Thursday, June 10, 2010

The First Battle

Only eight weeks after the firing on Fort Sumter on June 10th 1861 the first battle fought in Virginia, Big Bethel Church was fought.

The first Civil War battle in Virginia had Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler’s troops coming together from Newport News and Hampton toward Little and Big Bethel where there were Confederate outposts. Falling back from Little Bethel the Confederates commanded by Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, went into entrenchments near Big Bethel Church behind the Brick Kiln Creek. Butler sent Union troops under the command of Brigadier General Ebenezer W Pierce at dawn on June 10th 1861 to attack the Confederate front, they were forced back after coming under heavy artillery fire. Farther downstream the Union 5th New York Zouaves hit the Confederate left flank, but were also repulsed. The Union forces retreated from the field, going back to Newport News and Hampton. Confederate forces saw only 8 casualties. The Union side saw looses of 76 men.

No comments: