Forest in Bedford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
New London Academy
Confederate Cavalry Line
— Hunter’s Raid —
On May 26, 1864, Union Gen. David Hunter marched south from Cedar Creek near Winchester to drive out Confederate forces, lay waste to the Shenandoah Valley, and destroy transportation facilities at Lynchburg. His raid was part of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s strategy to attack Confederates simultaneously throughout Virginia. After defeating Gen. William E. “Grumble” Jones at Piedmont on June 5, Hunter marched to Lexington, burned Virginia Military Institute, and headed to Lynchburg. There, on June 17-18, Gen. Jubal A. Early repulsed Hunter and pursued him to West Virginia. Early then turned north in July to threaten Washington.
Late in the afternoon of June 16, 1864, the lead elements of Union Gen. David Hunter’s army clashed with Confederate Gens. John McCausland’s and John D. Imboden’s cavalrymen near the village of New London. The few thousand cavalrymen, who had slowed Hunter’s march for several days, established a dismounted defensive line here to delay the Union advance on Lynchburg until Gen. Jubal A. Early could arrive there with his corps.
Union Gen. William
It was about dark when Crook’s infantry arrived. As the 12th and 91st Ohio Infantry Regiments charged, they were “warmly engaged.” The Confederate cavalrymen withdrew, covered by a rearguard action. At the next creek east of New London, Imboden formed another line. As darkness fell, Crook called off his attack. Hunter, instead of marching toward Lynchburg, decided to go into camp, thus missing the only chance he had for capturing the city.
New London Academy is the oldest continuously operating public secondary school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It opened here in 1795, a few miles from Thomas Jefferson’s summer retreat, Poplar Forest, and remained open during the Civil War. The brick building was constructed 1837-39, and an extant out-building was the original school kitchen. Union soldiers ransacked the Academy during Hunter’s Raid.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education War, US Civil.
Location. 37° 18.372′ N, 79° 18.383′ W. Marker is in Forest, Virginia, in Bedford County. Marker is at the intersection of East Lynchburg Salem Turnpike (U.S. 460) and Thomas Jefferson Road (Virginia Route 811), on the right when traveling west on East Lynchburg Salem Turnpike. Located in the parking lot of New London Academy Elementary. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12400 East Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, Forest VA 24551, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named New London Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); Callaway-Steptoe Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); New London (approx. 1½ miles away); What happened to Poplar Forest after Jefferson's death? (approx. 3.7 miles away); Why is the lawn sunken? (approx. 3.7 miles away); Why build the mounds? (approx. 3.7 miles away); Commemorating Lewis and Clark (approx. 3.7 miles away); Poplar Forest Planting Memorandum 1812 (approx. 3.7 miles away).
More about this marker. On the lower left are photographs of "Gen. William W. Averell" and "Gen. John C. McCausland"
On the upper right is a sketch with the caption, "New London — Courtesy of Peter Viemeister, Hamilton’s Books, Bedford, VA"
On the lower right is a Virginia Civil War Trails map of Hunter's Raid
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 626 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 29, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.