The Eighth Annual New London Day
The Friends of New London, Virginia will host the Eighth Annual New London Day on Saturday, June 7, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, in the historic village of New London, Va. The theme for this event involves the Sesquicentennial observances and 150th anniversaries of local actions which were part of the Campaign and Battle of Lynchburg, June 15, 1864 through June 19, 1864. General admission will be free; donations will be accepted. Hot foods by Vito’s, cold beverages, and Chilly’s Ice Cream truck will be available for your refreshment.
There will be a series of speakers throughout the day. Revely Carwile, Jr. will give presentations which recount Hunter’s Raid, beginning with June 15, 1864 events near the Peaks of Otter and fighting near New London between Union cavalry raiders commanded by Gen. W. W. Averell and Confederate cavalry and home guard units under Gen. James McCausland. Movements of Union Lt. Gen. David “Black Dave” Hunter’s army and the Confederate defenders of Lynchburg will be discussed, including Federal occupation of Liberty and the significant role undertaken at New London by the William A. Read family of “Liberty Hall,” to delay Hunter’s main army on June 17. William Read invited Hunter and his staff to brunch, served punch and mint juleps, followed by piano music, dancing, and singing. This delay of several hours gained time for Confederate reinforcements to arrive in time to bolster the dismounted cavalry and stop the Yankee advance near the old South River Meeting House and Sandusky. Fighting continued outside Lynchburg on June 18. Shortly after midnight June 19 Hunter began his retreat past New London toward Liberty. Visitors will hear vignettes of events during the campaign, including Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s chase and actions against Hunter’s rear guard action at Liberty on June 19.
Members of the Taylor – Wilson Camp, Sons of Union Veterans will speak of the prisoner of war camp at the old fairgrounds outside Lynchburg. The Friends of New London office, 762 Alum Springs Road, will host showings of the Emmy award winning documentary film, “Hunter’s Raid, the Battle for Lynchburg, Defending Hearth & Home,” completed 2010 by the Historic Sandusky Foundation.
Visitors can visit Civil War period encampments of the Campbell Guards Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Taylor – Wilson Camp, Sons of Union Veterans. There will be displays of African American cultural life and artifacts at the former New London Methodist Church. Delores Nash Hicks will lead discussions of African – American life during the time of slavery.
Inside the FNL office building, Randy Lichtenberger will host archaeology exhibits and a PowerPoint presentation of field archaeology work conducted through 2013 within the colonial village, at the 1763 Mead’s Tavern, and within the Confederate section of Lynchburg’s Old City Cemetery. Colonial and other artifacts will be on display. Period re-enactors will be present. Visitors may tour Mead’s Tavern and other sites within the colonial village, and to visit the Interactive Heritage Forum and visit tables hosted by FNL, the Bedford City / County Museum, and the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial Committee. Copies of “New London Today and Yesterday,” by Daisy I. Read, will be available for purchase.
New London was incorporated in 1754 as the first county seat of the newly formed Bedford Co., an area comprised of the present Bedford Co., Campbell Co., and large parts of present-day Franklin Co. and Appomattox Co. This colonial village was situated at the crossroads of two trading paths, one which grew to become the connecting road to the Wilderness Road at Salem and the other into a connecting road to the Great Wagon Road at Rocky Mount. A state arsenal was located in the colonial village by 1775; this facility became a continental arsenal in 1779 and supplied military goods, accoutrements, and cartridges to the patriot forces in North Carolina and Virginia. After independence, the arsenal remained in use through the War of 1812. From the middle of the 19th through the early 20th century, New London was a popular resort destination featuring Bedford Alum Springs and its Hotel. The Friends of New London, Virginia incorporated in 2005 as a 501c3 non-profit organization with its mission to research and to preserve the history of this colonial village and its vicinity.
From Lynchburg, via US 460 West, just past the junction with Timberlake Road, turn left onto Turkey Foot Rd., at the stoplight. From Bedford, via 460 East, pass New London Academy, enter Campbell Co., then turn right onto Turkey Foot Rd. FNL will be straight ahead, one quarter mile; follow signs to parking areas.
For further information contact Reve Carwile, Jr., (434) 907 – 5396.