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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Camp Hamilton

On Sacred Soil

 
 
Camp Hamilton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Camp Hamilton Marker
Inscription. Here stood the U.S. Armyís first camp on Virginia soil after secession, built in May 1861. Only the Veteranís Cemetery on County Street remains of this entrenched camp.

The influx of soldiers at Fort Monroe prompted the commander, Lt. Col. Justin Dimick, to secure a better water supply by dispatching elements of the 4th Massachusetts Infantry to Mill Creek Bridge as well as the Segar and Clark farms here. Outraged local Confederate volunteers “swore vengeance on Massachusetts troops for the Invasion of Virginia.” Cavalry picket Dr. William R. Vaughan confronted Dimick and demanded, “By what right does your army cross that bridge and invade the sacred soil of Virginia?” Dimick replied, “By God, sir, might makes right!” The local Confederate commander, Lt. Col. Richard S. Ewell, ordered his small force (820 men and 300 flintlock muskets) across Hampton Creek away from Fort Monroe.

The Federals began constructing their camp, first known as Camp Troy and soon renamed Camp Hamilton in honor of Gen. Winfield Scottís military secretary Lt. Col. Schuyler Hamilton, here on the Segar farm. The 2nd New York and the 1st Vermont regiments were billeted here when they arrived on the Peninsula. Camp Hamilton consisted of tents and other temporary structures arrayed in company streets.
Camp Hamilton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Camp Hamilton Marker
Since Fort Monroeís guns provided protection, extensive fortifications were not built. The soldiers drilled, stood guard, attended Bible classes, and became entrepreneurs. Pvt. Alfred Bond made a tidy profit selling cigars to other volunteers and brooded in his diary: “In Camp Hamilton. Weather cloudy with rain at night and windy. The day is past and gone. The evening shades appear; oh may we all remember well, The night of Death draws near.”
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 0.872′ N, 76° 19.086′ W. Marker is in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is on Water Street (Virginia Route 143), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is just before the bridge leading to the Main Entrance of Fort Monroe in Hamptonís historic Phoebus area. Marker is in this post office area: Hampton VA 23663, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Phoebus - The Gateway To The New World (approx. 0.3 miles away); Phoebus (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Phoebus (approx. 0.8 miles away); Rodman
Camp Hamilton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Camp Hamilton Marker
Gun (approx. 0.8 miles away); Fort Monroe (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Rodman Gun (approx. 0.8 miles away); Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (approx. 0.8 miles away); Hampton Monument (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Hampton.
 
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains a picture of “Camp Hamilton, Fort Monroe & Rip-Raps, Va.,” ca. 1861. Next to this is a photograph of Camp Hamiltonís commander, Lt. Col. Justin Dimick. Both pictures are Courtesy of The Casemate Museum, Fort Monroe, Va.
 
Also see . . .  More Tidewater Virginia Sites. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 19, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Camp Hamilton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Camp Hamilton Marker
The bridge in this photo behind the marker leads to the Main Entrance to Fort Monroe.
Camp Hamilton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Chancer Irving Hill, circa May 15, 2012
5. Camp Hamilton Marker
Sergeant Geo.Strong First Regiment US Colored Cavalier..Sergeant Strong was part of this Regiment that formed here at Camp Hamilton in 1863.His grave can be found at the corner of Mercury Blvd and Woodland Rd at the Zion Cemetery.
Fort Monroe Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
6. Fort Monroe
Camp Hamilton was protected by nearby Fort Monroe. Fort Monroe was occupied by the Union for the entire duration of the Civil War.
 

 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,381 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5. submitted on , by Chancer Irving Hill of Hampton, Virginia.   6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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