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Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Warwick Court House

Camp in the Wilderness

 

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

 
Warwick Court House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Warwick Court House Marker
Inscription.  
“The office was full of books and papers. Some very old ones that had been written long before the Revolution by King George’s officers. A guard was over them but I was lucky and got a handful of deeds.... I have one written 1669.... Shortly after I got mine a stop was put to taking any more.” - Eliza Hunt Rhodes, 2nd Rhode Island.

The building directly in front of you is the 1810 structure known as Warwick Court House. To your right is Warwick County’s Confederate Monument. The monument was erected on May 27, 1909, exactly 48 years after local volunteers had mustered into the Confederate army as the Warwick Beauregards (Co. H, 32nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry).

Warwick County’s seat had been used as a Confederate supply depot until April 5, 1862, when it was occupied by Federal troops. The Union soldiers looted the court house and clerk’s office upon their arrival.

Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes, USA, established his IV Corps headquarters at Warwick Court House during the Warwick River–Yorktown Siege phase of the Peninsula Campaign. A camp for one of Professor T.S. Lowe’s balloons, the
Marker at Warwick Court House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker at Warwick Court House
Union troops reached this location on April 5, 1862, during their advance up the Peninsula to Richmond. The courthouse was looted by Union soldiers and the grounds were named Camp Winfield Scott.
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Constitution, was established at Warwick Court House on April 10, 1862. George Armstrong Custer enjoyed the dubious honor of making several ascents in this balloon to observe the nearby Confederate defenses between Lee’s Mill and Dam No. 1.

Another form of interest for the troops was the deployment of “coffee mill guns” (Ager Guns) at Warwick Court House. Several of these weapons were assigned to the 56th New York Volunteers. Priv. Patrick Lyons of the 2nd Rhode Island witnessed an Ager gun go to the front from Warwick Court House and commented that “this kind of gun is capable of being fired very rapidly which gives it the name of the Corn Sheller and is very destructive against a body of infantry.”
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
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. A significant historical date for this entry is April 5, 1861.
 
Location. 37° 7.806′ N, 76° 32.531′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Old Courthouse Way and Grissom Way, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1401 Old Courthouse Way, Newport News VA 23608, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Courthouse Square (a few steps from this
Warwick Court House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Warwick Court House Marker
The 1810 courthouse served as the headquarters for Union Brigadier General Erasmus D. Keyes’ IV Corps during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Professor Thaddeus Lowe’s gas balloon, Constitution, which provided reconnaissance of Confederate troop movements, was launched from this site.
marker); The Free State of Warwick (within shouting distance of this marker); Warwick Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Warwick Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Olivet Christian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Reflecting a Changing Society (within shouting distance of this marker); Windmill Point (approx. 0.9 miles away); Two USCT Heroes (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker contains a sketch of “Warwick Court House, 1862” by Sgt. Peterman – Courtesy of the Mariners’ Museum. The lower right of the marker features a photograph of “Professor Thaddeus S. Lowe’s balloons Intrepid and Constitution. Courtesy of U.S. Army Military History Institute,” and of “Brig. Gen. Erasmus Darwin Keyes, Commander of the IV Corps. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.”
 
Warwick Court House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Warwick Court House
The Warwick County Courthouse Square Complex has been registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark pursuant to the authority vested in the Virginia Historic Landmarks Board.
Warwick County Confederate Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
5. Warwick County Confederate Monument
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,154 times since then and 64 times this year. Last updated on October 18, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 4, 2022