Lynchburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Early and Hunter
In early May 1864, while Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee confronted the Union Army of the Potomac west of Fredericksburg, Union Gen. U.S. Grant sent Gen. Franz Sigel’s army to destroy Lee’s supplies in the Shenandoah Valley. After the Union defeat at New Market on May 15, Grant relieved Sigel and ordered his replacement, Gen. David Hunter, to seize Lynchburg, a strategic railway and supply center for the Confederate army.
Hunter routed Confederate forces at Piedmont June 5th, captured both Staunton and Lexington, then advanced on Lynchburg. Sensing Hunter’s intentions, Lee dispatched Gens. John C. Breckenridge and Jubal Early to Lynchburg’s defense. Breckenridge arrived June 15, placing his troops alongside home guard soldiers manning Lynchburg’s inner defense line. Confederate cavalry slowed Hunter’s march, giving Early’s II Corps time to reach the city.
The fighting began mid-day Friday, June 17, and lasted into the evening. Hunter failed to breach Confederate resistance. Hunter renewed the battle the next day but again was repulsed.
That night, Hunter’s army began withdrawing toward West Virginia, leaving Early free
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Battlefield Trails - Civil War, the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is May 2, 1864.
Location. 37° 22.807′ N, 79° 11.778′ W. Marker is in Lynchburg, Virginia. Marker is on Sandusky Drive, on the left when traveling west. The Lynchburg - Early and Hunter marker is located at historic Sandusky. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 757 Sandusky Drive, Lynchburg VA 24502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sandusky (here, next to this marker); To The Memory Of The Union Soldiers (a few steps from this marker); Quaker Meeting House (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Sandusky (approx. half a Quaker Meeting House (approx. half a mile away); 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (approx. 0.6 miles away); West Virginia Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Grave of John Lynch (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lynchburg.
More about this marker. In the upper center is a drawing stating that "Fort Early was similar to this earthwork at Winchester." Portraits of Gens. Hunter and Early are on the lower right, below a map showing Early's 1864 summer campaign.
Regarding Lynchburg. This is one in a series of Civil War Trails markers interpreting the Battle of Lynchburg (17-18 June 1864) and the city's role in the Civil War. Select the Civil War Virtual Tour by Marker link below to see other related markers.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Civil War Lynchburg Virtual Tour by Markers.
Also see . . .
1. Civil War Lynchburg Virtual Tour by Markers. An eight stop Civil War Trails tour, with several Virginia state markers and other memorials added. (Submitted on December 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Battle of Lynchburg Civil War Traveler Tour. (Submitted on December 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. Battle of Lynchburg Tour Map. (PDF) This map is used on several of the markers on the tour. It indicates (Submitted on December 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,872 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 2, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.