Burning of Hampton
, Va.--The subjoined reminiscences are from the Richmond Examiner
, and were published just after the burning of the Odd Fellows' Hall
and jail at Hampton
by the United States troops :--
This is the second time in its history that it has been fired by the enemy.
In the war of the first Revolution, the English squadron, annoyed by the gallant exploits of two young officers, Samuel and James Daron, attacked Hampton
and put the most of it in flames; not, however, without encountering a most gallant resistance from the Hamptonians, supported by the celebrated Culpepper Minute Men — the united force under command of Col. Woodford
, who subsequently fell in one of the battles of the Revolution.
No spot in Virginia
is invested with more thrilling romance and historic interest than Hampton
and its immediate vicinity.
It was visited in 1607 by Capt. John Smith
, then an Indian town called Kccaughtan.
and his party were regaled with corn cakes, and exchanged for them trinkets and beads.
The locality was settled from Jamestown
in 1610, and was incorporated a century afterward as the town of “Ye Shire of Elizabeth city
The Episcopal church, an ancient pile made of imported brick, is the oldest building in the village, and probably, from its isolated location, may have escaped the late conflagration.
It is the second oldest church in the State
, and is surrounded by a cemetery filled with countless “marble marks of the dead.”
Scattered through it may be found, at intervals, stones with armorial quarterings, designating the resting-place of honored ancestry.
Some of these are very old, dating, in several instances, back into the seventeenth century.
Here repose the earthly remains of many a cavalier and gentleman, whose names are borne by numerous families all over the Southern States
One of the traditions connected with this old edifice, is that the venerable steeple was, prior to the Revolution, surmounted with the royal coat-of-arms of George III., but that on the 4th of July, 1776, a thunder-cloud blew up, and lightning rent the steeple and dashed the insignia of royalty to the earth.
The village of Hampton
is beautifully situated on an arm of the sea setting in from the adjacent roadstead which bears its name, and is celebrated for its health and facilities for fine living.
The late census showed that the aggregate white
and black population was nearly two thousand, who pursued nearly all the common or general pursuits of a town of that size.
Some of the residences were of brick, and erected at a heavy cost, belonging to opulent farmers and tradesmen; beside, they had large gardens, out-houses, and other valuable improvements, all of which are destroyed.--See Diary of the American Revolution