Virginia's Fight for Democracy


America was founded by the 1788 Constitution granting authority only to White Christians, which left out about half of the nation. Modified to meet the rights for all Americans, the original 1788 Constitution has become the oldest of all nations. Today, by allowing free speech, some use fake history to tear at the growth of what American Democracy has become. As a strong rebuttal to this falsehood, on September 9, 2022, at the George W. Bush Institute, an unprecedented statement in support of American democracy was issued by 13 American presidents, including Obama, Reagan, Franklin Roosevelt and Hoover. It includes the following, “As a diverse nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, democracy holds us together.

People, the press, and schools need to expand on this “pro-democracy” statement, and along with policies and principles, defend and promote our Democracy.

Eight Members of Lynnhaven Parish Church
Fought for the Creation of our Democracy

Of the eleven Virginians who fought for our democracy, seven were members of Lynnhaven Parish Church (Old Donation).

Here’s the story of those eleven Virginians.

At the Williamsburg Fifth Virginia Convention held from May 6 to July 5, 1776, John Thorowgood Jr. (1752-1787), a member of Lynnhaven Parish Church and the sixth-generation descendant of Adam and Sarah Thorowgood, helped author the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and in doing so influenced deliberations occurring at the same time in Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, another Virginian would shape an even more notable outcome. The debate of the Second Continental Congress started with uncertainty over remaining loyal to Great Britain or continuing to fight for independence. On June 7, 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) of Westmoreland County, Virginia, influenced delegates with a plan for the colonies to declare independence and create a national government.

Debate on Lee’s resolution finally won support on July 1, 1776, and remaining pieces fell into place on July 2, when a committee of five delegates, including Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) of Virginia, set to work on the declaration itself. Issued a year after the Revolutionary War began in 1775, it waged on for the next seven years for the values ascribed by the Declaration of Independence.

Three Lynnhaven Parish Church Members fought in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) toward its end (1779-1781).

Lemuel Thoroughgood (1763 - 1785) commanded troops for protection of Princess Anne, Norfolk, Accomack, and Northampton counties during the war. He became a Captain, then a Major, and finally a Lt. Colonel by the end of the war. Lemuel died in 1785, probably as the result of a war-time wound. When the British took over the Thoroughgood estate, they told Lemuel’s wife, Lemuel would be given a pardon if he would stop fighting and come home. In the tradition of Thoroughgood wives, she replied with rebellious indignation, "I would rather see him dead!"

Col. John Thorowgood Jr. (1752-1787) who was at the 1776 Virginia Convention, later became commander of the Princess Anne County militia. He rose to become county lieutenant, in command of all its militia until he was captured in 1781. Pleas were made for his exchange but he was still a prisoner of war in August 1782.

Captain Dennis Dawley (1760-1779) was killed fighting. His memorial plaque is on a wall in the back of our church. It reads, "To the glory of God and in loving memory of Captain Dennis Dawley, Vestryman of this church."

The two pivotal battles during the Revolutionary War that won our independence from Great Britain are described on a Virginia State Historical Highway Marker, Meeting of Three Commanders, located at Lynnhaven Colony Park on Shore Drive. The meeting was two weeks after the Battle of the Capes and ten days before the Siege of Yorktown began. General Washington met with French Admiral de Grasse 18 September 1781 aboard de Grasse's flagship, just off the Lynnhaven Inlet, to strategize the upcoming battle at Yorktown.

The Siege of Yorktown began ten days after that meeting, and three weeks later on Oct 19th, the British surrender was led by a drummer, followed by an officer waving a white handkerchief on a pole. Then 9,000 British and Hessian troops followed, marching onto the battlefield with flags furled and muskets shouldered. The Siege of Yorktown effectively ended the Revolutionary War, cemented two years later by the Treaty of Paris (Sep 3, 1783) and five years later by the formation of the United States of America.

Our new Constitution became the law of the land on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth of thirteen states to ratify it. Yet Virginia and New York were locked in bitter debates and had not voted. Their failure to ratify would splinter the new nation by two large, populated, wealthy states. Two Walkes, representing Princess Anne County at the 1788 VA Constitutional Convention in Richmond were persuaded by James Madison’s subtle logic to vote “yes.” Hearing that Virginia voted “yes,” New York also approved the Constitution.

Anthony Walke (1755-1815) was one of the two Walkes at the Constitutional Convention in Richmond which was shortly before he was ordained a priest. He went on to gain a reputation for delivering captivating sermons, sometimes rushing off in the middle of one of them to join the fox hunt on his horse Silverheels, tethered near the door of the church. His tombstone rests in the Old Donation Church Historical Graveyard. The other Walke, Thomas Walke IV (1760-1797), was a distant cousin of Anthony's.

The British were still not inclined to give up their grip on America and made attempts to restrict U.S. trade and block American westward expansion, which led the young nation to declare war against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. Less than a month later on July 8, 1812, just off Cape Henry on the topsail schooner Dash, members of the Princess Anne County Militia, including Sgt. Brownley (1780-1819), Pvt. Henderson (1769-1825) and Pvt. Walke (1778-1820) captured the British sloop, HMS Whiting, the first ship captured in the War of 1812. All three men are buried in our Old Donation Historical Cemetery.

The story in books of those twelve Virginians often neglects the eight members from Old Donation Church. Four of the eight have gravestones in our Historical Graveyard and one with his plaque on our wall which few in our church can point out. Those four of the twelve not from our church have well-known gravestone locations in Virginia - Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) at Westmoreland, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) at Monticello, James Madison (1751-1836) at Montpelier, and George Washington (1732-1799) at Mount Vernon. Lemuel Thoroughgood and Col. John Thorowgood Jr. don’t even have plaques honoring them on our walls. As I mentioned previously, Col. John Thorowgood Jr. who has a plaque honoring him, a plaque that should be in our church graveyard, not along a busy street, Northampton Boulevard.

Having eight members of our church involved in the Declaration of Independence, two wars in support of our independence, and the Constitution, is an amazing story, a story which needs to be told, at least to Old Donation Church members, especially to the young who will most likely not be told about those eight in class rooms.

Here is the lineage of Lemuel Thorowgood and John Thorowgood (Jr.) back to our church founder, Adam Thorowgood.

Lemuel Thorowgood (1763 - 1785) married Sarah Calvert. His parents were Adam6 (*-1750) and Mary Thelaball. Adam’s parents were Capt. William5 (*-1724) and Patience Church. William’s parents were Argall4 (1659-1704) and Pembroke Fowler. Argall’s parents were Lt. Col. AdamII3 (1638-1685) and Frances Yeardley. Argall’s parents were Capt. Adam2 (1603-1640) and Sarah Offley.
Adam6 Thorowgood (William5, Argall4, Adam3, Adam2, William1)

John Thorowgood (Jr.) (1752-1787) married Frances Haynes. John’s parents were John6 (1714--1755) and Mary Anne Thorowgood. John’s parents were John Thorowgood Jr5 (1691-1719) and Pembroke Fowler. John’s parents were Col John4 (1661-1701) and Margaret Lawson. John’s parents were Lt. Col. AdamII3 (1638-1685) and Frances Yeardley. Adam’s parents were Capt. Adam2 (1603-1640) and Sarah Offley.
John6 Thorowgood (John5, John4, Adam3, Adam2, William1)

The Battles that Solidified Our Democracy

Hampton Roads is the key place where two strategic mistakes by commanders were made that determined the outcome of the two most devastating wars fought on American soil. If Gen. Scott had listened to Gen. Butler, the North would probably have won a quick victory, but first is the story about the British having the opportunity toward the end of the Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783) to defeat the American Continental Army. Here is that story.

The Greatest Mistake of the Revolutionary War
General Charles Cornwallis -- General Benedict Arnold
On March 14, 1781, at the age of 23, Major General Marquis de Lafayette (Sep 1757-May 1834) arrived in Hampton Roads to start a campaign against the British. Two months later Cornwallis arrived from an unsuccessful campaign in the Carolinas to take command from Benedict Arnold who told Cornwallis that he feared his army could be trapped if their base was near the coast. Cornwallis ignored Arnold and instead chose Yorktown. He then sent Arnold, the best strategist of the war, back to New York.

Now with Cornwallis’ superior force, Lafayette was only able to hide from him using intelligence from his two spies. James Armistead Lafayette (1748-1830), enslaved under William Armistead of Virginia, was released to serve under Lafayette as a double agent, and Charles (Charley) Morgan (1745-1803) from Monmouth County, New Jersey was a soldier in Captain Gifford’s Third New Jersey Regiment, a man noted for telling tall tales.

Realizing Armistead’s utility as a double agent, Lafayette sent him to the British lines. Assuming Armistead was a run-away slave, British officers spoke openly about strategies and battle plans in front of Armistead. Armistead fed Cornwallis false information about the French forces, and after sneaking back, he related to Lafayette very accurate and detailed information about British movements and supply routes.

Later, after listening to some of Morgan’s believable stories, Lafayette had him sneak into Cornwallis’ army ranks acting as a dessenter. Morgan was able to convince those around him Lafayette had a superior force. This false information caused Cornwallis to further hunker down in Yorktown rather than retreat. After successfully completing his operation, Morgan then escaped back to the American forces disguised in a British uniform and brought with him five British dessenters. They divulged valuable information about Cornwallis’ movements and his supply routes.

With intelligence from his two spies, Lafayette was able to cut off Cornwallis' land supply access to Yorktown.

On September 28, 1781, General George Washington, commanding a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops, began the siege of Yorktown. Lafayette, commanding a division of American troops, was present at the surrender of Cornwallis on October 19, 1781.

Most historians believe Yorktown was the crucial battle that would decide the victors of the Revolutionary War and American independence, but museums, like the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, regularly omit the history of Lafayette’s use of two spies along with the history of Virginia Beach Revolutionary activities.

Leading up to the Battle of Yorktown there were mistakes made on both sides. Following are those accounts that took place in Virginia during 1781.

The Battle of Cape Henry. On March 16, 1781 local residents saw British battle ships anchored at the mouth of the Lynnhaven River. They had arrived that evening after being mauled by a French fleet under the command of Admiral Destouches during the Battle of Cape Henry. Destouches had soundly beaten the English fleet under the Command of Vice Admiral Arbuthnot and could have completely destroy the British fleet, but instead Destouches sailed to Newport RI, a tactical error, leaving Benedict Arnold’s troops to continue raiding up and down the James River until General Charles Cornwallis arrived in May.

The Battle of the Capes. On September 1, 1781, Admiral deGrasse, commander of the French fleet, arrived at the mouth of the Lynnhaven River in a five day wait for the British. He detached a few of his ships to blockade the York and James Rivers farther up the bay. Many of  his ships at anchor were missing officers, men, and boats when the British fleet was sighted on the morning of September 5, 1781. Their arrival caught deGrasse completely off guard. Local residents, perhaps members of Lynnhaven Parish Church, were at the time helping the French gather supplies. D
eGrasse had to leave as many as 200 of his crew behind when he ordered his fleet to cut anchor at 11:30 am to begin sailing out of the bay with the noon tide. The French took more than four hours to move single file through the Bay's narrow channel. Admiral Graves commander of the English fleet waited 15 miles from the mouth of the bay, a tragic tactical mistake.

About 4:00 pm the French ships cleared the Bay. The British were the first to open fire, but the French got the first advantage by aiming at British masts and rigging, crippling the two led British ships. Throughout the battle, a key factor in the British poor showing was an uncoordinated system of signaling giving the French ships the ablity to close in on the British line without a British counter offensive. Admiral Hood was interpreting the signal for close action as “maintain the line of battle” As a consequence Hood’s squadron did not close rapidly and never became significantly engaged in the action. As a result, three of Admiral Hood’s ships fired only a few shots.

By 5:30 after an hour of intense fighting, both the French and British had reached the point of exhaustion, and by 6:30, with the approach of darkness, all firing ceased.

For the next four days the two sides kept sight of each other as they both sailed further from the Chesapeake’s mouth. Worried the British would slip by the French into the Bay unnoticed at night, DeGrasse set sail for the Bay early the morning of September 10. The British, meanwhile, the night before, lost the advantage of being the first in the Bay by being distracted by a leaking ship, the Terrible. To add insult to injury, Graves learned that eight French ships under Admiral de (bal rous), Barras sailing from Newport, Rhode Island had snuck into the Bay to join with deGrasse.

By September 14, when neither the French or English had scored a decisive victory, Graves realized the situation was now out of hand and sailed for New York where he intended to make repairs, organize a larger relief effort, and return to the Chesapeake. He did not arrive until two days after Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown.

This epic battle was perhaps the most significant battle in American history. By holding the British fleet from reaching Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown with vital supplies, deGrasse assured General Washington of a victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown, a
 critical battle in securing America's independence from England.

Sep 5, 1781, the Battle of the Capes
(French on the left and British on the right)

A memorial stone plaque at Jamestown Colonial National Historic Parks, Cape Henry: "I wish it was in my power to express to Congress how much I feel myself indebted to the Count deGrasse and his fleet." G. Washington Oct 19, 1781
"I consider myself infinitely happy to have been of some service to the United States reserve me a place in your memory." deGrasse Nov 3, 1781
Statue of French Commander Francois-Joseph Paul Marquis de Grasse

During the Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783) war there was heated debate within Lynnhaven Parish Church between those siding with the British as loyalists and those staunch American patriots. Colonel Edward Hack Moseley (1717 - 1783) was loyal to King George III and remained loyal throughout the war.  His son Lt Col Edward Hack Moseley Jr (1743 – 1814) stood on the opposite side, but this did not affect their relationship. One member of Lynnhaven Parish Church went further than just talk. Captain Saunders II (1754 - 1834) chose to be a loyalist and joined the Queen's Loyal Virginia Regiment in opposition to his father, Captain Jonathan Saunders I (1726 – 1765) a staunch American patriot. Although he was not in the Battle of Yorktown, the congregation assumed he was. His regiment was at Yorktown for the battle against Washington, but he was ordered to Charleston to command the garrison there. 
Captain John Sanders II (1754 - 1834)
Photo from the American Revolution Museum
at Yorktown, Virginia

While Sanders joined the British Army, his neighbor young Lemuel Thorowgood (c. 1763 - 1785), was  commanding troops doing their best to protect Princess Anne, Norfolk, Accomack, and Northampton counties. The British had taken over the Thoroughgood estate, home to Lemuel, his wife Sarah Calvert Thoroughgood, and Lemuel’s father Adam Thoroughgood (c. 1718- 1768). When British soldiers told Sarah they would give her husband a pardon if he would stop fighting and come home, she bravely stood up to them and in the tradition of Thoroughgood wives, she replied with rebellious indignation, "I would rather see him dead!" During that time, in short order, Lemuel became a Captain, then a Major, and finally a Lt. Colonel by the end of the war. As a result of a war-time wound Lemuel died in 1785 at the age of 22.
This plaque of Col. John Thorowgood is on Northhampton Boulevard, Virginia Beach at the southwest corner of the Lake Lawson Lake Smith Natural Area.
The inscription reads, John Thorowgood Jr., Revolutionary-Era leader, lived on an 840-acre plantation near here, on Little Creek. He was elected to the Convention of 1776, which adopted Virginia’s resolutions for independence, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the state’s first constitution. Thorowgood represented Princess Anne County in the inaugural session of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1776 and served for six additional terms. During the Revolutionary War he commanded the county militia and by 1781 was a prisoner of war. In his will, written in 1786, he directed that his enslaved African Americans be freed after the deaths of his siblings, to whom they were bequeathed.  

John Thorowgood Jr. (1752 – 1787) was commander of the Princess Anne county militia. He rose to become county lieutenant, in command of all its militia. Sometime between February and September of 1781, he was captured. Pleas were made for his exchange but he was still a prisoner of war in August 1782.

Captain Dennis Dawley (1760-1779) was another Lynnhaven Parish Church war veteran. He fought in the Revolutionary War and was most likely killed fighting. His memorial plaque is on a wall in the back of our church. It reads, "
To the glory of God and in loving memory of
Captain Dennis Dawley,
Vestryman of this church."

Also Captain William Woodhouse (1739 – 1774) was in the Virginia and Continental Armies and died just before the war started.  

By mid-September Washington and Rochambeau’s forces had completed their 500-mile one month march to Yorktown.
A Virginia State Historical Highway Marker, Meeting of Three Commanders, at Lynnhaven Colony Park on Shore Drive, across from Beach Haven Drive.  

Two weeks after the sea battle and ten days before the Battle of Yorktown began, General Washington met with de Grasse and Comte de Rochambeau 18 September 1781 aboard de Grasse's flagship, just off the Lynnhaven Inlet, to strategize the upcoming battle at Yorktown. This was in the same location de Grasse had waited for the English war ships on 1 September 1781.

On 19 October 1781 General Cornwallis' surrender to Washington at Yorktown brought the war essentially to an end.
The Revolutionary War would mark the beginning of the end of the “Golden Age,” a time of prosperity and economic growth in Princess Anne County.  Lynnhaven Parish Church served as the “Mother Church” of a rich and aristocratic Princess Anne County exclusively from English ancestry making up almost half the population, with a quarter being slaves and a quarter Native Americans. Although a few people were beginning to steal away to Presbyterian and Baptist churches, the vast majority of Princess Anne County still belonged to one church, the Lynnhaven Parish Anglican Church.
Toward the end of the war the Articles of Confederation (1781) helped keep some local control over a church weakened by the political power, wealth, and social prestige lost by English rule, but that document would be short-lived. The Virginia gentry became aware the federal government would not be able to collect enough taxes for a nation on the verge of bankruptcy, and a stronger federal document became necessary. Because of their family status, Anthony Walke and his distant cousin Thomas Walke IV (1760 – 1797) were chosen to represent Princess Anne County at the 1788 Virginia Constitutional Convention. They were both great-grandsons of Colonel Thomas Walke (1642-1694), the first Walke to come to Lynnhaven Parish in 1670. In order for the Constitution to become law two-thirds or 9 of the 13 states had to ratify it. After New Hampshire became the 9th state, even though Virginia had yet to vote, they along with New York were locked in bitter debates. Their failure to ratify would reduce the new union by 2 large, populated, wealthy states, geographically splintering the new nation.  Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799) argued for hours at the Virginia convention against the Constitution, but James Madison’s (1751 – 1836) persuasive and subtle logic persuaded the Walkes, who held sway over a few other anti-federalists opposing the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government, to change their votes; and on June 25, 1788, by a narrow margin, Virginia voted yes to the new Constitution.  With Virginia voting yes, New York caved and also by a narrowly vote approved the Constitution.
Now that England was gone, the Virginian gentry lost their high status in the community without an Anglican Church (the Church of England) to collect a tithing tax or to purchase a commission in the army or navy.  Anglicans were left without organization and the Virginia legislature and local governments began seizing Anglican property, even though it belonged to the newly established Episcopal Church. With no Bishops at the beginning, out of 107 Virginia parishes before the war only 42 survived. Lynnhaven Parish Church was one of the surviving churches.

The War of 1812 

War of 1812 Marker (front and back) 
at Historic Jamestown Colonial National
Historic Parks Cape Henry
Three American sailors were captured in 1806 and forced into British Royal Navy duty. Escaping from the British they enlisted on the U.S. frigate Chesapeake, but when the Chesapeake cleared Cape Henry June 22, 1807, the British commandeered the ship and recaptured the Americans. This news of yet another violation of American sovereignty along with British attempts to restrict U.S. trade and block American westward expansion led the young nation to declare war against England on June 18, 1812 (War of 1812). Less than a month later on July 8, 1812, just off Cape Henry, on the topsail schooner Dash, members of the Princess Ann County Militia, including Sgt. Brownley (1780 -  1819), Pvt. Henderson (1769 - 1825) and Pvt. Walke (1778 - 1820) captured the British sloop, HMS Whiting, the first ship captured in the war. All three men are buried in the Old Donation Cemetery.
Not being part of the American Navy;
nonetheless, private armed vessels 
such as the Dash were authorized to seize enemy vessels. 
Half a year later, sailing on the Dash, the Princess Ann County Militia took a crew of 24 men prisoner. Soon after several initial humiliating defeats, the British sent a strong naval flotilla that would seize hundreds of American vessels and raid towns up and down the James River attacking Norfolk and burning Hampton to the ground. Despite the British strength, the Princess Ann County Militia continued skirmishes with British landing parties along Chesapeake beaches throughout the war which lasted until the Treaty of Gent was ratified by the U.S.

Virginians Turn Against the Constitution
in the Civil War (1861-1865)

The Greatest Mistake of the Civil War
If Gen. Scott had listened to Gen. Butler, the North would probably have won a quick victory.

In May 1861 the Union Army captured Fort Monroe right in the heart of the Confederacy. Under the command of Major General Benjamin Butler, his Union forces began to expand their presence through the Hampton Roads region disrupting and capturing Confederate batteries. His objective was to sever the northern and southern components of the Confederacy. In July 1861 while Butler was scoring some victories, he needed more reinforcements.

About the same time the Battle of Bull Run turned into a disaster for untrained Union troops. They unexpectedly retreated in a disorganized rout. Worried that Confederate troops would follow the Union troops to Washington, Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, Chief of the Union Army, disregarded General Benjamin Butler’s request for more troops. Instead, he ordered Butler to send 4,000 of his soldiers north. Now weakened, Butler’s detachments were forced back. Rather than scoring a quick Union victory, the emboldened Confederates fought on for nearly four more years laying waste to the South which triggered an era of Reconstruction (1863-77).

During this period the rights of former slaves (freedmen) flipped from white domination to freedmen holding office with privileges they never had before. Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers, businessmen, and politicians. By alleging widespread corruption, excessive state spending, and ruinous taxes, they were branded "carpetbaggers." As a result, this became a period of racial terror with nearly 2,000 freedmen being lynched by white mobs.

Had Butler prevailed, the Southern states would have been spared untold loss, and Reconstruction would have been averted, diminishing the rise of Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan.  

Reference: "Fort Monroe, the Key to the South," 2000, by John V. Quarstein, page49

On June 26, 1862, Private George H.H. Woodhouse’s, Company F, of the 6th Virginia Infantry, the Seaboard Rifles from Princess Anne County, stumbled into a line of Union infantry two weeks before the Battle of Malvern Hill near Richmond. Coming under heavy fire, Woodhouse lost his left arm, but would continue to fight. After recovering from his wounds on July 13, 1863, Woodhouse was assigned with the rear guard to protect General Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg. The Union army caught up, and Woodhouse was captured July 14, but because of his handicap he was released. Fifty years later, despite his handicap, he would help cut down trees that had grown up inside the abandoned Old Donation Church. His plaque hangs on the back wall of the church.

George H.H. Woodhouse (1840-1915)

After 40 Years, Virginians Regain the Fight for our Constitution
William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930)
was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913)
President Taft came to Hampton Roads in 1905 as Secretary of War to investigate fortifying the Chesapeake Bay. When Taft became president four years later, the bay remained unprotected even though Fort Wool at the mouth of the James River had in 1902 been funded for upgrade, but it did not protect the mouth of the Chesapeake.  A debate ensued over whether to build an island in the middle of the bay or build a fortification at Cape Henry. The Taft board recommended constructing an island fortress at a cost of about $2.6 million. To bolster support for the island which had been delayed, President Taft came back to the area in 1909 to deliver an address in which he declared his support for the construction of the island fortification midway between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. The island plan eventually proved too costly, and in 1913 the federal government instead purchased land at Cape Henry.

In 1914 the Virginia General Assembly officially turned over nearly 345 acres of pristine bay and ocean front property to the federal government for a military installation naming it for Gen. John Patton Story, a noted coast artilleryman of his day. His distinguished career lasted 40 years. The land purchase did not include the two lighthouses. After World War I Fort Story entered a period of post-war inactivity which lasted until the beginning of World War II when the Headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command was moved from Fort Monroe to Fort Story to fortify the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. Requiring more space, the Virginia General Assembly turned over additional land for Fort Story stretching to the Atlantic Ocean where the two lighthouses were located.  

Fearing German submarines (U-boats) hundreds of mines were laid at the mouth of the Chesapeake, the largest mining operation on the East Coast, and the great Cape Henry sand dunes rising higher than one-hundred feet were excavated down for fear the German U-boats could use their prominent appearance from miles off shore to guide them up the Chesapeake Bay.  
The Great Cape Henry Sand Dunes:
Photo by Harry Cowles Mann about 1910

Despite these precautions, in June 1942 a U-boat came into the Chesapeake during the night dropping mines of its own. Over the next few days, five ships collided with the enemy mines and were sunk or damaged, the first time an enemy has came to America’s shores. It would be almost another 60 years before another enemy attacked our homeland (September 11, 2001).

In 1944, Fort Story began to transition from a heavily fortified coast artillery garrison to a convalescent hospital for returning veterans. By the time of its closing March 15, 1946, the hospital had accommodated more than 13,472 patients.  

While Fort Story was accommodating US wounded troops, Camp Ashby was housing captured Germans. Located in the Thalia community of Princess Anne County, this Prisoner of War camp housed 6,000 German troops, many of Adolf Hitler's Afrika Corps who had been captured in North Africa during the closing years of World War II. Today little else remains of the original camp.
"CNIC HQ Home, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Former Fort Story History,"
Fort Story’s Prime Seems Past, Swallowed by Time and Sea. Until Gunfire Crackles In The Woods,” the Virginian Pilot, Nov 30, 2019 by Joanne Kimberlin 
New Research into German POWs in Virginia Beach during World War II,” by Eric Hodies, the Virginian Pilot, Feb 23, 2018

The War Between the States,” 2010, by Kenneth Harris 
"History of the Episcopal Church (United States)"

"Treaty of Paris (1783)"
"The Revolutionary War in Virginia" -
"Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum,”

Admiral Comte deGrasse” -
"HMS Whiting (1805)" War of 1812
Note: The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown opened in March 2017. Unfortunately, there is little information about Revolutionary War activities in Hampton Roads. For example, under the portrait of Benedict Arnold, the paragraph ends by just saying that after he switched sides he went on to fight for the British in Virginia. That’s all!  And as for Captain Saunders II (1754 - 1834) there is just a portrait of him.

Virginians Fight for Democracy Around the World

*Isabell Staver (1922-2017) was born in Norfolk and graduated from Marion Junior College. She became a nurse after studying at Stuart Circle Hospital in Richmond, Va. Isabell was an ensign in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, attending to burn patients in Florida and at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington, DC. during WWII.
*Preble Staver, (1921-2017) served in the US Marine Corps during World War II, in the Pacific. Preble received the Bronze Star with Valor for meritorious service at the Battle of Iwo Jima. After the war, he continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, retiring at rank of major.  
Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver met on a blind date while they were both enrolled in college in Philadelphia. As the US entered into WWII, the  couple decided to enroll together to serve their country. Preble went into the Marines while Isabell became a Navy nurse in Maryland. Five months after the end of WWII, the pair were married on February 15, 1946. Sadly, in 1975, their son Peter passed away during the last football game of his senior year of high school. Preble and Isabell retired to Blue Ridge, Georgia, in 1987, where they helped found St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Later they moved to Norfolk, Va. The both went on an Honor Flight in October 2013.  In 2013, things got tough when Isabell began to develop dementia. As a result, the couple moved into a long-term care facility in Norfolk, Virginia. Just shy of Isabell’s 96th birthday, on October 25, 2017, Isabell passed away. Preble was there by her side. Fourteen hours later, Preble passed away.

Another famous war veteran was Larry Payne (1948 - 2012), but unlike Preble the lingering effects of war fallowed him throughout his life.  Larry served for 22 years as an Army Infantry officer in Vietnam. He was a distinguished leader, earning a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. After the war he was asked to teach Leadership at West Point as a result of the outstanding reports of the men who served with him. In Korea he was one of the architects of operation Paul Bunyan, the US response to the North Korean axe murders of two Army officers who were clearing branches in the Joint Security Area, part of the Demilitarized Zone. He visited prisoners, fed the hungry, and brought good news where it was needed. He is buried in our cemetery in the Memorial Garden [known as the Scattering Garden].

Elmer Heck pictured in 1946
*Elmer Gardner Heck (1917-2004) was on the USS Nashville when it was hit by a Kamikaze pilot during WWII.


Joe Trammel pictured in 1946
*Joseph "Joe" W. Trammel (1913-2019) was a Navy pilot flying in many dangerous missions. Later Joe became one of the first to fly helicopters for the Navy. He retired as a Lt. Commander.

*Robert English, (1924-2011) fought in the
Battle of the Bulge.
*John David Leitch, Jr. (1917 – 2004) served at Pearl Harbor during the devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. 

*Carl Ditto, (Jackie Murray’s Father) fought in WWII aboard the
USS Sargent Bay. He retired a Naval Captain.

*Stanley Fitchett Scott (1923-2012) was on board when his ship was torpedoed Aug 13, 1943. 
The USS Wasp aircraft carrier was downed by Japanese torpedoes September 15, 1942.
*Seab Edgar "Frenchie" DuVall, Jr. (1924-2008) flew combat missions in the Philippines and over China while stationed aboard USS Wasp, Essex and Midway. Frenchie survived crash landings off Pearl Harbor and in the South China Sea.
*Frank L. Johnstone – (1924-2009) flew bombers in the Pacific during WWII. He later served in the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam War. 
Dave Arnold pictured in 1946
*Joseph David Arnold III (1926-2008) served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War.

Robert Tripician pictured in 1946
*Robert J. Tripician (1926-2012) served in the Navy during World War II.  

*Charlton L. Murphy Jr. (1908-1961) served in the US Naval Rear (NC & GS) during WWII. 

*Fred Wald Robertson (1928-2007) served in the Army during WWII.
*James Rudolph Hodges (1910-1951) served in the Tec 5-2 Coast Artillery during WWII.
*Robert C. Briggs (1925-2011) served during WWII.

Al Jensen pictured in 1946
*Al Jensen (1906-2014) served during WWII. 

*George Whitecotton McAtee, (1926-2008) served during WWII.

F-80 Shooting Star
*Second Lieutenant John Ferebee fought in the Korean Combat flying the F-80 Shooting Star, the F86 Sabre Jet and the Texan T-6 in the Mosquito Squadron, he directed fighter bomber strikes. Anyone who has ever met John would say he had a presence about him which was infectious and inviting, offering an easy smile and a sense of humor that made everyone feel at home.

USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887)
*Raymond Foberg served in Vietnam off the coast as the Operations Officer aboard the USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) providing gunfire support from Danang Harbor.  He then served for a year in-country as the Executive Officer of Operation Sea Float and Solid Anchor.
Joe Jacobs (still living) and Bill Dullaghan (1944-2019) were part of the U.S.  multinational force sent to Beirut Lebanon in August 1982 to insure the safe evacuation of Palestinian and Syrian fighters from the city. On 23 Oct 1983 terrorist drove a truck into the compound loaded with explosives killing 241 U.S. military personnel. Seriously injured was Joe Jacobs. Fortunately, Bill went back to the ship just before the explosion. He worked tirelessly to help evacuate those injured.

Remembering Our Veterans
Those with an asterisk (*) fought in or during a war.
Those with a double asterisk (**) have a plaque on the church wall.
Casket Burial Ground \/
Davis, Herbert Lowell - Mar 3, 2011
Drew, Donald Wesley - Aug 27, 2001
Eaton Sr., William G. - Jan 25, 2011
*McAtee, George W. - Jun 25, 2008
Rinehart, Barton B. - Dec 30, 2008
*Trammel, Joseph "Joe" W. - June 27, 2019

Historic Area \/

*Brownley, Jno. (John) – Sep 28, 1819
Gwynne, Kemp - June 28, 1962
*Henderson, John – c.1825.
*Hodges, James Rudolph - Oct 25, 1951
Kellam, Henry, Capt. – c.1790
*Leitch, Jr., John David - Mar 1, 2004
Leitch, Elizabeth "Betty" Kidman - Apr 13, 2014
Moseley, Colonel Edward H. JR-1814
*Murphy Jr, Rear Admiral Charlton L. - Dec 5, 1961
Shipp, C.L. Apr 28, 1876
Saunders, Capt. Jonathan – Jan 1, 1765
*Walke, PVT Anthony - Sept 13, 1820
*Walke, Colonel Anthony – Nov 8, 1768
Memorial Garden (Scattering Garden) \/
*Arnold III, Joseph David - Nov. 5, 2008
Dullaghan Bill - February 28, 2019 (no plaque)
*Johnstone, Frank – May 28, 2009 (no plaque)
Joyce, Benjamin - Apr 13, 2012
*Payne, Lawrence W. - Nov 16, 2012 
In the Church Aisle \/
Tucker, Beverley D. Jr. - Jun 13, 2014 
Wall Columbarium \/
MacDougall, Donald - Oct 8, 2009 – space 5
Freeman, John Lawrence - May 12, 2004 - space 6
*DuVall, Jr., "Frenchie" - Nov 5, 2008 – space 14
Intrieri, Leonard - Jul 7, 2009 - space 30
*Scott, Stanley Fitchett- Dec 21, 2012 – space 41
In-ground Columbarium \/
Groenke, Mark J. – Aug 30, 1989 – space 14
Beale Jr., Robert O. - Mar 1, 2011 - space 25
Awbrey, Roy Dale – May 23, 2010 - space 29
*Robertson, Fred Waldo – Jan 6, 2007 - space 30
Bowers, Robert N. - Jun 23, 2014 – space 35
*Tripician, Robert J. - Aug 20, 2012 - space 37
Guarnieri, Lewis John – Feb 11, 2007 - space 46
Parks, Littleton Walke – Dec 23, 2007 - space 52
Parks, Ann Bradford - Jun 21, 2002 – space 54
Macgregor, Robert M – Jul 15, 2003 - space 58
Smith, Leonard C – Sep 22, 2008 – space 73
Gurioli, Lawrence V.  Apr 9, 2018 -space 111
*Staver, Isabell - Oct 25, 2017 -space 42
*Staver, Preble - Oct 25, 2017 - spce 41
Not Buried in our Cemetery \/
Boyll, William E. "Bill" - Dec 10, 2016
*Briggs, Robert C. - Apr 24, 2011
Campbell, K.C. - 17 Apr, 2016 
* **Dawley, Captain Dennis - c.1779
Edwards, Donald L. - Sep 8, 2016
*English, Robert N. - Jan 30, 2011
Ferebee, Constance L. - May 28, 2012
Ferebee, John T. Sr - Feb 27, 2010 
Fremd, Harry LeRoy - Jul 5, 2011
Gordon, Lee - Oct 3, 2018
Gribble, Russ – Aug 31, 2009
Groenke, Mark J - Aug 30, 1989
Grubbs, Colonel Alfred T. - Apr 26, 2013
*Heck, Elmer Gardner - Apr 15, 2004
 Hunter, Gene - circa 2001
*Jensen, Al - Mar 14, 2014
Lamond, Lt. Col. John Barton - Mar 7, 2008
Nash, Herbert Francis - May 24, 2017
Olsen, Richard l. “Buddy” - Feb  28, 2013
Pierce, Wayne P. - Nov 1, 2012
Quandt, Ted - July 4, 2017
Taylor, Raynor A. K.- Sep 3, 2013
Taylor, Gene Allender - Mar 6, 2020 
Valentine, Harry Carter Jr. - Apr 17, 2014
Wool, John E. (Johnny) Jr. - Nov 5, 2016
Moseley, Col Edward -1736
Moseley, Col Edward Hack, JR -1783
Thoroughgood, Col Adam - c.1780
Thorowgood,  Capt Adam - Feb 1640
Walke, Capt Thomas IV - c.1797
Walke, Col Anthony II - c.1779
Walke, Col Thomas I - c.1694
* **Woodhouse, George H.H. – Oct 24, 1915
Crews, Norm - Feb 28, 2019
Rio, Sebastian F. - Apr 13, 2020
Woodhouse, Captain William - 1774