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

Battle of Big Bethel

The Federal Attack

 
 
Battle of Big Bethel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 28, 2017
1. Battle of Big Bethel Marker
Inscription.  During the Federal attack, the first Confederate enlisted man who died in combat during the Civil War was killed here.

Union Gen. Ebenezer W. Pierce began his assault at about 9 A.M. on June 10, 1861. Capt. H. Judson Kilpatrick led the 5th New York Infantry (Duryée's Zouaves) in the first attack, but Confederate artillery fire stopped it. Kilpatrick, wounded, was carried to a nearby house as the Zouaves retreated. Col. Abram Duryée himself led his regiment and the 7th New York in a second attack, as the 3rd New York under Col. Frederick Townsend moved through this area to assault the Confederate right flank. When Townsend saw a glint of bayonets in the sun through the woods on his left, however, he thought that the Confederates were about to flank his regiment. He ordered a withdrawal and then discovered too late that the bayonets were those of some of his own men.

To your right, meanwhile, several of Duryée's Zouaves were deployed as sharpshooters in a house and blacksmith shop in front of the one-gun battery ahead of you. When Confederate Col. Daniel H. Hill ordered the buildings burned, Pvt. Henry L. Wyatt and four other
Battle of Big Bethel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 28, 2017
2. Battle of Big Bethel Marker
soldiers leaped over the earthwork and dashed for the buildings. Pvt. John H. Thorp recalled, "A volley was fired at us as if by a company, not from the house, but from the road to our left." Wyatt was shot and killed here. Sgt. Felix Agnus, 5th New York, however, later claimed that Kilpatrick fired the fatal shot from the house where he lay wounded.

(captions)
Charge of Duryée's Zouaves – Courtesy Casemate Museum
Federal troops being ferried across Hampton Creek before battle. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, June 12, 1861
Col. Daniel H. Hill Courtesy Casemate Museum
Pvt. Henry L. Wyatt Courtesy Casemate Museum
 
Erected 2016 by Virginia Civil War Trails. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 37° 5.503′ N, 76° 25.555′ W. Marker is in Hampton Roads in Hampton, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Big Bethel Road (Virginia Route 600) 0.1 miles north of Semple Farm Road, on the left when traveling north. Located in Bethel Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hampton VA 23666, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (a few
Battle of Big Bethel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 28, 2017
3. Battle of Big Bethel Marker
steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Big Bethel Union Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hampton Roads.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 30, 2017. It was originally submitted on May 29, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 212 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 29, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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Oct. 31, 2020