Civil War Trails

VA CIVIL WAR TRAILS – HUNTER’S RAID

Buchanan invites you to explore some less familiar sites associated with America’s greatest drama, the Civil War. Four of these Buchanan landmarks are noted by Virginia Civil War Trail Markers found throughout the Town. Each marker narrates the rich story of those who experienced triumph and tragedy during the war and its impact on our rural community. www.huntersraid.org The Buchanan sites include the Boat Ramp on Lowe Street, the Wilson Warehouse/ Community House on Lowe Street, the Anchorage on Main Street and Mt. Joy on Main Street.

During the Civil War, the Town of Buchanan served as an important Confederate supply depot for shipment of agricultural produce and pig iron to Richmond via the James River and Kanawha Canal. Buchanan Farmers provided the Confederate quartermaster with beef, cotton, yarn and corn.

Buchanan also provided troops for the Confederate war effort, most notably for the Botetourt Artillery, a unit which  distinguished itself in the defense of Vicksburg. John W. Johnston headed the Botetourt Artillery in January 1863. Buchanan banker William Douthat’s sons Henry and William served as Second Lieutenants in the Botetourt Artillery. William Douthat Died in the defense of Vicksburg in May 1863 and was succeeded by Frances Obenchain, son of merchant Thomas Obenchain. Enlisted men from Buchanan in the Botetourt Artillery included Oliver Haney, son of Hotel Botetourt keeper Jacob Haney; Ferdinand Woltz, son of tailor William Woltz; and J. Zimmerman, son of saddler John Zimmerman.

Union General David Hunter, led fiery raid across the Valley on his way to Lynchburg. Ordered the burning of Mount Joy , Col Anderson’s Buchanan home.

Federal General David Hunter marched through Buchanan on June 13, 1864 on his ill-fated raid in Lynchburg. The following day Confederate General J.D. Imboden reported that Hunter had driven Confederate troops under McCausland’s command out of Buchanan. No other official military accounts of the engagement in Buchanan have been found, however, period letters tell how McCausland burned the covered bridge over the James River before leaving igniting a fire destroying close to thirty buildings.rsonal letters of the era also tell of the devastation to BuchaFederal General David Hunter marched through Buchanan on June 13, 1864 on his ill-fated raid in Lynchburg. The following day Confederate General J.D. Imboden reported that Hunter had driven Confederate troops under McCausland’s command out of Buchanan. No other official military accounts of the engagement in Buchanan have been found, however, period letters tell how McCausland burned the covered bridge over the James River before leaving igniting a fire destroying close to thirty buildings.nan caused by the war including the burning of Col. John Anderson’s home known as Mount Joy, the three day Federal occupation of Oak Hill, the Anchorage, the Presbyterian Manse as well as other private homes and offices throughout Town. The battle flag of the Botetourt Artillery was said to have been made from the wedding dress of Cassandra Anderson, owner of Mount Joy.

 The image to the right is of the “Anchorage,” one of the stops on the Civil War Trail. This historic Main Street home belonged to to Commodore Whittle, was occupied by Federal Troops during Hunter’s Raid, and today houses the Rhein River Inn.

The Town celebrates its Civil War Heritage each year during the Buchanan Civil War History Weekend scheduled for the last weekend of April. For additional information pick up a Hunter’s Raid Civil War Trail brochure at the Buchanan Town Hall (540) 254 – 1212, or, many of the downtown business locations.