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Excavation of Point pits reveal reality of Civil War camp life

Multiple pits recently unearthed in Gloucester Point lend clues as to what life was like for Civil War soldiers when they weren’t on the battlefield.

Drawing on historical accounts, maps, and the results on ongoing archaeological work, Victoria Gum of Data Investigations LLC and the Fairfield Foundation informed those in attendance at Sunday’s Gloucester Historical Society’s July meeting of the finds. The meeting was held in the Fellowship Hall of Abingdon Episcopal Church, White Marsh.

Her program was titled “It’s the Pits: Civil War Camp Features at Gloucester Point, Virginia” and focused on camp life, a topic often glossed over in favor of tales of combat heroism and grand engagements.

Leading into the Civil War, populations in Gloucester Point had fallen sharply in the decades since Washington and Lafayette had defeated the British. 

Period maps Gum presented showed limited structures and dwellings suggesting that by 1861 “Gloucest...

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