Emory and Henry College closed its doors in April 1861 due to the Civil War in which it saw battle during the Battle of Saltville, serving as a hospital for the Confederate States of America from 1861-1865, which commandeered the college in 1862.. In October 1864, a major force of over 10,000 troops clashed at the salt works at Saltville, Virginia. Following the battle, soldiers from both sides were treated for their wounds at local field hospitals and at the Emory and Henry College Hospital. Soldiers of the 5th USCC, and Lieutenant Elza C. Smith were murdered in the hospital by Confederate sympathizers and were sub buried in the Holston Cemetery on the Emory and Henry College Campus.