The Saltville Massacre

Overview

In October 1864, in the mountains of southwest Virginia, one of the most brutal acts of the Civil War occurs. Brig. Gen. Stephen Burbridge launches a raid to capture Saltville. Included among his forces is the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry. Repeated Federal attacks are repulsed by Confederate forces under the command of Gen. John S. Williams. As the sun begins to set, Burbridge pulls his troops from the field, leaving many wounded. In the morning, Confederate troops, including a company of ruffians under the command ...
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Overview

In October 1864, in the mountains of southwest Virginia, one of the most brutal acts of the Civil War occurs. Brig. Gen. Stephen Burbridge launches a raid to capture Saltville. Included among his forces is the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry. Repeated Federal attacks are repulsed by Confederate forces under the command of Gen. John S. Williams. As the sun begins to set, Burbridge pulls his troops from the field, leaving many wounded. In the morning, Confederate troops, including a company of ruffians under the command of Captain Champ Ferguson, advance over the battleground seeking out and killing the wounded black soldiers. What starts as a small but intense mountain battle degenerates into a no-quarter, racial massacre. A detailed account from eyewitness reports of the most blatant battlefield atrocity of the war.

Author Biography: THOMAS D. MAYS holds an M.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has taught at Roanoke College, New River Community College, and Texas Christian University, where he is a doctoral candidate.

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Meet the Author

THOMAS D. MAYS holds an M.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has taught at Roanoke College, New River Community College, and Texas Christian University, where he is a doctoral candidate.

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