Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Nameless Grave
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“A soldier of the Union mustered out,”
is the inscription on an unknown grave
at Newport News, beside the salt-sea wave,
nameless and dateless; sentinel or scout
shot down in skirmish, or disastrous rout
of battle when the loud artillery drave
its iron wedges through the ranks of brave
and doomed battalions, storming the redoubt.
Thou unknown hero sleeping by the sea
in thy forgotten grave. With secret shame
I feel my pulses beat, my forehead burn,
when I remember thou hadst given for me
all that thou hadst, thy life, thy very name,
and I can give thee nothing in return.
And in honor of the 252 valiant American sailors – 5 Confederate, 247 Union – who gave their lives to defend a cause they believed to be just on March 8, 1862, during the battle off Newport News between the Confederate ironclad Virginia (ex-Merrimack), 2 killed; the Confederate gunboats Raleigh and Beaufort, 3 killed; the Union sloop-of-war Cumberland, 121 killed; the Union frigate Congress, 120 killed; the Union steam frigate Minnesota, 3 killed; and the Union steam tender Whitehall,
Erected 1965 by The American Legion, Braxton – Perkins Post No. 25.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1849.
Location. 36° 58.663′ N, 76° 26.045′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of West Avenue and 27th Street, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in Christopher Newport Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Collis Potter Huntington (within shouting distance of this marker); Newport News Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Congress Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); Newport News (within shouting distance of this marker); A Great Confederate Naval Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); The Victory Arch (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Headquarters, Hampton Roads (about 500 feet away); Victory Avenue (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,492 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on October 21, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3. submitted on October 21, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on March 2, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.