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

“The Bullets Would Whistle Around my Head”

1862 Peninsula Campaign

 
 
"The Bullets Would Whistle Around my Head" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. "The Bullets Would Whistle Around my Head" Marker
Inscription. After the 15th North Carolina’s repulse, Brigadier General Howell Cobb (a former governor of Georgia and secretary of treasury) rallied the Confederates and prepared to drive the Vermonters into the water. Cobb commanded a brigade in Brigadier General Lafayette McLaw’s division and reinforced the line with the 7th, 8th, 11th, and 16th Georgia Infantry regiments. With great noise and shouting, the Georgians attacked Captain Samuel Pingree’s beleaguered command and forced their withdrawal across the Warwick River. Thus, Cobb’s troops lined the rifle pits and fired at their fleeing enemy crossing the Warwick. This was the first battle for most of Cobb’s brigade. Private Eli Landers of the 16th Georgia wrote, “It did not frighten me as bad as I expected it would but I tell you when the bullets would whistle around my head I felt sort of ticklish.”

Brigadier General William Smith, once again lucid from his fall, planned another attack against Dam No. 1. At 5:00 p.m., 22 Union cannons hurled shot and shell into the Confederate works. Smith ordered Colonel Edwin Stoughton’s 4th Vermont Infantry to cross the dam and Colonel Nathan Lord’s 6th Vermont Infantry to recapture the rifle pits. General McLaws, however, had his entire division at Dam No. 1 and quickly repelled the Union attack. Darkness prevented another assault, and
Marker in Newport News Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker in Newport News Park
the fighting resulted in 165 Union and 90 Confederate casualties.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 11.187′ N, 76° 32.39′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on Constitution Way, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in Newport News Park, on the Two Forts Walking Trail, on the north side of Lee Hall Reservoir. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23603, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “Just Like Sap – Boiling, in the Stream” (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); “Their Conduct was Worthy of Veterans” (about 500 feet away); “Every Kind of Obstruction was Skillfully Used” (about 600 feet away); One-Gun Battery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Third Regiment Vermont Volunteer Infantry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battle of Lee’s Mill (Dam Number 1) (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battle of Dam No. 1 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ten Pound Parrott Rifle and Limber (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker.
Marker on the Two Forts Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Marker on the Two Forts Walking Trail
The bottom right of the marker contains a drawing of the “Union Skirmish Line. Courtesy of the Virginia War Museum.
The left of the marker features photographs of Brig. Gen Howell Cobb, University of Georgia and Brig. Gen. Lafayette McLaws, Museum of the Confederacy.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers on the Two Forts Walking Trail in Newport News Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. Yorktown. CWSAC Battle Summaries. (Submitted on September 7, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on September 7, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Confederate Earthworks image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Confederate Earthworks
These Confederate earthworks, located near the marker, were shelled by Union Artillery prior to the second attack by the 4th Vermont Infantry. The attack was unsuccessful.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,191 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 7, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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