Classic Camp Life

Classic Camp Life (HMCAR)

Location: Gloucester Point, VA 23062 Gloucester County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 14.979', W 76° 30.149'

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The Union Army Occupies Gloucester Point

"The name of our Fort is Fort Keyes, and it is strongly fortified. There is about 2000 men on this side of the [York] river and 2 batterys?" Private Stephen T. Buckson, 4th Delaware infantry Regiment, March 16, 1863, at Gloucester Point

The Union army fought its way up the York River, only to lose the hard fought Seven Days Battles around Richmond in June and July of 1862. The Union army left behind a large force that strengthened the defenses around Yorktown. That force would also occupy Gloucester Point for the rest of the Civil War.

The garrison at Gloucester Point remained a sideshow to the great battles fought in the region. It was classic military camp life, months of monotonous routine punctuated by occasional attacks and forays into the countryside.

A Delaware Quaker, caught up in the emergency with millions of other Union volunteers, wrote a set of letters home about his life at Gloucester Point. Lieutenant Rodman Smith described his regiment's camp. "On Gloucester Point proper is a large fort constructed by the rebels covering some 15 acres?to the rear of the fort where we are encamped is an extensive plain, a most magnificent drilling ground, as level as a pancake ?the right section of the [picket] line rests on Sailor's [Sarah's] Creek, which?abounds in finest oysters and fish."

A New Type of Soldier
Delaware citizen soldier Rod Smith and his comrades brought a new dimension to warfare, the ability to read and write. Millions of letters from both sides of the conflict help make the Civil War a vivid memory. In a letter home, Smith thanked his family for a care package, and described the quality of the contents: "?canned peaches, tomatoes...are favorites?lemons, apples, oranges?are acceptable?and nothing so readily devoured [as] nuts."
Placed ByChesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 11:32pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 366749 N 4123625
Decimal Degrees37.24965000, -76.50248333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 14.979', W 76° 30.149'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 14' 58.74" N, 76° 30' 8.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1376 Vernon St, Gloucester Point VA 23062, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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