WYTHE COUNTY – Big Walker Lookout will host a variety of activities Saturday, July 13, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle known as Toland’s Raid.
One of the lesser-known battles of the Civil War, Col. John T. Toland of the 34th Mounted Ohio Volunteer Infantry lead his regiment of Federal cavalrymen from Tazewell County over Big Walker Mountain and raided Wytheville during of evening of July 18, 1863.
Legend has it that a young woman named Molly Tynes received early warning of the impending attack and traveled on horseback the night before the raid to warn the small community of the danger.
Confederate troops, led by Major Thomas M. Bowyer, and local citizens consisting of old men, women, and children, were fortified in buildings and, at first, withstood the attack, killing Col. Toland.
Civil War re-enactors and a Molly Tynes tribute artist will be on hand at Big Walker Lookout for this historic celebration. There will also be music by an old-time string band.
The activities are one event in a series of History Comes Alive activities offered on top of historic Walker Mountain on U.S. 52 near Wytheville.