Battle of Big Bethel

Battle of Big Bethel (HM1YLN)

Location: Hampton, VA 23666
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 5.497', W 76° 25.553'

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Combatants' Stories

The Battle of Big Bethel was, for most of the participants, their first experience with warfare. Officers and enlisted men on both sides often wrote of details that in fights to come would not merit a mention.
Union Gen. Ebenezer W. Pierce, the excursion's commander, prefaced his report with extracts from his notes taken at the planning meeting—apparently an exercise in micromanagement: "Duryea to push out two pickets ... on the county road, but not so far as to alarm the enemy. This is important. ... March to be rapid, but not hurried. ... If we capture the Little Bethel men, push on to Big Bethel and similarly capture them. Burn up both the Bethels. Blow up, if brick."
Confederate Maj. George W. Randolph, Richmond Howitzers, complained of "serious defects" in his fuses: "The shell of the Parrott gun have a fixed wooden fuse ... the shortest being cut for four seconds. ... The shells burst far in the rear of the enemy and served merely as solid shot."
Union Capt. H. Judson Kilpatrick, 5th New York Infantry, wrote that a grapeshot "tore off a portion of the rectangle on Colonel Duryea's left shoulder, passed through my leg, and killed a soldier in my rear."
Confederate Capt. William H. Werth, Virginia Volunteers, reported that a Federal wandered over to him in the dark, and "I had
Library of Congress LC-USZ62-76628the pleasure of taking him prisoner. He had a fine minie musket, accouterments, and forty-five rounds of cartridges."

Maj. George W. Randolph Courtesy Library of Congress
Unidentified soldier in Richmond Howitzers uniform. Courtesy Library of Congress
Pvt. Louis A. Matos, Co. C, 5th New York Infantry Courtesy Library of Congress
5th New York Infantry attacking Confederate battery at Big Bethel Courtesy Library of Congress
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 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 373279 N 4105986
Decimal Degrees37.09161667, -76.42588333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 5.497', W 76° 25.553'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 5' 29.82" N, 76° 25' 33.18" 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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