First Battle of Saltville

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First Battle of Saltville
Part of the American Civil War
SaltvilleBattlefield.jpg
View of part of the Saltville battlefield
Date October 2, 1864 (1864-10-02)
Location Smyth County, Virginia
Result Confederate victory
Belligerents
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
Stephen G. Burbridge Alfred E. Jackson
Units involved
5th United States Colored Cavalry Confederate Home Guard
Strength
5,000 [1] 300 [1]
Casualties and losses
458 [2]

The First Battle of Saltville (1 October – 3 October 1864), was fought near the town of Saltville, Virginia, during the American Civil War. The battle was fought by both regular and homeguard Confederate units against regular Union troops, including one of the few black cavalry units, over an important saltworks in the town. The Union troops were led by Brig. Gen. Stephen G. Burbridge.

The battle was a Confederate victory, but it has become better known for a massacre that happened afterward. Irregular guerrilla forces under the notorious Champ Ferguson murdered captured and wounded white and black Union troops. Ferguson was tried after the war in Nashville, Tennessee, for these and other non-military killings, found guilty, and executed.

A second battle occurred two months later at Saltville. In that encounter, Union general George Stoneman defeated Confederate defenders and burned the saltworks.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Bush, Bryan S. (2008). Butcher Burbridge: Union General Stephen Burbridge and His Reign of Terror Over Kentucky. Morley, Missouri: Acclaim Press. ISBN 0-9798802-5-4. 

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Coordinates: 36°53′09″N 81°45′33″W / 36.8857°N 81.7592°W / 36.8857; -81.7592