Hampton Is Burned

Hampton Is Burned (HMMLO)

Location: Hampton, VA 23669
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 1.487', W 76° 20.627'

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Inscription

"? a bright light over by the bay."

When Capt. Jefferson C. Phillips's Confederate troops set the town of Hampton on fire on the evening of August 7, 1861, a house that stood on this King Street site was one of the many structures destroyed. Archaeology tells the story of its demise.

As fire consumed the dwelling, it collapsed into the basement and created a burned layer strewn with molten glass. On the floor of the basement, archeologists unearthed a blackened pearl-ware pitcher—fractured, but brimming with ash and charcoal. This artifact alone probably best represents how the inferno altered the lives of Hampton's inhabitants.

The rubble of the house was certainly ransacked by soldiers and the contraband slaves scavenging in search of building materials. Archeologists discovered that virtually the entire basement had been dismantled and removed brick by brick for the construction of temporary shelters. Damaged bricks were thrown back into the basement, which quickly filled with the refuse generated by troops and contrabands.

Large amounts of shoe leather were found, as well as fish and animal bones from numerous meals. An inkwell, of the type purchased by soldiers from a sutler, was recovered, as well as regimental Civil War buttons from the uniforms of Confederate soldiers from Georgia and Union soldiers from New York and Massachusetts. Interestingly, two Hampton Military Academy uniform buttons were found side by side.

"Suddenly the flaming torches were seen dancing about wildly in all directions, like so many will-o'-the-wisps. ? The houses were entered and fired, and soon the whole town was enveloped in flame casting a bright light over the bay." - Pvt. William H. Osborne, 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1861
Details
HM NumberHMMLO
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 6:57pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 380471 N 4098465
Decimal Degrees37.02478333, -76.34378333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 1.487', W 76° 20.627'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 1' 29.22" N, 76° 20' 37.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 602 Settlers Landing Rd, Hampton VA 23669, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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