Battle of Big Bethel

Battle of Big Bethel (HM1YLO)

Location: Hampton, VA 23666
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 5.503', W 76° 25.555'

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The Federal Attack

During the Federal attack, the first Confederate enlisted man who died in combat during the Civil War was killed here.
Union Gen. Ebenezer W. Pierce began his assault at about 9 A.M. on June 10, 1861. Capt. H. Judson Kilpatrick led the 5th New York Infantry (Duryée's Zouaves) in the first attack, but Confederate artillery fire stopped it. Kilpatrick, wounded, was carried to a nearby house as the Zouaves retreated. Col. Abram Duryée himself led his regiment and the 7th New York in a second attack, as the 3rd New York under Col. Frederick Townsend moved through this area to assault the Confederate right flank. When Townsend saw a glint of bayonets in the sun through the woods on his left, however, he thought that the Confederates were about to flank his regiment. He ordered a withdrawal and then discovered too late that the bayonets were those of some of his own men.
To your right, meanwhile, several of Duryée's Zouaves were deployed as sharpshooters in a house and blacksmith shop in front of the one-gun battery ahead of you. When Confederate Col. Daniel H. Hill ordered the buildings burned, Pvt. Henry L. Wyatt and four other soldiers leaped over the earthwork and dashed for the buildings. Pvt. John H. Thorp recalled, "A volley was fired at us as if by a company, not from the house, but from the road to our left." Wyatt
was shot and killed here. Sgt. Felix Agnus, 5th New York, however, later claimed that Kilpatrick fired the fatal shot from the house where he lay wounded.

Charge of Duryée's Zouaves - Courtesy Casemate Museum
Federal troops being ferried across Hampton Creek before battle. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 12, 1861
Col. Daniel H. Hill Courtesy Casemate Museum
Pvt. Henry L. Wyatt 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 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 373276 N 4105997
Decimal Degrees37.09171667, -76.42591667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 5.503', W 76° 25.555'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 5' 30.18" N, 76° 25' 33.3" 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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