Battle of Big Bethel

Author: J. Michael Cobb
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781611211160
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia is the first full-length treatment of the small but consequential June 1861 battle that reshaped both Northern and Southern perceptions about what lay in store for the divided nation. In the spring of 1861, many people in the North and South imagined that the Civil War would be short and nearly bloodless. The first planned engagement of the war at Big Bethel, however, provided undeniable evidence of just how wrong popular opinion could be.

Battle of Big Bethel

Author: J Michael Cobb
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781611214710
Format: PDF, ePub
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Now in paperback, Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia by J. Michael Cobb, Ed Hicks, and Wythe Holt is the first full-length treatment of the small but consequential June 10, 1861 battle that reshaped both Northern and Southern perceptions about what lay in store for the divided nation. In the spring of 1861, many people in the North and South imagined that the Civil War would be short and nearly bloodless. The first planned engagement of the war at Big Bethel, however, provided undeniable evidence of just how wrong popular opinion could be. Major General Benjamin F. Butler was in command of Union forces at Fort Monroe, Virginia, at the tip of the peninsula between the James and York rivers only ninety miles from the Confederate capital at Richmond. Thanks to the foresight of Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, President Abraham Lincoln's elderly chief military adviser, thousands of troops had been assigned to Butler to protect the fort, eventually threaten Richmond, and perhaps bring a quick end to the war. Opposing the Yankees was the aggressive and dramatic Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, who decided to lure Butler into a fight. Magruder fortified a strategic swampy creek crossing, skillfully placed several artillery pieces, selected excellent defensive positions for his 1,500 men, and camouflaged the whole with brush. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Butler marshaled about 4,000 men for a daring dawn attack. Although Butler's forces launched three charges against earthworks well supported by artillery, each was repulsed. Several reasons account for this, including a demoralizing friendly-fire incident, a combination of murderous cannon and musketry, Magruder's deft handling of his men, the inexperience of the attackers, and poor Union leadership. One of the sterling performances of the day was turned in by Colonel Daniel H. Hill, who ordered his Southern infantry to move across the enemy's front to retake a forward redoubt. While the carnage was light compared to later battles, the combat at Big Bethel remained indelibly imprinted on those who fought there. The successful defense reinforced the belief most Southerners held that their martial invincibility and defense of home and hearth were divinely inspired. After initial disbelief and shame, the defeat hardened Northern resolution to preserve their sacred Union. The notion began to take hold that, contrary to popular belief, the war would be difficult and protracted--a conviction that was cemented in reality the following month on the plains of Manassas. Years in the making, Battle of Big Bethel relies upon letters, diaries, newspapers, reminiscences, official records, and period images--some used for the first time. The authors detail the events leading up to the encounter, survey the personalities as well as the contributions of the participants, set forth a nuanced description of the confusion-ridden field of battle, and elaborate upon its consequences. Here, finally, the story of Big Bethel is colorfully and compellingly brought to life through the words and deeds of a fascinating array of soldiers, civilians, "contraband" slaves, and politicians whose lives intersected on that fateful day in the early summer of 1861.

Big Bethel

Author: John V. Quarstein
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1614230684
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The battle at Virginia's Big Bethel Church, known as the Civil War's first land battle, was a baptism of fire for a nation newly torn apart by civil war. Northern and Southern soldiers alike could not imagine how fiery passions and technological advances would collide into America's bloodiest war, all beginning that hot, cloudless day at Bethel, as the shells burst among the smartly clad Zouaves. Here, the war saw its first friendly fire incident, the death of the first West Point graduate, the death of the first Confederate infantryman and the first Confederate victory. Join award-winning historian John Quarstein as he details the story of the June 10, 1861 battle, when soldiers first realized that the war would not be filled with glorious parades but rather desperate struggles to decide the fate of the nation.

On this Day in Hampton History

Author: Wythe Holt & Edward B. Hicks
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1467139742
Format: PDF
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Hampton is a historical jewel of the Commonwealth. One day at a time, authors Wythe Holt and Edward B. Hicks offer up fascinating stories of the people and events that shaped it. The city's story begins at the origins of Old Point Comfort as early as 1608, long before the American Revolution. The Emancipation Proclamation was first read to the public on the grounds of today's Hampton University under what would soon be called the Emancipation Oak. NASA's Langley Research Center helped send astronauts to space and tested such icons as the Apollo lunar lander. Fort Monroe encompasses nearly two centuries of service to the country as the largest moated fort in North America. Join Holt and Hicks and enjoy the rich historical legacy every day of the year.

Hampton s Olde Wythe

Author: The Olde Wythe Neighborhood Association
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1625847491
Format: PDF, Mobi
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While the Olde Wythe neighborhood in Hampton looks like many of the picturesque communities in America, its past is one all its own. The area's namesake, George Wythe, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a man opposed to slavery who freed his own slaves and suffered arsenic poisoning for his position. Olde Wythe battled a British invasion during the War of 1812 and witnessed intense ironclad battles fought near its shores during the Civil War. Join the Olde Wythe Neighborhood Association as it presents the colorful and harrowing history of Hampton's Olde Wythe.

Curiosities of Hampton Roads

Author: Tamy Kay Thompson
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1625855192
Format: PDF, ePub
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The history of Hampton Roads is as deep as the waters that surround it. From some of the first settlers in the New World to the formation of the nation, Virginia's Tidewater is rich in curious tales of legends and lore. In the Southside, the famed pirate Blackbeard was beheaded by Captain Maynard of Hampton. Captain John Smith was a part of the first governing body in America formed in Jamestown. The nation's oldest mental institution still stands in Williamsburg. Staff and guests at Boxwood Inn in Newport News have reported hauntings from a former owner and other eerie occurrences. Author Tamy Kay Thompson covers these stories and more as she takes readers on a journey through the always entertaining past of Hampton Roads.

Staff Officers in Gray

Author: Robert E. L. Krick
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807863076
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This indispensable Civil War reference profiles some 2,300 staff officers in Robert E. Lee's famous Army of Northern Virginia. These men--ordnance officers, engineers, aides-de-camp, and quartermasters, among others--worked at the side of many of the Confederacy's greatest figures, helping to feed and clothe the army, maintain its discipline, and operate its military machinery. A typical entry includes the officer's full name, the date and place of his birth and death, details of his education and occupation, and a synopsis of his military record. An introduction discusses the role of staff officers in the Confederate army, describes the evolution and importance of individual staff positions, and makes some broad generalizations about the officers' common characteristics. Two appendixes provide a list of more than 3,000 staff officers who served in other armies of the Confederacy and complete rosters of known staff officers of each general in the Army of Northern Virginia. Synthesizing the contents of thousands of unpublished official documents, Staff Officers in Gray will be of interest to anyone studying the battles, personnel, and organization of the Army of Northern Virginia.

All the Great Prizes

Author: John Taliaferro
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416597344
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A full-scale portrait of Lincoln's Secretary and the Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt traces his constant presence at the 16th President's side and role in major historical events for more than half a century, providing parallel coverage of his privileged and romantic personal life.