Federal Monument To Be Dedicated
At Big Bethel Park In Hampton, Va.
(June 2011 Civil War News)
GRANITEVILLE, Vt. — The Vermont Civil War Hemlocks hosted the recent unveiling by Lt. Gov. Phil Scott of a monument honoring the Vermont, Massachusetts and New York units that fought in the Battle of Big Bethel, the war’s first land battle, on June 11, 1861.
The monument will be dedicated in Hampton, Va., at Big Bethel Park, a four-acre piece of battle land set aside by Langley Air Force Base. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. RSVPs to (757) 727-1610 would be appreciated.
A wreath will also be placed at the memorial honoring Pvt. Henry Lawson Wyatt, 1st North Carolina Volunteers, CSA.
The Hemlocks, representing Co. A, 3rd Vermont Infantry, raised t he funds for the 7-foot-high marker created by Rock of Ages from Barre Gray granite. Donors included 5th New York Duryee’s Zouaves Cos. A and C, many Vermont veteran organizations, Sons of Union Veterans and the 18th Vermont Regiment.
The 1st Vermont fought at Big Bethel, the first battle in which Union and Confederate soldiers engaged in open combat. The action saw the first friendly fire incident, first Union soldier death in combat, first battlefield amputation, first West Point graduate killed in action and the mortal wounding of the first Confederate infantryman.
The 150th battle anniversary observance will begin at 6:30 p.m. June 10 with a John V. Quarstein lecture on “Big Bethel: The First Battle” and signing of his book by that name at the Hampton History Museum.
For information about Big Bethel events contact Quarstein at (757) 879-3420.