Battle of Big Bethel

Battle of Big Bethel (HM1YLM)

Location: Hampton, VA 23666
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 5.487', W 76° 25.548'

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Confederate Victory

As the Confederates here tried to burn the Zouaves out of the buildings that stood in front of you, the last act of the battle unfolded to your left across the creek. The "New England Battalion" (1st Vermont, 4th Massachusetts, and 7th New York Infantry) found a ford and crossed the creek to attack the left flank of the main Confederate redoubt at Big Bethel Church.
Maj. Theodore Winthrop, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler's military secretary, led the 7th New York forward and rushed the Confederate line. When effective musket fire from the 1st North Carolina Infantry forced the Federals back, Winthrop tried to rally the wavering soldiers for another assault and was cut down.
A Confederate wrote that Winthrop, "a fine looking man, reached the fence, and leaping on a log, waved his sword crying, 'Come on, boys; one charge, and the day is ours.'" The words were his last, for a Carolina rifle ended his life the next moment, and his men fled in terror. Col. Daniel H. Hill wrote that Winthrop "was the only one of the enemy who exhibited even an approximation to courage that day." The New Yorkers fell back across the creek. At about the same time, Lt. John Greble, 2nd U.S. Artillery, was killed while "nobly fighting his guns." Greble was the first Regular Army officer and West Point graduate killed during the war.
battle ended, and the Federals began their march back to Fort Monroe.
"Topographical sketch of the Battle of Bethel" — Courtesy Library of Congress
Maj. Theodore Winthrop Courtesy Casemate Museum
Lt. John Greble Courtesy Casemate Museum
Death of Greble — Courtesy Casemate Museum
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2016
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 373286 N 4105968
Decimal Degrees37.09145000, -76.42580000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 5.487', W 76° 25.548'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 5' 29.22" N, 76° 25' 32.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1645 Big Bethel Rd, Hampton VA 23666, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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