Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park: The Screams of War
With a planned attack on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, Brigadier General Duffié was to destroy Confederate property while Brigadier General Averell was to search out and destroy Confederate defenses. On the 6th of November 1863, Averell and his 5000 men attacked 1200 Confederates commanded by General Echols at Mill Point. Averell pushed the Confederates up to the Summit of Droop Mountain where Echols took his defense. The Confederates blocked the road with artillery and built reinforced breastworks making a commanding obstacle for the Union troops.
The following morning Averell decided to attack Droop Mountain. Echols held his ground until the afternoon when Averell commanded his infantry to attack the Confederate defenses on the left and for his cavalry to dismount and charge with a frontal attack into Echols main defensive line. After a bloody and violent battle, the Confederate Lines started to fail, and Echols’ men turned and fled. Averell’s Cavalry continued their assault by hunting down Confederate soldiers, killing and taking them prisoner until dark. By nightfall, over 400 soldiers had lost their lives.
Visitors of the Park have reported seeing Union and Confederate soldiers in the woods and along the trails. Many have heard the haunting shouts, screams, and death of war coming from the grounds. Take a hike through this battle ridden park and listen to its sounds, if you dare.