Writer, historian to discuss Battle of West Point


KING WILLIAM – On January 19, 2014 the King William County Historical Society will meet at the Administrative Building in King William County. Local historian Bill Palmer will present an illustrated lecture on the Civil War battle of Eltham's Landing, also known as the Battle of West Point. Fought on May 7, 1862, this conflict caused the deaths of more than seventy Union and Confederate participants. However, these losses were quickly overshadowed by massive casualties at the battles of Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill. As a result, the Battle of Eltham's Landing has been largely forgotten, along with the men who died there.

Palmer's 2012 book, The Battle of Eltham's Landing, is the first to be written on this battle, and illustrates much of the story that is often reduced to a sentence or two in standard texts on the Civil War. It contains appendices that list the names of those who died or were mortally wounded in the battle. Many of the Confederate soldiers still remain in unmarked and forgotten graves near the battle site. The remains of the Union soldiers were moved from temporary graves to National Cemeteries in Hampton and Yorktown.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the meeting.