Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Nameless Grave
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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, 3 killed. This was the day before the celebrated duel between the C.S.S. Virginia and the U.S.S. Monitor which ended in a draw and in which no lives were lost.
The American Legion
Erected 1965 by The American Legion, Braxton – Perkins Post No. 25.
Location. 36° 58.663′ N, 76° 26.045′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Avenue and 27th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in Christopher Newport Park. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23607, United States of America.
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); A Great Confederate Naval Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); Newport News (within shouting distance of this marker); Headquarters, Hampton Roads (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Newport News Victory Arch (about 600 feet away); The Victory Arch (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
Also see . . . CSS Virginia destroys USS Cumberland and USS Congress, 8 March 1862. Naval Historical Center website. (Submitted on March 2, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 2, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,241 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 2, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.