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“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

The Road to Mount Airy Depot

 
 
Battle of Wytheville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
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 Confederated cause. Here, about six miles north of Wytheville, Toland detached companies D and F of the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry under Capts. George Millard and Alexander H. Ruker and ordered them to destroy the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad tracks at Mount Airy Depot (present-day Rural Retreat), Virginia.

Toland planned to continue his march to Wytheville and to divide his command again about two miles from here. He would leave the main road with part of his regiment and destroy the high Virginia and Tennessee Railroad bridge (Walters Bridge), that stood near the Old Stage Road and spanned Reed Creek. But after realizing that he had sent his only reliable guide with Millard and Ruker to Mount Airy Depot, Toland changed his mind and ordered the entire command to march on to Wytheville, leaving the railroad bridge untouched.

According to a Union report written after the raid, the tracks at Mount Airy Depot were not destroyed because the areas was “strongly guarded” by Confederate troops. For this reason, Millard and Ruker aborted their mission and rejoined
Battle of Wytheville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
2. Battle of Wytheville Marker
Close up photo of the map on the marker.
the regiment at Wytheville early the following morning of July 19.

(captions)
Walters or High Bridge spanning Reed Creek on the Old Stage Road southwest of Wytheville. The bridge was on the Federal target list and was threatened during Toland's Raid, but it was not destroyed during the war.

Destroying railroads included heating and "wrapping" the rails.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 57.93′ N, 81° 10.824′ W. Marker is near Wytheville, Virginia, in Wythe County. Marker is on Black Lick Road (Virginia Route 680) 0.2 miles south of Stony Fork Road (U.S. 52), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wytheville VA 24382, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Wytheville (approx. 3.1 miles away); Homesteader's Legacy (approx. 4.2 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Wytheville (approx. 4.4 miles away); St. Johnís Lutheran Church (approx. 4.4 miles away);
Battle of Wytheville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
3. Battle of Wytheville Marker
Boone Trail Highway Memorial (approx. 5.5 miles away); Wytheville (approx. 5.5 miles away); Edith Bolling Wilson (approx. 5.5 miles away); Wytheville Training School (approx. 5.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wytheville.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 405 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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