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1862 Map of Norfolk VA area

Surrender of Norfolk - May 10, 1862

Five miles from Norfolk,
Saturday, May 10 – 10 A.M.


As you are probably aware, an expedition, consisting of about five thousand men, left Hampton Roads at about twelve o’clock last night, and landed, with considerable difficulty, at Ocean View, a point of land jetting out into Lynnhaven Bay.  The first men landed composed the company of Captain Phineas A. Davis, and are known as the Richardson Light Battery, of Lowell, Mass.  These men proceeded inland as far as it was prudent to go, and awaited the arrival of the relief.  The Twentieth Regiment, of New York, landed next, and marched as far as the point from which this is dated.  The place here is called Half-way Cross Roads.  The enemy were drawn up in this vicinity, yesterday, in the line of battle, with artillery, awaiting our arrival, but fled upon our approach early this morning.  It is believed that they have retried beyond Tanner’s creek, three miles from here, and that they will burn the bridge to prevent our getting into Norfolk.

Sewell’s Point is evacuated, and it is said that Norfolk is also.

Two prisoners have just been taken in the woods.  They belong to the Twenty fourth Virginia regiment.  They say that they do not know anything concerning the movement of the rebels.

Gen. Max Weber has been in command of the advancing troops to this point, but now Gen. Mansfield, his senior officer, has arrived here and assumed command.  He is now making a reconnaissance in force towards Tanner’s Creek, with a view of surprising the enemy and saving the bridge, but the smoke is already rising from that direction, and the bridge is now being destroyed.


11 A.M. – Gen. Mansfield advanced to within eight hundred yards of the bridge over Tanner’s creek, and found it in flames.  The rebels soon observed our troops in the road, and opened upon them with two howitzers, but did no damage.  Our troops were deployed as skirmishers, and gave them a volley from their German rifles.  The creek is too deep to ford, and the troops have returned to Halfway Cross Roads.  Gen. Wool and staff have arrived, accompanied by Mr. Secretary Chase, who has now the attractive sobriquet of the “fighting financial gentleman.”

Gen. Wool has assumed the command, and our army will move upon Norfolk by the old road, which is a long and tedious one.


The troops are in line, the Tenth New York leading off.  In a short time they are marching down the dusty road, and little can be seen save the clouds of sand tossed up by their heals, and the glare of the blinding sun, reflecting from their accoutrements and arms.  The day is excessively warm, and many are dropping by the road side, fainting, pressing their parched lips to the vary tussocks of the swamps that line the road, endeavoring to seek a little moisture.  Water is very scarce, each spring as it is found being emptied almost instantly, and the soldiers in their thirst even resort to stagnant pools and ponds.  But on they go, in the highest spirits, anticipating the perfect and brilliant victory.

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Source of Information

The Press, Philadelphia, PA Newspaper, Tuesday, May 13, 1862.

Image from Harper's Weekly May 24, 1862.