The Battle of Hanging Rock

The Battle of Hanging Rock (HM23O)

Location: Roanoke, VA 24019
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 19.677', W 80° 2.419'

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A Union Retreat Disrupted

On June 21, 1864, following two days of fighting at Lynchburg, Confederate Gen. Robert Ransom's cavalry, pursuing Union Gen. David Hunter's retreating column, engaged in a conflict that would ultimately become known as the Battle of Hanging Rock.

Hunter, fearing an assault by the forces of Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early after the Union defeat at Lynchburg, withdrew toward New Castle. His troops followed the Lynchburg-Salem Turnpike.

Early sent his army in pursuit. He ordered Ransom to lead his cavalry over the Peaks of Otter to Buchanan, then to Salem on the Great Road (modern Route 11).

Hunter's retreating forces included a wagon train of ambulances and supply wagons as well as artillery and munitions. The narrow gap between step bluffs at Hanging Rock delayed the column, creating a prime opportunity for Confederate attack. On the morning of June 21, Confederate Gen. John McCausland's cavalry spotted the stalled Union artillery.

Early's infantry had not caught up with Hunter's army, so Ransom sent McCausland with only a portion of his cavalry to strike the Union column. Union guns and wagons sustained heavy damage; wheels were torn away, cannon trunnions broken, and limbers pushed into Mason Creek.

McCausland's troops burned ammunition wagons, killed and captured horses, confiscated guns, and took prisoners. Finally, Union cavalry and infantry reinforcements arrived. McCausland was forced to abandon the gap, allowing Hunter to continue his retreat.
HM NumberHM23O
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 1:11pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 585021 N 4131685
Decimal Degrees37.32795000, -80.04031667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 19.677', W 80° 2.419'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 19' 40.62" N, 80° 2' 25.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 700-798 Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail, Roanoke VA 24019, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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