Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Warwick Court House
Camp in the Wilderness
—1862 Peninsula Campaign —
“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 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
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.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 7.806′ N, 76° 32.531′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on Old Courthouse 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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Warwick Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Warwick Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Olivet Christian Church Warwick County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Windmill Point (approx. 0.9 miles away); Two USCT Heroes (approx. 1.3 miles away); Providence Mennonite Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); Young’s Mill (approx. 2.3 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.”
Also see . . .
1. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
3. Warwick Court House. (PDF) National Register documentation for Warwick Court House. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,758 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.