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7 Pieces Of History Near Abingdon, VA

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Abingdon, Virginia is a town rich in history, located in Washington County, in the southwestern part of the state. Throughout the years, the town has experienced many important events that helped shape the region and the country. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Abingdon, VA.

1. Battle of Saltville: Saltville, a nearby town from Abingdon, was the site of a major Confederate salt mine and an important source of salt for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Union forces made several attempts to capture the town and the salt mines, leading to several battles, including the Battle of Saltville, which occurred on October 2, 1864. The battle was a significant victory for the Confederacy, but control of the salt mines ultimately fell to the Union forces later that year.

2. The Abingdon Foundry and Machine Works: In 1904, the Abingdon Foundry and Machine Works opened, playing a pivotal role in the development of Abingdon. The company produced a wide range of machinery, including grist mills and sawmills, that were used throughout the region. The foundry continued to operate until 1970 when it was purchased by the town of Abingdon.

3. Revolutionary War Skirmish: In February 1780, a small group of Patriot militiamen engaged a British raiding party near modern-day Abingdon. The skirmish resulted in a Patriot victory, and the town's heroism was recognized by the state of Virginia.

4. William Campbell's Militia: Brigadier General William Campbell, a resident of Washington County, led the Virginia militia to victory against the British in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina in 1780. The Colonial victory was a pivotal moment in the War of Independence.

5. John M. Bowers' Trial and Execution: John M. Bowers, a former slave who was accused of murdering his employer, was tried, convicted, and executed in front of the courthouse in Abingdon in 1894. Bowers' case became a symbol of the extreme violence and discrimination faced by African Americans during the late 19th century.

6. The Overmountain Victory Trail: The Overmountain Victory Trail is a route taken by the Patriot forces during the Revolutionary War. The route began in Abingdon and went through Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina before culminating in the Battle of Kings Mountain. The trail has been designated a National Historic Trail, and it is a popular destination for history buffs.

7. Virginia Creeper Trail: The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile multi-use trail in southwestern Virginia that follows the path of the former Abingdon Branch of the Norfolk and Western Railway. The trail runs through the beautiful countryside, small towns, and historic sites, offering visitors a chance to experience the region's history and natural beauty.

In conclusion, Abingdon, Virginia has a rich history that has contributed to the development of the country. From Revolutionary War skirmishes to the Battle of Saltville, the area has been the site of many important events. Visitors to Abingdon can learn about the town's history by visiting its museums, following the Overmountain Victory Trail, and exploring the Virginia Creeper Trail.
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