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

By Land And By Sea

Federal Incursions in Mathews County

 
 
By Land And By Sea CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 22, 2014
1. By Land And By Sea CWT Marker
Inscription. Although no major battles were fought in Mathews County, Union forces made several incursions during the war. One occurred in November 1862 to disrupt salt production and “contraband [military supplies] trade” with Maryland Confederates. It included a detachment of the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry under Maj. John B. Conyngham, as well as naval vessels under Cmdr. Foxhall A. Parker. The raiders destroyed numerous vessels and salt works. On November 25, a Federal gunboat destroyed a Confederate gunboat construction site on the North River.

Another joint army-navy incursion took place in October 1863 to thwart Confederate Navy Capt. John Taylor Wood's and Acting Master John Yates Beall's commerce raiding. Union Gen. Isaac Wistar led the expedition and occupied the “isthmus” of Mathews County, with pickets stationed “near an old rebel breastwork.” His command consisted of cavalry, artillery, and infantry regiments, including the 4th U.S. Colored Troops. Elements of the Potomac Flotilla and the North Atlantic Blocking Squadron also took part in this campaign to eradicate Beall's Confederate Volunteer Coast Guard. As naval vessels blocked any water escape route, Wistar's cavalry raided throughout the countryside. Although Beall escaped, Wistar declared success and reported that “about 150 boats
Fort Nonsense Civil WarTrails Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
2. Fort Nonsense Civil WarTrails Markers
and sloops were destroyed, 80 head of cattle captured and approximately 100 prisoners associated with blockade running were arrested.“ One Union soldier was killed by elderly farmer Sands Smith II, one of the county's most revered citizens. As Wistar reported the event, “One man was murdered by a bushwhacker named Smith, who was promptly hung, being taken in the act.”

(captions)
(lower left) Sands Smith II - Courtesy Mathews County Historical Society; Gen. Isaac J. Wister - Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute; Capt. John T. Wood Courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center; Acting Master John Y. Beall Courtesy West Virginia Satte Archives
(upper right) "Military Map of South-Eastern Virginia," 1865, detail of Mathews County Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected 2014 by Virginia Civil WarTrails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 28.015′ N, 76° 26.676′ W. Marker is in North, Virginia, in Mathews County. Marker can be reached from Windsor Road (Virginia Route 3) 0.2 miles north of John Clayton Memorial Highway (Virginia Route 14), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located
Fort Nonsense Historical Park image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
3. Fort Nonsense Historical Park
near the parking lot of Fort Nonsense Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: North VA 23128, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Nonsense (here, next to this marker); Mathews County (a few steps from this marker); Field Fortifications (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Nonsense (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War In Mathews County (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Clayton, Botanist (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Civil War In Mathews County (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Civil War In Mathews County (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in North.
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Fort Nonsense Historical Park image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
4. Fort Nonsense Historical Park
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 274 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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