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hanging Rock (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Hanging Rock.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a portrait of Gen. Early. The right side displays a map of the battle area from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, drawn by famous Confederate topographical engineer Jed Hotchkiss.
 
The Battle of Hanging Rock Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
3. The Battle of Hanging Rock Marker
 
 
Hanging Rock Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
4. Hanging Rock
The namesake of the area and battle.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,080 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on December 6, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on December 28, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on December 29, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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