Tag Archives: Battle of Big Bethel

15 August 1861: “Gen Magruder…carried about 7 or 8 thousand soldiers the other day from this place…down to Hampton and burned the entire place…”

Item Description: This letter, dated 15 August 1861, is from Francis W. Bird in Yorktown, Virginia to his sister, discussing sickness in his camp as well as the burning of Hampton, Va. Bird enlisted in the Confederate Army on 1 … Continue reading

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25 June 1861: “I can’t say anything about the people for are but the Negroes left on our landing here. Men that had property to the amount of $100,000 left all and went to Richmond and Yorktown.”

Item description: Letter from J. M. Drake of Company A, 4th Massachusetts Regiment, at Camp Butler, Newport News, Va., to his father, telling of his hopes that his company will be discharged soon; detailing the wrongs done by U.S. Army … Continue reading

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20 June 1861: “…A severe battle was fought by the Lincolnites (I will not call them Federalists) at a placed called Bethel Church…”

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard recalls his perspectives of the Battle of Bethel Church in southeastern Virginia and the Battle of Phillipi in Barbour County, Virginia (now West Virginia). [Item transcription and biographical information included below images.] Item Citation: From folder 2 of … Continue reading

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17 June 1861: “…this Convention, appreciating the valor and good conduct of the officers and men in the 1st Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers…”

Item description: A resolution of appreciation passed by the North Carolina Secession Convention for the 1st Regiment NC Volunteers’ service at the Battle of Bethel. The resolution also authorizes the regiment to “inscribe the word ‘Bethel’ upon their regimental colors.” … Continue reading

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16 June 1861: “I suppose by this time that you know as much about the fight as we do.”

Item description: Letter, 16 June 1861, from Joseph Hubbard Saunders to his mother. The letter gives a detailed description of Saunders’ experience in the recent Battle of Bethel Church, shares news about other soldiers from Chapel Hill, and asks about … Continue reading

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11 June 1861: “Battle at Bethel Church! Authentic Account. Successful Skirmish Between North Carolinians and the Enemy.”

Item description: Extra from the Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Va.), published on 11 June 1861, describing the Battle of Bethel Church.   Item citation: Daily Dispatch– extra. [Richmond, Va.: J.A. Cowardin?], 1861. From the Rare Book Collection, Wilson Library, University of … Continue reading

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10 June 1861: “The Only Correct and Reliable Map of the Battle of Bethel!: From a Survey and Drawing”

Item description: Map of the Battle of Bethel (Va.), a battle fought on 10 June 1861. Many historians consider the Battle of Bethel (also known as the Battle of Bethel Church, or Big Bethel) to be the first land battle … Continue reading

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3 June 1861: “We wanted a change of diet, but there were strict orders from Col. D. H. Hill that we should not go out foraging.”

Item description: Entry from the published diary (Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, copyright 1913) of Louis Leon describing his experiences on 3 June 1861 around Bethel Church, Va. Item transcription: We changed camp several times, until about the … Continue reading

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