Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Destroy The Saltworks

The Second Battle of Saltville was fought near the town of Saltville, Virginia December 21st 1864.

Union General George Stoneman put together a force to move against the saltworks located at Saltville, Virginia.  Stoneman defeated a Confederate unit on December 18th 1864 at Marion, Virginia, and then began his advance.

The town of Saltville, Virginia was held by Confederate General John C Breckinridge with about 500 men.  They were waiting on an additional brigade of General Basil W Duke’s cavalry.  Two Union columns moved into the town and despite heavy skirmishing quickly overwhelmed the Confederate defenses.  When Breckinridge ordered a retreat, Stoneman’s men moved into town and demolished the saltworks, which was the purpose of the raid.

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