Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bermuda Hundred

I am blessed that my family has a sense of history.  I know how and why my great grandfather, Thomas Beausang, came to the United States from Cork, Ireland on HMS Teutonic (fortunately not the Titanic), but the same White Star Line.  I sit on my grandmother Helen's green needlepointed chair every day,  I have an inside window box in my kitchen that was my grandfather Dunn's wooden toolbox.  And I have three chairs that belonged to my second great grandfather who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. 

Second Great Grandfather Galvin was captured by Rebel troops during the Battle of Bermuda Hundred in May, 1864, escaped and walked back to his home in Connecticut.  Yesterday, completely by chance in a meandering drive to enjoy a glorious spring day, I found Bermuda Hundred, outside of the state capitol of Richmond. You can see above that it was settled in 1613.  One of the original residents was John Rolfe, Pocahontus' husband. Amazing, no?  They walked there where I walked yesterday.

It is all peace there now; no echoes of the agonies or the blood spilled as Union troops tried to get a foothold.  Well, I call them Union troops, some local historic signs refer to them as "federal raiders."

However, 140 years ago, my second great grandfather and many others fought here to preserve the Union.  I cannot imagine his terror at being captured by the enemy, so far from home.  It happened to him on that spot where my sandaled feet felt the dust of the road and the breeze from that same river bank location fanned my own face.  My spirit resonated with his, perhaps because of our shared portion of DNA or perhaps because I had heard about him for my entire life.  A descendent he never thought about in a United States he could have never dreamed possible...walking where his boots had marched.

The current homeowners of this stretch of land along the river, the Gray family, keep bees here now where once the Civil War raged and the bees buzz about, unaware.

If you look closely, you can see a red tug boat beyond the bee skeps, across the water.  I dearly love red tuggies.


Judy said...

I struggle to understand people who don't appreciate history. Especially their own.
Beautiful post.
So glad you get to walk where they walked.

Wayne said...

Very interesting! Ever wonder what a "hundred" was? I have ancestors from Nanticoke Hundred, in Delaware. From Wikipedia, "The divisions (of counties), or 'hundreds' as they are called, comes from the times when Delaware and Maryland were colonial holdings of Great Britain. While Delaware alone retains the use of 'hundreds', the origin of most place names in both states can be traced back to the times of British rule." I imagine "Bermuda Hundred" comes from the same time period.

I had no sense of a family history before a few years ago, and only found out about my heritage after joining It is an awesome thing, to visit a place where your ancestors lived and died.

During my travels for work, I was able to visit my ancestors in New England, Indiana and Iowa. I have plenty in your neck of the woods, but I've never had enough time there to seek them out. Maybe someday....

Debra said...

LOVED that photo of you, Anne! And I enjoyed reading about your family history--thanks for sharing! Blessings, Debra