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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Gardener and Our Driveway - William W. Wyatt (1902-1971)

My family and I are fortunate enough to spend the next couple of months living in a historic home on our local military installation until we close on our new, permanent home a few minutes away.  Our time here will total five months; plenty of time to enjoy the views of the York River and the spring greening taking place more and more each day.  The house itself is an entity.  Huge, overwhelming, and beautiful.  Dusty, creaky, and drafty.  Almost like living in a museum.  Wind blows off of the water at the end of the day, whistling through the windows.  Stinkbugs surprise me at every turn.  Sun shines through the entry windows in the morning to create a warm glow that will stay with me forever.  It was the best of was the worst of times shall we say?

Now, what I do absolutely LOVE is the yard.  This lovely piece of property - and the acres surrounding this area - are supremely historic.  It would take me an hour to type out the history, so feel free to read about it HERE. …

Camp Butler - Newport News, Virginia

In my previous post I introduced my third great-grandfather - Hachaliah McMath, Jr. (1840-1916) - and his experience specifically at the end of the Civil war as a prisoner of war. 

Context: Hachaliah McMath, Jr. is my 3rd great-grandfather on my father's maternal side of the family.

After his capture in Farmville, Virginia following the Battle of Saylor's Creek, McMath was transferred to City Point, VA (Grant's headquarters) and then on to Newport News, Virginia.  From what I can determine, the Newport News area was occupied by Union troops for a large portion of the war.  Camp Butler was heavily fortified, as seen in the lithograph below - from the "Civil War in Newport News" collection of the Newport News Public Library System:

From what I understand, the Prisoner of War camp was created alongside of Camp Butler to accommodate excess Confederate soldiers captured toward the end of the war.  Essentially - the POW camp in Newport News served to solve an "over…

Hachaliah McMath, Jr. (1840-1916): Prisoner of War

April 9, 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of  Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.  This seems like such little time - and such a long time all at once, yes?

It dawned on me this week that last week also marked the 150th anniversary of my 3rd great-grandfather's capture after the Battle of Saylor's of the major turning points in the ultimate demise of Lee's Army.  This battle fractured his starving, weary troops just days before the inevitable end.  On April 6, 1865, Hachaliah McMath, Jr (1840-1916) - a sergeant in the 11th Florida Infantry Regiment - was one of many (almost three quarters of Lee's entire remaining Army, from what I've read) captured. 

Context: Hachaliah McMath, Jr. is my 3rd great-grandfather on my father's maternal side of the family.

McMath and other prisoners were sent to City Point, VA (Grant's headquarters) on April 14, 1865 and then on to Newport News, VA to be interred as a prisoner of war at Camp Butler.  Iron…