For more information about historic sites, stop by the Lynchburg Visitor Center, 216 12th St.
Union Gen. David Hunter reached the outskirts of Lynchburg June 17, 1864, hoping to capture the important supply and hospital center. Hunter’s advance on Lynchburg followed a decisive victory over Confederates at Piedmont in the Shenandoah Valley two weeks earlier. Following Piedmont, “Black Dave” then occupied Lexington — burning the Virginia Military Institute — before turning east.
Seeing the threat, Robert E. Lee rushed Gen. Jubal Early to the scene. Arriving just in time, Early turned back Hunter after fierce fighting on June 18. Hunter retreated all the way into West Virginia. Early then launched his own campaign that ended finally in the suburbs of Washington DC.
A Civil War Trails driving tour of Lynchburg sites describes both the action and the city’s role in the war. An excellent tour tape (or CD) is now available for purchase at several places in town, including the Lynchburg visitor center. For mail order, write to the Historic Sandusky Foundation, 757 Sandusky Drive, Lynchburg VA 24502, or see www.historicsandusky.org. See also Hunter’s Raid.
Battle of Lynchburg Sites
57 Sandusky Drive, Lynchburg VA 24502
The tour begins in the yard of this 1808 Federal-style house that Hunter used as headquarters after arriving June 17. The house is undergoing restoration. Open by appointment.
Quaker Meeting House
5810 Fort Ave, Lynchburg VA 24502
Confederate cavalry watched the Federals advance toward Lynchburg from here, fighting a delaying action until Early moved into position.
3511 Memorial Ave, Lynchburg VA 24502
This is a series of forts built in 1863. Early began moving troops into the line June 17, with Fort Early at the center, guarding the Lynchburg-Salem Turnpike. It was defended successfully June 18.
2055 Langhorne Rd, Lynchburg VA 24501
Built earlier in 1864 to protect the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, the fort was used by Confederates defending the right flank during Hunter’s attacks.
Old City Cemetery and Pest House
401 Taylor St, Lynchburg VA 24501
This wonderfully restored cemetery, founded in 1806, includes a well-interpreted Confederate and Civil War section. There were 2,200 Confederate burials here.
The Pest House Medical Museum offers a glimpse of 19th–century medical practices. The building was a quarantine building for Confederate soldiers. A tape plays during exterior tours. You can look in the windows.
The Pest House is the topic of a video played in the Cemetery Center, which includes a museum featuring antique mourning items, a small gift shop and restrooms. Cemetery open dawn to dusk. Visitor center open daily 11 am-3 pm except closed winter Sundays. It’s all free.
Civil War Lynchburg
Ninth and Jefferson streets, Lynchburg 24504
Proposed tour site planned for the downtown historic district describes Lynchburg’s role in the war, focusing on its transportation, hospital and supply roles.
Civil War Hospitals
12th Street and Dunbar Drive, Lynchburg VA 24504
Tour sign located near buildings used as Confederate hospitals during the war. Thirty-two hospitals treated 3,000–4,000 patients at a time, many more after major battles.
Spring Hill Cemetery
3000 Fort Ave, Lynchburg VA 24501
Early moved troops into the cemetery during the battle to bolster his lines at the Salem Turnpike. Later, Confederate Gens. Thomas T. Munford, James Dearing and Jubal Early himself were buried here.
Other Lynchburg Civil War-related sites
The Lynchburg Museum in the Old Courthouse
901 Court St, Lynchburg VA 24504
Located in the 1855 Court House, the museum describes all of the area’s history including much on the Civil War. Flags, artifacts from the 1864 Battle of Lynchburg, and items used by Gen. Jubal Early are on display. Civil War Trails sign outside. Open Monday–Saturday 10 am–4 pm; Sunday noon–4 pm. $6/adult.
Point of Honor
112 Cabell St, Lynchburg VA 24504
Trails sign located at the house museum tells the story of its wartime resident, Col. Robert Owen, president of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. The home also may have been visited by Union spies before the 1864 Battle of Lynchburg. The 1815 Federal-style building is part of the Lynchburg Museum system and is open Monday–Saturday 10 am–4 pm. $6/adult.
Packet Boat Marshall
Trails sign in Riverside Park off Rosemont Avenue
The restored iron hull of the packet boat that brought the body of Stonewall Jackson from Lynchburg to Lexington is preserved here in a special structure. Jackson’s remains were shipped by train from Richmond to Lynchburg following his death in May 1863, then taken for burial to Lexington on this canal boat.
Trails sign at Glass High School, 2111 Memorial Ave, Lynchburg 24501
Union prisoner-of-war camp established here on the site of an earlier Confederate training camp and town fairgrounds. Established as a POW exchange camp, the site quickly became overcrowded and disease infested after the exchange system broke down in 1863.
Lynchburg Presbyterian Cemetery
Trails sign at the cemetery, 2020 Grace St, Lynchburg 24504
More than 278 Civil War veterans, including two Confederate generals, are buried here. Gen. Samuel Garland was mortally wounded at the Battle of South Mountain in September 1862, prior to the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. Gen Robert E. Rodes was killed at the Third Battle of Winchester two years later. Both men were Lynchburg natives and graduates of the Virginia Military Institute.
National Civil War Chaplains Museum
2043 The Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center, Liberty University, Lynchburg 24502
Exhibits with paintings, artifacts and other material highlight the role of Civil War chaplains, priests, rabbis and religious organizations. Call for hours.