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Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hampton Courthouse

“Roofless and Thoroughly Gutted”

 
 
Hampton Courthouse CWT Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, July 31, 2010
1. Hampton Courthouse CWT Marker
Inscription. “The courthouse, roofless and thoroughly gutted. … [Its] chimney served oar cooks well in getting supper. The Telegraph tent was soon up and the operator at work on the newly strung wire to Fort Monroe.” – Pvt. Robert Knox Sneden, March 24, 1862

Hampton’s courthouse was one of more than five hundred buildings that Capt. Jefferson C. Phillips’s Confederate troops burned on August 7, 1861, during the Civil War. The courthouse area was chosen as headquarters for Union Gen. Samuel Heintzelman’s III Corps during the Peninsula Campaign. Heintzelman and his staff pitched their tents nearby.

The American Missionary Association soon erected a school and church here amid the ruins of the old courthouse to demonstrate that freedmen could live independently. This school was the most important one that the A.M.A. established. Attended by 250 students, it contained a primary school on the first floor, while more advanced pupils on the second level were taught multiplication, division, penmanship, and elementary reading. The missionary teachers were ecstatic at the progress of their pupils, and they conducted their religious work in concert with their efforts in education. C.P. Day, an A.M.A. teacher, defined the organization’s motto as teaching “In order to do justice to the children.” Schools
Hampton Courthouse Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, July 31, 2010
2. Hampton Courthouse
such as this one helped escaped slaves define their lives as they adapted to freedom.

The courthouse that stands today dates from 1876. Remodeled in 1910 by C. Taylor Holtzsclaw, it has undergone several subsequent additions.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 1.598′ N, 76° 20.677′ W. Marker is in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is on Kings Way 0.1 miles south of Lincoln Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 Kings Way, Hampton VA 23669, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Hampton Baptist Church (a few steps from this marker); The Northeast Corner (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Sclater Building (about 300 feet away); McDowell's Inn (about 500 feet away); The Magnolia Tree Inn (about 600 feet away); Historic Hampton (about 600 feet away); Elizabeth City Parish (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Hampton.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a painting with the caption: William McIllvaine painting, “The Ruins of Hampton” – Courtesy Library of Congress

On the upper right is a painting with the caption: Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman’s headquarters, painting by Robert K. Sneden – Courtesy Virginia Historical Society
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.EducationNotable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 758 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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