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Battle at Big Bethel: Benj. Phillips killed Federal Scouts..
The following is a partial transcription of this lengthy narrative:
THE BATTLE AT BIG BETHEL.
Full accounts of the battle at Big Bethel, given by persons who participated in the affair, show that it was of more importance than the telegraphic dispatches gave us reason to believe. The narratives of eye witnesses are intensely interesting. From the Petersburg Express of the 15th, we take the following, believing that nothing we can give our readers, will be read with so much interest. The battle of Big Bethel is one of the most brilliant ever fought on American soil.
The following is from one of the soldiers who was in the thickest of the fight:
Tuesday, June 11, 1861
I avail myself of the kindness of Mr. H., to send you an account of the battle of Bethel Church, the only battle I have been in yet.
We received orders about 4 o’clock P.M. Sunday, to join Capt. Brown at Bethel, which is sixteen miles from Yorktown. Everything was got in order immediately for marching, and we got underway about 5 o’clock, and reached Bethel about 10 that night. We camped on the ground, and had a very good night’s rest.
Approach of the Enemy.
Beginning of the Fight.
Duration of the Battle.
Superior Numbers of the Enemy.
The Battle Field.
Flight of the Yankees.
The Field After Battle - Sickening Sights.
Another Account - The Approach.
Other Particulars and Interesting Incidents.
An old trapper of high respectability, who has resided in Hampton for many years, named Benj. Phillips, was coming up the road near Hampton in the afternoon, armed with a double barrel gun. Seeing a buggy some distance ahead of him, he slipped into the woods and awaited its approach. He soon discovered two officers seated in the buggy, and saw from their distressed appearance, that they were in no condition to do him much damage. They hailed him as they passed, asking who he was? He replied by telling them to pass on. As soon as they did so, the old man let fly both barrels of his gun in rapid succession into the back of the buggy. A shriek was heard, and one of the officers leaped out, and took to the woods. The other fell forward and the buggy passed on. Mr. Phillips is of the impression that the shriek was the death yell of the individual who remained in the vehicle. Mr. Phillips had previously killed at different times nine of the Federal scouts.
Source: The Weekly Telegraph, Houston, Texas, Wednesday, July 3, 1861; Pg. 1