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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
North in Mathews County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Civil War In Mathews County

Union African American Sailors

 
 
Civil War In Mathews County CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 22, 2014
1. Civil War In Mathews County CWT Marker
Inscription. The U.S. Navy’s longstanding tradition of recruiting black sailors enabled several runaways from Mathews County to enlist aboard Potomac Flotilla and North Atlantic Blockading Squadron warships. On January 30, 1862, the logbook of USS Young Rover noted the arrival of five Mathews County contrabands (escaped slaves), including John and Washington Diggs, Aleck Phillips (Billups), and Joe Williams. Young Rover picked up five more contrabands—George Williams, Humphrey Brooks, and brothers Richard, William, and Daniel Brooks—on March 1. The Brooks brothers shipped aboard the frigate USS Minnesota on May 17. Daniel Brooks at first worked as a coal heaver on USCS Arago, a U.S. Coast Survey ship chartered by the government to help track CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) in 1862. Capt G.J.H. Van Brunt, commander of Minnesota, welcomed contrabands into the crew. Van Brunt believed that these men served energetically and they “evidently felt that they were working at the deliverance of their race.”

(captions)
(lower left) Sailors on deck of USS Arago off Charleston, S.C. - Library of Congress
(lower center)USS Arago - Courtesy National Archives & Records Administration
(upper right) USS Minnesota,
Civil War In Mathews County CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 22, 2014
2. Civil War In Mathews County CWT Marker
from Harper's Weekly
 
Erected 2014 by Virginia Civil WarTrails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 27.956′ N, 76° 26.676′ W. Marker is in North, Virginia, in Mathews County. Marker can be reached from Windsor Road (Virginia Route 3) 0.2 miles north of John Clayton Memorial Highway (Virginia Route 14), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located along the walking trail in Fort Nonsense Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: North VA 23128, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Clayton, Botanist (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Civil War In Mathews County (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Civil War In Mathews County (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Nonsense (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Fortifications (within shouting distance of this marker); By Land And By Sea (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Nonsense (about 400 feet away); Mathews County (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North.
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Fort Nonsense image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 22, 2014
3. Fort Nonsense
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 325 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 22, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3. submitted on June 23, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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