Battle of Big Bethel

Battle of Big Bethel (HM1YLR)

Location: Hampton, VA 23666
Buy Virginia State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 37° 5.502', W 76° 25.583'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Commanding Officers

Confederate Col. John Bankhead Magruder (1807-1871) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1830. He served in e Second Sem inole War 1835-1842) and the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), and commanded an artillery battery in Washington, D.C., when the Civil War began. He resigned his commission, was appointed a Confederate colonel, and was assigned to defend the Peninsula. Lauded for his success at Big Bethel, he failed at Malvern Hill under Gen. Robert E. Lee a year later. Magruder was reassigned to Texas, where he won the Battle of Galveston on January 1, 1863. After the war, he first fled to Mexico and served in the army of Emperor Maximilian I, and the settled in Houston, Texas, where he died.

Union Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician. Appointed a general when the Civil War erupted, he secured the vital rail link between the North and Washington, DC by occupying Baltimore in May 1861. A grateful President Abraham Lincoln appointed him commander of Fort Monroe. Despite the debacle at Big Bethel, Butler continued in the service until November 1865. He refused to return escaped slaves ("contrabands of war") to their owners, and thereby set Federal policy. Butler insisted that black troops serve in combat. He led a successful expedition to eastern North
Carolina, gained notoriety as military governor of Louisiana, and bungled at Bermuda Hundred and Fort Fisher. After the war, he served several congressional terms and was governor of Massachusetts.

Flamboyant and pompous, "Prince John" Col. John B. Magruder designed his own uniforms. Courtesy Library of Congress
Battle of Galveston, Harper's Weekly, Jan. 31, 1863
Sgt. Christian Fleetwood received the Medal of Honor (center) for bravery at the Battle of New Market Heights in 1864, when he served in Butler's Army of the James. Library of Congress
The military establishment detested Gen. Benjamin F. Butler (and vice versa) but he survived several attempts to sack him. 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
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 373234 N 4105996
Decimal Degrees37.09170000, -76.42638333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 5.502', W 76° 25.583'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 5' 30.12" N, 76° 25' 34.98" 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

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. This marker needs at least one picture.
  8. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  9. Is the marker in the median?