Lynchburg is full of history, and even as the City marches ever forward into the future, it is important to remember where we’ve come from. One particularly formative time in Lynchburg history was the Civil War, during which time both Confederate and Union forces played an active role in the history of the area. Here’s where you can find some of these stories.
(Image Via Lynchburg Museum)
The Sandusky House is one of the most famous residences in Lynchburg. During the Civil War, it was occupied by Union forces under General David Hunter. After Hunter fought through Poplar Forest, he arrived at the Sandusky House, which was occupied at the time by the Hutter family. He and his troops used it as a base of operations, thinking they would be able to take Lynchburg easily. His signal officers even cut a hole in the roof during the battle so they could see how it was progressing. General Hunter and his soldiers ended up retreating from this position, meaning that Lynchburg was never captured during the Civil War.
Fort Early was on the opposite side of the Battle of Lynchburg from Sandusky House. The Confederate forces in Lynchburg, led by General Jubal Early, built an earthen fortress and used it to defend their position during the battle. Also of note is the 17-foot obelisk monument erected in honor of the battle, which is located at the corner of Fort Avenue and Memorial Avenue.
(Image Via National Park Service)
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is known for being the location where Confederate General Lee officially surrendered to Union General Grant. The two generals met at the McLean house, which is now a historic location available for touring. The surrounding parkland and village is also open for exploration and learning.
Located at the top of Monument Terrace, the Lynchburg Museum is the hub of historic learning in the City. It tells the story of the Civil War, along with stories of the area from 1607 and the founding of Jamestown up to 2007.
Old City Cemetery
A beautiful and historic piece of land in downtown Lynchburg, this cemetery contains many graves of 2,000 fallen Confederate soldiers. During the Civil War, Lynchburg was used as a hospital town, as the railroad system brought in wounded and diseased soldiers to be treated. In total, more than 30 hospitals, one of which was the immensely influential Ladies’ Relief Hospital, were set up to treat these wounded. However, many soldiers did not survive, and were buried here. Old City Cemetery is now available for tours and events.
Battle of Lynchburg Driving Tour
If you want to get a comprehensive education on the events of the Battle of Lynchburg during the Civil War, try out the Battle of Lynchburg Driving Tour. This is an opportunity to see eight different sites important to the events of June 17-18, 1864. It’s facilitated by maps and audio recordings narrated by Civil War historian James Robertson, Jr. Resources for this tour are available at the Lynchburg Visitor Information Center.