Camp Hamilton

Camp Hamilton (HM6QU)

Location: Hampton, VA 23663
Country: United States of America

N 37° 0.872', W 76° 19.086'

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On Sacred Soil

Here stood the U.S. Army's first camp on Virginia soil after secession, built in May 1861. Only the Veteran's Cemetery on County Street remains of this entrenched camp.

The influx of soldiers at Fort Monroe prompted the commander, Lt. Col. Justin Dimick, to secure a better water supply by dispatching elements of the 4th Massachusetts Infantry to Mill Creek Bridge as well as the Segar and Clark farms here. Outraged local Confederate volunteers "swore vengeance on Massachusetts troops for the Invasion of Virginia." Cavalry picket Dr. William R. Vaughan confronted Dimick and demanded, "By what right does your army cross that bridge and invade the sacred soil of Virginia?" Dimick replied, "By God, sir, might makes right!" The local Confederate commander, Lt. Col. Richard S. Ewell, ordered his small force (820 men and 300 flintlock muskets) across Hampton Creek away from Fort Monroe.

The Federals began constructing their camp, first known as Camp Troy and soon renamed Camp Hamilton in honor of Gen. Winfield Scott's military secretary Lt. Col. Schuyler Hamilton, here on the Segar farm. The 2nd New York and the 1st Vermont regiments were billeted here when they arrived on the Peninsula. Camp Hamilton consisted of tents and other temporary structures arrayed in company streets. Since Fort Monroe's guns provided protection, extensive fortifications were not built. The soldiers drilled, stood guard, attended Bible classes, and became entrepreneurs. Pvt. Alfred Bond made a tidy profit selling cigars to other volunteers and brooded in his diary: "In Camp Hamilton. Weather cloudy with rain at night and windy. The day is past and gone. The evening shades appear; oh may we all remember well, The night of Death draws near."
HM NumberHM6QU
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 3:14am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 382740 N 4097296
Decimal Degrees37.01453333, -76.31810000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 0.872', W 76° 19.086'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 0' 52.32" N, 76° 19' 5.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 13-27 VA-143, Hampton VA 23663, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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