Suffolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Siege of Suffolk
Bacon for the Confederacy
The town of Suffolk was of considerable strategic importance during the Civil War. On May 12, 1862, Col. Charles C. Dodge’s 1st New York Mounted Rifles rode into Suffolk and began the Union occupation that would last throughout the war. Mayor Benjamin Riddick surrendered the town to Dodge with the assurance that peaceable citizens’ rights would be protected. Additional Federal troops from Camp Butler, under the command of Brig. Gen. J.K.F. Mansfield, quickly moved into Suffolk as local Confederate troops withdrew west to the Blackwater River.
When the Union IX Corps reinforced Fort Monroe in February 1863, Robert E. Lee countered by sending Lt. Gen. James Longstreet with the divisions of John Bell Hood, George Pickett and Samuel French to the Tidewater region to block any possible advance against Richmond via Petersburg from Suffolk.
Longstreet abandoned the siege on May 4, 1863, to help Lee defend against Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s move towards Richmond. Even though the siege was unable to dislodge the Union control of Suffolk, it was considered a success since the Confederates were able to forage valuable supplies from the surrounding rich countryside and contain any Federal Southside advance against Richmond.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US CivilVirginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1863.
Location. 36° 44.098′ N, 76° 34.745′ W. Marker is in Suffolk, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Mahan Street 0.2 miles east of North Main Street. The CWT marker is located in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 Mahan Street, Suffolk VA 23434, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Monument (here, next to this marker); Remembrance Garden Monuments (within shouting distance of this marker); Watering Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Militia of Suffolk and Nansemond County (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Spanish War Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away); World War I Monument (about 600 feet away); World War II Memorial (about 800 feet away); Korea and Vietnam Wars Memorial (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Suffolk.
More about this marker. In the center are photographs of three Confederate Generals: “Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood”, “Lt. Gen. James Longstreet”, and “Maj. Gen. George Pickett”. Photos courtesy of The Museum of the Confederacy.
Also see . . .
1. SCV Tom Smith Camp #1702. Col. Thomas W. Smith (Submitted on April 20, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
2. Cincinnati Civil War Round Table. "Pork Belly Politics or How Longstreet Brought Home the Bacon: James Longstreet and the Suffolk Campaign" by Thomas L. Breiner, Sept 16, (Submitted on April 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
3. Civil War Traveler - Tidewater Virginia - More Sites. Suffolk. Siege of Suffolk. (Submitted on May 18, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 20, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,660 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 20, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 8. submitted on April 20, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on April 21, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.