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Knight and Miller Tobacco Factories



Lynchburg, Virginia, is a city with a history that’s synonymous with tobacco production, slavery, and the Civil War. The Knight and Miller Tobacco Factories bring these elements of Virginia’s past into focus through its haunted history. While only one of these buildings still physically stands, it is apparent that both remain footed in the spiritual world. 

 

Sightings of Confederate soldiers marching on the anniversary of the Battle of Appomattox, April 6th, 1865, have been reported since at least 1925. This battle may have ended the Civil War, but the soldiers continue to march here in the afterlife. Their spirits remain in torment after dying on the dirty floor of these massive tobacco warehouses.

 

The Knight and Miller Tobacco factories were two buildings out of thirty-two that were converted into hospitals during the most brutal war ever waged on American soil. Thousands of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers were shipped to Lynchburg just as quickly as they fell on the battlefield.

 

It’s no wonder this area is one of the most haunted in Lynchburg. Take a journey with US Ghost Adventures as we explore the haunted Knight and Miller Tobacco Factories. Stay vigilant, as you may see these spirits for yourself on a ghost tour in Lynchburg!

 

Lynchburg, Virginia And The Civil War

 

Lynchburg found itself as a crucial crutch for the Confederacy during the horrors of the Civil War. Before the war, the city was one of the largest producers of Tobacco in the nation. A ferry allowed planters to export their tobacco crop across the James River and the Atlantic. 

 

The additions of the Virginia, Tennessee, South Side, Orange, and Alexandria railroad lines in the mid-1800s helped further fuel Virginia’s Tobacco economy. 

 

Lynchburg was the second wealthiest city per capita in the United States in the 1850s. However, this wealth came at the expense of thousands of enslaved African people. By 1850, the population of Lynchburg was 51 percent white and 49 percent enslaved people and free people of color. 

 

So when the Civil War erupted, Lynchburg, in fear of losing its economic vivacity, found itself with no other option. 

 

Hospital Center of The Confederacy

 

Unfortunately for Lynchburg, they chose the losing side. A dire need for hospitals became apparent as the war continued and Confederate death tolls began to mount. Their connectivity to the rest of the South via the numerous railroads now worked against them. 

 

The same rail lines that once shipped thousands of pounds of Tobacco, painstakingly picked by enslaved hands, now returned with the dead bodies of those defending this brutal institution. 

 

Lynchburg became one of the largest medical centers in the Confederate states. Anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 wounded soldiers were treated at any given time. An astounding feat considering the population in 1860 was 6,853. 

During the battle of Gettysburg, where Confederate casualties reached twenty-eight thousand, nearly 10,000 soldiers were shipped into Lynchburg to be treated for their wounds.



 

The Haunted Knight and Miller Tobacco Factories

 

The Knight and Miller Tobacco Factories in Lynchburg, Virginia, were established in 1845. Before the outbreak of the Civil War, these buildings were two of nineteen Tobacco factories that dotted the landscape. It is unlikely that anyone could have imagined the amount of death that eventually filled these manufacturing buildings. 

 

Thanks to the efforts of physicians John J. Terrell and William Otway Owen, hundreds of lives were saved. However, many were not so lucky. Soldiers with head or stomach wounds were generally left for dead, screaming and writhing in makeshift hospital beds. 

 

Those with limb wounds were quickly brought to the operating table. They were about to face some of the most excruciating pain they had ever experienced. Cholorfoam was limited, and as such, many soldiers had their limbs slowly amputated while fully conscious. 

 

Over 12 minutes, a short amount of time unless you are getting your leg cut off, doctors removed the damaged limb as cleanly as they could. 

 

The survival rate after such a primitive procedure was seventy-seven percent. But many died of infection and disease right on the factory floor. Unsurprisingly, these buildings have seen their fair share of high strangeness in the wake of so much death. 

 

The Ghost Army of The Knight and Miller Factories

 

The Knight Factory became the only tobacco factory still standing in Lynchburg after the collapse of the Miller building in 2012. While the violent and brutal reality of the Civil War, Slavery, and the Tobacco industry are long gone, it appears that their stories are still being played out in the afterlife. 

 

On April 6th, 1925, a farmer from the small nearby town of Deatonville saw something unusual around the old factories. He was working in the fields east of the buildings early in the morning and looked up over the crest of a small hill and noticed a man on a horse. This was not unusual, as cars were just beginning to emerge in American society. What was unusual, however, was that the horse was floating above the ground! 

 

The man noticed the phantom apparition was silent and motionless. But soon, it pointed westward and disappeared over the hill. The confused and curious old man followed the ghastly apparition and witnessed an army of spooky soldiers. They were the gray uniforms of the Confederacy and flew their flag. April 6th, 1925, was sixty years after the battle of Appomattox, the battle that ended the war. 

 

Haunted Lynchburg

 

To this day, especially around April 6th, the spirits of dead Confederate soldiers are seen in and around the Knight and Miller Tobacco Factories in Lynchburg. They are not alone in the once prominent Confederate city. Lynchburg is full of spiritual residue from the worst war to ever take place on American soil. 


Visit this Civil War-era city to find out its dark history for yourself. Better yet, take a tour with US Ghost Adventures and fully understand the otherworldly activity here. 

 

Keep reading our blog and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for the latest spooky stories. We cover the spookiest stories from all across the nation and have locations in nearly 40 locations!

 

Sources:

 

https://newsadvance.com/news/local/tobacco-warehouse-turned-civil-war-hospital-last-one-standing/article_8cb2fa33-e142-5780-8fd7-fc1eb545e1d5.html

 

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/civil-war/battles/gettysburg

 

https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=169077

 

https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/lynchburg-during-the-civil-war/

 

https://www.lynchburgmuseum.org/slavery-in-lynchburg

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20131014014857/http://www.lynchburghistoricalfoundation.org/history/

 

https://www.lynchburgva.gov/history

 

https://wscottsmith.medium.com/partial-collapse-of-civil-war-hospital-in-lynchburg-virginia-c7b2f32d63d9

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