Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Battles of Whitesburg

At the beginning of the War Between the States the small community was comprised of about 350 citizens. Early in the war both Union and Confederate officials recognized the strategic importance of Whitesburg as a base camp for operations. This was due to it being the closest community to several gaps and roads through the steep mountain ranges of the Appalachian Mountains known locally as the Pine Mountain range. Due to the steepness of the terrain, the gaps and roads were the easiest and sometimes the only accessible way of getting troops and supplies between Kentucky and Virginia. The road through Pound Gap (sometimes referred to as Sounding Gap, the Trace as well as Fincastle Trail) was the best traveled of these natural routes in and out of the hills of Kentucky. This gap was approximately 12 miles north east of Whitesburg and at its widest point it was said to be only approximately fourteen feet wide. The largest battle fought in Letcher County took place in this gap. The gap was defended by Confederate troops under the command of General Humphrey Marshall and were defeated by Union troops under the command of future President Colonel James Garfield. Both of these leaders would stay in Whitesburg on several occasions.

To read about the two Battles of Whitesburg: Click Here.

No comments:

Post a Comment