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American Beacon (Norfolk, Virginia),

September 1, 1831


        The Junior Volunteers… returned yesterday about 11 o’clock…. The officers of the expedition speak in strongest terms of gratitude of the kindness and attention received from many persons on their line of march, particularly from Dr. Murray and Mr. Urquhart, of Southampton, and of the citizens in general. Of the generous hospitality of the beautiful little town of Smithfield they will ever cherish a lively remembrance, they cannot speak of it in measured terms.


        To Col. [Colonel] Worth and Major Kirby and the officers and men under their command too much credit cannot be awarded. The promptness with which they prepared to succor their unfortunate countrymen, their rapid movement towards the scene of violence, and the energy displayed in the whole affair, as we are credibly informed, deserve the gratitude of the distressed inhabitants to whose succor they flew with so much alacrity, while it cannot fail to elicit the strongest approbation of their countrymen in general. The officers during the service have participated the hardy fare of the soldier, sleeping on planks, in wagons, carts, ect. They of course are much fatigued.


        The conduct of Capt. [Captain] Newton, on this occasion, is spoken in terms of the strongest commendation. The cheerfulness with which he assumed the command, the dispatch used in equipping his force, his attention to his men on the march, his activity, and the solicitude he manifested to reach the point of danger and afford succor and comfort to the afflicted people of Southampton, are represented as exciting the attention and commanding the grateful feelings of all who witnessed it. To him, therefore, his officers and their gallant associates of Fortress Monroe, we take pleasure in recording our sincere thanks, and cordial approbation. The officers and men we are happy to learn are in good health, though much more overcome with fatigue.




Adjutant General’s Officer)

Washington, August 26, 1831)


        Your communication of the 24th inst, reporting the insurrection of the blacks in Southampton County, and the succor furnished from Fortress Monroe in compliance with the call made on you by the Borough of Norfolk, has been received.


[p. 57]

        I have it in command to express to you the entire satisfaction of the President and Secretary of War, at the promptitude with which you dispatched three companies of Artillery, under command of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Worth, at the request of the civil authority, on the lamentable and unforeseen occasion.


I am Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

R. Jones, Adj’t Gen.



To Col. Jas. House, 1st Artillery,

            Commanding, Fortress Monroe, Va.



From Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), pp. 57-58.

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