Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
One Soldier, One Family, One War
The Homespun Letters of James Nugent
— Four Centuries: City Point, Virginia, 1613 A.D. —
"Oh! father, it would make your blood run cold to see the fights... War is awful." – James Nugent, City Point, April 27, 1865
In the closing months of the Civil War, a young Wisconsin college student was drafted and soon saw combat in the hellish siege of Petersburg, Letters to his family were found in a Michigan bank vault. The City Point excerpts used here were published in The Washington Post May 30, 1989. They tell a timeless story of soldiers and their families.
April 3, 1865
Between Petersburg and Richmond Somewhere
I am not hit yet although we have been through one of the hardest fights of this war. Petersburg is ours. I heard that Richmond is also. Oh, father, it would make your blood run cold to see the fights I have seen within the last week. War is awful.... The Rebellion is about played out, I think. We have taken ten thousand Prisoners within the last two days.
City Point, April 27
...My wound is healing nicely. I can walk around with a cane first rate, but the Doctor orders me to keep to
City Point, May 3
..."I am about as sound as ever. My wound is healed, almost. One thing, Mother, you need not worry any more about fighting, for it is all done, that will be done in this war. I make my calculations to be home by the 4th of Jul. Write soon, dear Mother. Love to all.
More than 600,000 men died in the Civil War. James Nugent survived, was mustered out of the army on June 20, 1865 and went on to a business career in the Midwest. His letters were provided to The Washington Post by descendents living in Reston, Virginia.
The Post Hospital
The Post Hospital was situated on the grounds of the Methodist Church located just beyond the ravine at the head of Prince Henry Avenue. This hospital was used by the garrison of City Point which numbered between 1,000-1,500 troops under the command of Brigadier General Marsena R. Patrick. Other patients included conscripts and convalescent soldiers returning from furlough who were not able to immediately march to their regiments. Nonmilitary patients such as civilian workers and newly freed slaves were allowed to use this hospital. As of July 1, 1864 seventy-nine soldiers were patients here. Records show that the Post Hospital was established on June 10, 1864 and remained in operation until August 12, 1865 when it was transferred to the Post Hospital in Petersburg.
Hospital tents surrounded a small white frame church which predated the Union army's occupation. Wood structures replaced the tents before the onset of winter. Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Robert Loughran of the 20th New York State Militia served as surgeon in chief for the Post Hospital. Doctors working here not only cared for the ill but were also in charged of sanitation and the policing of the post of City Point.
"Oh, Mother, I must tell you, I had a dish of strawberries and cream yesterday. And I picked the strawberries myself. The wild ones here are ripe. I picked my cap full in about an hour."
James Nugent, City Point. May 3, 1865
One of seven hospitals established at City Point: the Post Hospital served the garrison stationed here. Doctors from the provisional Brigade set up another hospital for contagious diseases outside the defense line and removed from the normal operations of the post.
Erected 2013 by City of Hopewell, Commonwealth of Virginia.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Communications • Science & Medicine • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is April 27, 1865.
Location. 37° 18.929′ N, 77° 16.506′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is on Prince Henry Avenue just south of Pecan Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 615 Prince Henry Ave, Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); City Point's Rails And Waterways (within shouting distance of this marker); Housing Several Thousand Federal Troops (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Taverns (about 300 feet away); The Peacemaker (about 400 feet away); Dr. Peter Eppes House (about 400 feet away); Porter House (about 400 feet away); Quartermaster Repair Shops (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.