Wright Stephen Batchelor, A Soldier of Two Sides (Debbi)

Wright Stephen Batchelor tintype

Wright Stephen Batchelor tintype. Click for a larger image.

My grandmother, who lived to be almost 101, told me about this Confederate ancestor.  She knew about him because she knew her grandmother, Sally Ann Ward Batchelor, who died in 1925.  Sally Ann lived with my grandmother’s family in Nash County for many years and told my grandmother many stories about the Civil War and Reconstruction.  My grandmother remembered those stories.  When I, in turn, asked her questions she told me that Wright Stephen Batchelor had fought for the Confederacy.

Wright Stephen Batchelor was born in Nash County, NC on 25 May 1828 and he died in the same county on 4 November 1886.  He married Sally Ann Ward 19 June 1857 and they had eleven children.

Marriage bond of Wright Stephen Batchelor and Sally Ann Ward

Marriage bond of Wright Stephen Batchelor and Sally Ann Ward. Click for a larger image.

Part of the Wright Stephen Batchelor service record

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record. Click to see a larger image.

With the information I had—his name and the fact that he fought—I checked North Carolina Troops and found that Batchelor was a member of Co. A, 47th NCST. Armed with this knowledge I checked his compiled service record on microfilm at the NC State Archives.  Once I got his service records, the flood gates opened.  He enrolled for active service at age 33.

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record that mentions his capture at Bristoe Station. Click to see a larger image.

One of the muster cards mentioned that WSB was captured at Bristoe Station and was imprisoned at Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC in October of 1863 but was swiftly transferred to Point Lookout Prison in Maryland.

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record showing him serving with the 1st Regiment of U.S. Volunteers. Click to see a larger image.

While he was at Point Lookout he took the Oath of Allegiance and joined the Union army. So many Confederate prisoners did this that a phrase was coined.  They call these soldiers galvanized Yankees and, rather than send them back into the fighting in the South, these soldiers were usually sent out West to fight Indians.  WSB ended up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record

Part of Wright Stephen Batchelor's service record showing an inventory of what he took with him when he deserted the Union Army. Click to see a larger image.

Evidently, he did not like it there because he deserted the Union Army and came back home to Nash County, where he was paroled when the war ended.

Photograph of Wright Stephen Batchelor's tombstone

Photograph of Wright Stephen Batchelor's tombstone. Click to see a larger image.

WSB continued to live in Nash County the rest of his life and is buried there. 

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