“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wytheville in Wythe County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Battle of Wytheville

Into the Valley of Death

Battle of Wytheville Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2011
1. Battle of Wytheville Marker
Inscription. On July 13, 1863, Union Col. John T. Toland led 872 officers and men of the 34th Regiment Mounted Ohio Volunteer Infantry from Camp Piatt, West Virginia, into Southwest Virginia to attack the railroads, telegraphs, and salt and lead mines essential to the Confederate cause. Five exhausting days later, the raiders arrived near where you are now standing for their first view of the valley before the Battle of Wytheville.

The day after the march began, Toland fought the first engagement of the raid at Piney Creek, West Virginia, killing and wounding nine Confederate soldiers. Toland lost two killed and three wounded. On the, same day, Toland received orders directing him to “move immediately upon the railroad at Wytheville, Virginia.” Later, six miles west of Raleigh (present-day Beckley), West Virginia, the regiment dismissed the wagon train that carried the supplies. The train, including unserviceable horses and men unfit for combat, returned to Camp Piatt.

After bivouacking overnight at Jeffersonville (modern-day Tazewell), Virginia, on July 17, Toland broke camp about 3 a.m. to march to Wytheville to destroy the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad tracks. He placed thirty-five prisoners of war, several African Americans, and 20 horses captured at Abbís Valley in the rear of the column.
Battle of Wytheville Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2011
2. Battle of Wytheville Marker
Tolandís force probably arrived here about 3 p.m. on July 18.
Erected by Virginia Civil Was Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 2.736′ N, 81° 13.686′ W. Marker is near Wytheville, Virginia, in Wythe County. Marker is at the intersection of South Scenic Highway (U.S. 52) and Old Mountain Road (County Route 621), on the right when traveling south on South Scenic Highway. Click for map. It is at Big Walker Lookout on Big Walker Mountain. The county line cuts through the new general store. The old general store building and observation tower is in Bland County. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8711 Stony Fork Rd, Wytheville VA 24382, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wythe County / Bland County (within shouting distance of this marker); Tolandís Raid (within shouting distance of this marker); One of the “Big Four” (approx. 2.2 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Wytheville (approx. 3.2 miles away); Homesteader's Legacy (approx. 5.1 miles away);
Close Up of Sketch on Marker Photo, Click for full size
3. Close Up of Sketch on Marker
Caption reads, “troops destroying railroad tracks, sketch by Alfred A. Waud.”
a different marker also named Battle of Wytheville (approx. 6.1 miles away); Henry C. Groseclose (approx. 6.6 miles away); Bland (approx. 6.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wytheville.
More about this marker. Marker contains an un-captioned photograph of the valley on the lower right, a map of area on the lower right, and a sketch by Alfred A. Waud of troops destroying railroad tracks, center right.
Categories. War, US Civil
Observation Tower at Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats
4. Observation Tower at Marker
Colonel Toland's men would have appreciated this tower. They had to climb the summit (Photo 5) for the best view the valleys. Pay $5 at the general store at the lookout to climb the tower.
Walker Mountain From the Observation Tower Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats
5. Walker Mountain From the Observation Tower
A View of the Valley from the Observation Tower Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2011
6. A View of the Valley from the Observation Tower
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,241 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4, 5, 6. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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