CSS Hampton Flag Heads to Hampton

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  • Volume 35, No. 3 Summer 2013

    THE HERITAGE MUSEUM NEWSLETTER Home of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society

    Published Quarterly by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society

    CSS Hampton Flag Heads to Hampton

    On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the Harrisonburg-

    Rockingham Historical Society transferred ownership

    of a rare naval flag captured from the Confederate

    gunboat, CSS Hampton, to the United States Naval

    History and Heritage Command (NHHC).

    Built at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1862, the

    CSS Hampton is from the class of Maury Gunboats,

    named for inventor of the idea, Commander Matthew

    Fontaine Maury. His theory was to build lots of eco-

    nomical small wooden gunboats with the thought that

    they could overwhelm the Union with their mosquito

    fleets. One hundred ships were planned, but only

    about fifteen were actually built before the concept of

    an ironclad ship took over the Confederate budget.

    The Hampton was one of only two Maury gunboats

    which saw action during the war, the Nansemond be-

    ing the other. The CSS Hampton had encounters at

    Dutch Gap in August of 1864, as well as at Fort Har-

    rison and Chaffins Bluff in September and October

    of that year. Upon the fall of Richmond on April 3,

    1865, the Hampton was burned by the Confederates

    as they evacuated the city.

    Sewn onto the flag is a handwritten note that reads:

    That of Confed. Gun Boat Hampton burnt in James

    River at the taking of Richmond. The flag was taken

    from the burning ship by Lieut. Ladd (13 N. Hamp-

    shire) of Gen. Devens staff.

    Research has uncovered a wonderful story of its

    rescue. The Lieut. Ladd mentioned in the note is

    William Jones Ladd of the 13th New Hampshire Regi-

    ment. Born on February 4, 1844, Ladd is considered

    by many historians as the first Union soldier to enter

    Richmond when it was seized by the Union on April

    3, 1865. A personal account of this day is recounted

    by him on page 578 of the History of the Thirteenth

    New Hampshire Regiment. Ladd states, I was in the

    Capitol grounds as early as 5:30 am. I saw no flag on

    the Capitol at that time. After looking about the

    grounds and vicinity for a few minutes, and realizing I

    was alone in the city, I rode back towards Rocketts,

    and when near there met a white Union cavalryman

    the first Union soldier I had seen in Richmond that

    morning. We tied our horses, took a skiff and rowed

    out to a rebel war ship on the James, and captured two

    Confederate flags then flying upon her. I pulled down

    the larger flag, the cavalryman the smaller one, and

    Continued page 6



    By Nancy Hess

    Note sewn onto USS Hampton flag.

  • Calendar Of Events

    Thursday, August 15, 7 pm Lecture: Harrisonburgs

    Confederate General Hospital with Dale MacAllister,

    HRHS Resident Historian. Free, but donations wel-


    Thursday, September 19, 7 pm Lecture: Rockingham

    County Chancery Court Records with Carl Childs,

    Local Records Services Director, The Library of Vir-

    ginia. Free, but donations encouraged!

    Friday, October 18, HRHS Annual Banquet, with

    special guest Joseph W. A. Whitehorne, retired United

    States Army staff historian, battlesite interpreter, and

    author speaking on Born in Battle: Military and Politi-

    cal Events in a New State, 1863. Details and ticket

    information to be announced. Save the date!

    Thursday, October 24, 7 pm Lecture: Elder John

    Kline with Paul Roth. Free, but donations accepted!

    Saturday, November 9, 12 - 2 pm Lunch/Lecture

    Fundraiser: The Union Fish Hook Breaks! The 10th

    Virginia at Culps Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg

    with Jeremy Hilliard, 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry.

    $15 per person.




    Page 2 Volume 35, No. 3

    The Heritage Museum Hours

    TuesdaySaturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Seasonal Sundays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

    Genealogy on Mondays by appointment

    Office closed on Saturday and Sunday Telephone: (540) 879-2616

    Email: heritage@heritagecenter.com www.heritagecenter.com



    Chairman: Greg Owen

    Vice-Chairman: Irvin Hess

    Secretary: Monica Frackelton

    Treasurer: L.J. Purcell

    Resident Historian

    Dale MacAllister

    HRHS Staff

    Executive Director: Penny Imeson

    Administrator: Margaret Hotchner

    Archivist: Laura Adams

    Staff: Amy Kiracofe, Juanita Wysong

    Museum Assistant: Tom Knight

    2013 Newsletter Submission Deadlines

    All articles are subject to editing. Ideas for feature articles

    must be submitted in advance of the article. We reserve the

    right not to use unsolicited feature articles. Genealogical que-

    ries welcome.

    Submissions can be emailed to


    Or mailed to HRHS

    P.O. Box 716

    Dayton VA 22821

    Fall October 25

    Winter January 25


    Charlie Collette Wes Graves

    Michael Hill Nathan Miller

    Lew Taylor David Wood

    Paper or Digital?

    Please keep your contact addresses

    and preferences up to date!

    Let Margaret know at heritage@heritagecenter.com

    Our Wish List

  • Volume 35, No. 3 Page 3


    Notes from the Executive Director

    This year spring stretched into

    summer with weeks of cool and wet

    weather creating a lush and verdant

    landscape. When, in mid-July, the

    temperatures finally shot up so did the corn fields.

    Now the approach along Eberly Road to The Heritage

    Museum is a gorgeous alle of corn as high as an ele-

    phants eye. You may have seen the photo on our

    Facebook page.

    Facebook is just one of the many ways we try to

    share the Best-Kept Secret in Valley History. Our

    marketing efforts include rack cards, newspaper and

    brochure advertisements, numerous community calen-

    dars, and many online options, including our website,

    Facebook, and Pinterest pages.

    We are constantly looking for new opportunities to

    reach new audiences. In this issue you will discover

    several new endeavors.

    As a member you understand the importance of our

    mission to collect, preserve, and share. Wont you

    please join our marketing team? Its as simple as tell-

    ing a friend, engaging with us on social media, or

    passing on your newsletter. And please share your

    suggestions for promoting the mission. Of course, you

    are welcome to stop in to see whats new or to chat

    about future plans. Whether the fields are filled with

    corn, cows, or snow, the road to The Heritage Muse-

    um always is a rewarding drive.

    If you ask them, they will come.

    . . . National Park Passport Stamps? The Heritage Museum recently became a member

    of the National Park Passport Stamp Program, joining

    with 24 other sites in the newly created Shenandoah

    Valley Battlefields National Heritage District.

    The stamp program is over 25 years old. It encour-

    ages tourism to the many national parks and historic

    sites across the nation. A recent count estimated near-

    ly 2000 stamps, also called cancellation stamps, avail-

    able with new sites added frequently. There is great

    enthusiasm for collecting the stamps as evidenced by

    a Facebook group page1 and a National Park Travel

    Club2 for stamp devotees.

    Eastern National manages the passport program.

    On their site you may purchase official passports and

    other collectibles, if desired. But no purchase is nec-

    essary to participate. One recent visitor brought in her

    own thick scrapbook filled with travel memories. An-

    other simply stamped a sheet of recycled paper as a


    Have you heard about . . .


    Cancellations/247270474752 2www.parkstamps.org/news.php 3www.easternnational.org/passport.aspx

    . . . Geocaching? The Heritage Museum is also a recent addition to Rockingham County geocaching sites. Geocaching is an

    outdoor treasure hunt with participants using global positioning system (GPS) devices to locate hidden con-

    tainers, called geocaches, with log books and small treasures inside. There are more than 1 million geocache

    sites around the globe! More information is available at www.geocaching.com.

    Come in and ask for your stamp!

  • Page 4 Volume 35, No. 3


    A Warm Welcome To Our

    New Members

    Keith Beasley, Pottstown, PA

    Judith Boyers, Harrisonburg, VA

    Susan Burnett, Little Rock, AR

    Jean Chevaux, Bridgewater, VA

    Elaine Clearwater, Virginia Beach, VA

    Donna Davis, Charlotte, NC

    Mildred Deviers, Harrisonburg, VA

    Tina Egge, Mechanicsville, VA

    Wanda Finney, Roanoke, VA

    Robert Fulks, North Chatham, MA

    Clark & Pam Hopkins, Germantown Hills, IL

    Glenn & Elena Hughes, Sterling, VA

    Stuart Jordan, Bridgewater, VA

    Sammy Lantz, Grottoes, VA

    Justin McCann, Bridgewater, VA

    Winifred McConnell, Harrisonburg, VA

    Michael McDowell, San Antonio, TX

    Iris Miller, Kansas City, MO

    Michael O'Neal, Tuxedo Park, NY

    Jackie Pierce, Salt Lake, UT

    Marilyn Rexilius, Everett, WA

    Stephen & Jacqueline Ritchie, Muncie, IN

    Joe Scott, Claysville, PA

    Susan Simches, Waynesboro, VA

    John Swanson, Tampa, FL

    Amylyn Taylor, Towson, MD

    Ronnie Vaughan, Alton, VA

    Charles & Carol Wade, Pulaski, VA

    Loren & Joyce Weaver, Pocatello, ID

    Evelyn White, Danville, IL

    Sheron Wolf, Waynesboro, PA

    Gaile Zigler, Gulf Breeze, FL

    Kirsten Eve Beachy delivered a captivating talk on Brethren and Mennonite women during the Civil War on May 16th.

    The Court & Market Days Festival drew a large crowd for drama, demonstrations, music, and dancing on June 1st in Harrisonburg.

    Dr. Irvin Hess dis-cussed Civil War Surgery on July 18th, including the description of tools and their uses in a surgeons kit.

  • Volume 35, No. 3 Page 5


    Memberships It is exciting to welcome so many new members in

    the past several months. You have joined a large team

    of faithful supporters and ambassadors. Thank you.

    We hope all members will enjoy the benefits of be-

    longing to The Heritage Museum, including the re-

    duced research and photograph reproduction rates in-

    stituted last year. As always, we encourage you to

    share your thoughts on and suggestions for programs,

    exhibits, publications, activities, and goals.

    College student Sally Meyers description on page

    8 of developing a love for history is a beautiful re-

    minder that providing history education through ex-

    hibits and tours is still relevant to younger generations.

    Sallys dedication to volunteering with the Big Bits of

    Dayton History exhibit during her summer vacation is

    an inspiration. As a member, you support education at

    The Heritage Museum. Thank you.

    The cover story on the transfer of the USS Hamp-

    ton flag is an exceptional example of The Heritage

    Museums commitment to the stewardship of precious

    artifacts and history. This mission guides our work

    each day both downstairs in the galleries and upstairs

    in the Genealogy Library. As a member, you support

    preservation at The Heritage Museum. Thank you.

    When your renewal letter arrives, please remember

    the many, many activities at The Heritage Museum

    that would not be possible without your name on the

    membership rolls, and then check renewing member

    for another year. Again, thank you.

    The Board of Trustees is excited to announce that Joseph W. A. Whitehorne will be the keynote speaker at

    the 2013 Annual Banquet on Friday, October, 18th. Joseph W. A. Whitehorne is a retired United States Army

    officer who served as a staff historian in the United States and Europe. On the staff of the Secretary of the

    Army his duties included primary research, battlefield interpretation, archives development, and support to

    archaeological and casualty recovery operations. After retiring from the army in 1989, he was a professor of

    history at Lord Fairfax Community College until retiring again in 2012. He continues to be a historical con-

    sultant to the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at James Madison University. He is the author or

    co-author of numerous articles and books. His honors include the Andrew Watts Prize from the University of

    Pennsylvania and the Moncado Prize from the American Military History Institute. His military awards in-

    clude the Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, and two Legions of Merit. He is past president of the

    Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and Past President of the Warren County (VA) Historical Society. Mr.

    Whitehorne will discuss the division of West Virginia from Virginia in 1863.

    Annual Banquet Speaker

    Welcome Center

    For nearly a year, The Heritage Museum has collaborated with The Town of Dayton to acquire a certified Vir-

    ginia Tourist Information Center (VTIC) designation. On July 18th two representatives from the VTIC state

    office performed a site visit at The Heritage Museum, the final step in the approval process. Design for high-

    way and road signs are now underway. Once the signs are installed, travelers will be directed through the roll-

    ing countryside to Dayton from Interstate 81. The Heritage Museum has been providing welcome center ser-

    vices for years, stocking many local business and tourist site brochures, offering travel suggestions, and

    providing a lovely, relaxing, and fully accessible location. The applica-

    tion process has been documented by local newspaper articles, creating

    beneficial publicity for The Heritage Museum. It will be exciting to see

    how awareness of our remarkable facility grows as more tourists find

    the Best-Kept Secret in Valley History!

  • Page 6 Volume 35, No. 3


    we rolled them up and tied them to our saddles. These

    were the first and only flags of any kind Federal or

    Confederate that I saw in Richmond that morning. I

    still, 1887, have this flag. Soon after we secured these

    flags the vessel blew up. Capt. Ladd

    Another wonderful account of Ladd retrieving the

    flag is found in a book titled Capture and Occupation

    of Richmond, written by a fellow Civil War soldier,

    George Anson Bruce. Bruce wrote that Ladd jumped

    quickly from his horse and rowed in a boat to the ship.

    He quickly ran up the mast, secured the flag, and had

    just stepped ashore when the magazine blew up and

    scattered the gunboat in fragments from bank to bank.

    This flag he now retains in his home in Milton.

    HRHS received the flag in the l...


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