Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

RangerJ

Cadet
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Eastern Shore of Maryland
jc00326 (1).jpg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
In 1863, when Isaac S. Pyle, a private in Co. A, Purnell Legion Cavalry scratched his name into a brick at a rural Virginia church, he may have hoped it would be seen by someone far in the future.

If so, he got his wish.

For most of the war, Pyle and the other members of Captain Robert E. Duvall's command stayed busy on Virginia's Eastern Shore chasing smugglers and blockade runners, guarding an important telegraph link from Washington to Fortress Monroe, and generally showing the flag in an area of mixed loyalties but almost universal desire to see them gone. Not surprisingly, the Union soldiers would have rather been home and blamed the locals, as well as the rest of the Southern population, for the disruption of their lives.

They took out their frustration in some cases on the most harmless of victims, local churches.

Perhaps Pyle's rationale was, "Everybody else is doing it," which was in good measure true. Indeed, a large percentage of the bricks on the front of the church, and quite a few on the other sides bear names, dates, and initials.

But the defacing didn't stop there; one wing of the church was almost totally demolished and inside, where Pyle and his buddies stabled their horses, practically everything flammable was stripped and burned. By the end of the war the church was in ruins.

No more. St. George's Episcopal Church is now in a wonderful state of restoration. Even the graffiti looks good, especially when one considers that most of it is at least 155 years old. The town of Pungoteague is located in Accomack County, on Virginia's Eastern Shore, which incidentally, is the home of the Pungy, a swift, gaff-rigged, two-masted schooner and cousin to the Baltimore clipper. The beautiful Lady Maryland is a Pungy, and is painted in the traditional pink and green.

[Thanks to mkyzzzrdet for taking the trouble to peruse Findagrave.com. The above photo of the marker is similar to the one he found but I found it on the www.esva.net/ghotes website, (Genealogical and Historical Society of the Eastern Shore), a treasure trove for local area researchers. It was taken by Denis Wood; there is apparently no other tombstone.]

This is just a guess, but where Co A cane from the Baltimore area for the most part, it appears that Isaac found a compelling reason to stay or return to Accomack County instead of returning home; possibly a young lady. At any rate his wife -first name not known - died in 1904 and was buried in Machipongo, as was he.
 
Last edited:

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
11,568
Location
East Texas
Welcome to the forums from the host of the Stonewall Jackson Forum!
 

RangerJ

Cadet
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Eastern Shore of Maryland

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Top