Lebanon Church

Lebanon Church (HM6OV)

Location: Newport News, VA 23603
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 12.698', W 76° 34.331'

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In the Line of March

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

Historic Lebanon Church, located behind you at the intersection of two strategic highways, served both the Confederate and the Union armies during the Civil War. Soon after Confederate Col. John Bankhead Magruder began organizing the Peninsula's defenses at Yorktown on May 21, 1861, elements of the 3rd Virginia Cavalry established a courier station here. Countless Confederate soldiers marched by here between April 5 and May 3, 1862, to fill Magruder's trenches. Three lines of fortifications blocked Union Gen. George B. McClellan's advance from Fort Monroe; the strongest line stretched 12 miles from Mulberry Island on the James River and followed the swampy Warwick River to within a mile of Yorktown. Capt. Richard H. Adams, Jr., of the 5th Alabama Infantry wrote, "We took up a line of march for Lebanon Church, a very disagreeable one too. Stayed about 2 hours [in the rain] march to Lee's Farm, Gen. Magruder's Headqtrs." The Confederates abandoned their lines and marched by here in their retreat to Williamsburg. On May 4, the day before the Battle of Williamsburg, Union Gens. William F. Smith and Winfield Scott Hancock established their headquarters here. Federal troops occupied the area afterward, and the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry used the church as a stable until 1863. The troopers burned the floors for firewood, removed bricks from the walls, and partially destroyed the roof.

Followers of Thomas and Alexander Campbell, known as Campbellites, established the first Lebanon Church congregation in York County early in the 19th century. The members worshipped in an abandoned Episcopal church in nearby Kiskiack from 1825 to 1833. The next year, they moved to Warwick County and began constructing a log church that burned down before it was completed. The congregation then met in a small building here. By 1853, a new clapboard structure was completed; fire destroyed it in 1859. The members immediately built this brick church, but it soon suffered the ravages of war. Afterward, the congregation failed to secure federal funds for balcony repairs and other purposes, and the building was not repaired until early in the 1900s.
HM NumberHM6OV
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 12:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 360497 N 4119507
Decimal Degrees37.21163333, -76.57218333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 12.698', W 76° 34.331'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 12' 41.88" N, 76° 34' 19.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 389-429 VA-238, Newport News VA 23603, US
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