Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Abingdon in Washington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Abingdon in the Civil War

Wyatt's Revenge

 

—Stoneman's Raid —

 
Abingdon in the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
1. Abingdon in the Civil War Marker
Inscription. (preface)
On December 1, 1864, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 5,700 cavalrymen east from Knoxville, Tennessee, to destroy iron-, lead-, and saltworks in Virginia that were essential to the Confederate war effort. After actions at Kingsport and Bristol, Stoneman struck at Marion, Wytheville, and Austinville, then destroyed the saltworks at Saltville. Stoneman returned to Tennessee on January 1, 1865, having laid waste to every factory, railroad, depot, and warehouse in his path.

En route to Saltville, Virginia, from Knoxville, Tennessee, in December 1864, Union Gen. George Stoneman fought a series of engagements as he and his force rode north from Bristol. Stoneman arrived in Abingdon in the early morning hours of December 15. His men left a wake of destruction behind them here, destroying military supplies, tearing up railroad track, burning rolling stock, and damaging the printing press of the Abingdon-Virginian newspaper. Soon they continued their northward trek, except for one estranged officer.

Capt. James B. Wyatt, Co. M, 13th Tennessee Cavalry (US), a former resident of Abingdon, lagged behind Stoneman’s column. Wyatt, evidently seeking revenge from encounters with the county court system as a youth, continued to hold a grudge against a local judge. Taking advantage of this return to his
Abingdon in the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
2. Abingdon in the Civil War Marker
hometown, Wyatt decided to wreak personal havoc here by burning the Washington County courthouse. Once ignited the blaze, the roaring fire soon destroyed the courthouse and numerous county records. Burning cinders set other structures afire. Wyatt lingered too long enjoying the sight and attracted the attention of two Confederate cavalrymen who arrived in town ahead of units pursuing Stoneman. Wyatt put spur to his horse and the chase began. It ended on Church Street a few blocks east of here, when Wyatt’s horse fell, killing Wyatt.

The present courthouse, the first Virginia Courthouse built during Reconstruction, opened in 1868 on the site of the 1850 courthouse that Wyatt burned.

“Noble I. McGinnis, a prominent citizen of the town and a member of the County Court, had some time previous to the war; punished me for an offence of which I was not guilty.” —Capt. James B. Wyatt.

(captions)
Capt. James B. Wyatt, from History of the Thirteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry U.S.A. (1903)

Stoneman's Raid December 1864

Abingdon, showing buildings burned (shaded) December 1864 — Courtesy Historical Society of Washington Co., Va.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series.
Abingdon in the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
3. Abingdon in the Civil War Marker
This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 42.576′ N, 81° 58.644′ W. Marker is in Abingdon, Virginia, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (U.S. 11) and Cummings Street SW (Alternate U.S. 58), on the right when traveling east on West Main Street. Click for map. Marker is located in the northeast corner of the Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum property. Marker is at or near this postal address: 208 W Main St, Abingdon VA 24210, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Boyhood Home of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston (within shouting distance of this marker); Abingdon (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Martha Washington College (about 700 feet away); Barter Theatre (approx. 0.2 miles away); Stonewall Jackson Female Institute (approx. 0.2 miles away); Governor John B. Floyd (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Campbell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Governor David Campbell (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Abingdon.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Abingdon in the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
4. Abingdon in the Civil War Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 581 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement