Civil War Deserters?
The old route of the Appalachian Trail in Southwestern Virginia passed several locations said to be places where men who wanted to avoid service in the Confederate Army during the Civil War hid in the mountains. One such location was near Bent Mountain Falls in northern Floyd County and another was just east of Houndshell Gap in Grayson County.
This section of the trail guide from 1940 -- Guide to the Paths of the Blue Ridge -- describes one such location. It also offers insights into the difficulties the Appalachian Trail Conference faced when routing the trail through this part of the state. Early trail scouts had to rely on maps such as the "Lindenkohl chart" mentioned here, because much of this part of the state had not been properly mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey.