Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Battle of Big Bethel
Protecting the Peninsula
On June 6, 1861, Confederate Col. John B. Magruder led 1,404 men here from Yorktown, about fifteen miles southeast, to block key roads and isolate the fort. They entrenched around Big Bethel Church, now under the reservoir in front of you (then a marshy creek). They also built outlying works, one of which survives, on this side of the creek. Magruder’s force included Col. Daniel H. Hill’s 1st North Carolina Infantry, Lt. Col. William D. Stuart’s 3rd Virginia Infantry, Maj. Edwin B. Montague’s Virginia Battalion, and Maj. George W. Randolph’s howitzer company.
To protect Fort Monroe, Butler decided to drive off the Confederates. At night, on June 9, Gen. Ebenezer W. Pierce led seven infantry regiments (4,400 men of the 4th Massachusetts, 1st Vermont, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th New York) toward Big Bethel, as well as several guns of the 2nd
Fort Monroe – Courtesy Library of Congress
Big Bethel, aerial view, Harper’s Weekly, Apr. 26, 1862
Lower Peninsula between Big Bethel and Fort Monroe, 1862 Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected 2012 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Location. 37° 5.491′ N, 76° 25.567′ W. Marker is in Hampton, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Big Bethel Road 0.1 miles north of Semple Farm Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in Bethel Park. Marker is in this post office area: Hampton VA 23666, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Big Bethel Union Monument (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Big Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry Lawson Wyatt (within shouting distance of this marker); Big Bethel UDC Monument (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Big Bethel Church and Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); York County / Warwick County (approx. 1.9 miles away); Chesterville Plantation (approx. 2.5 miles away); National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (approx. 2.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hampton.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 21, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 568 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 21, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.