Friday, November 18, 2016

Halstead, a Galvanized Yankee

The majority  of the Civil War soldiers who are buried in Lawrence County fought in the Union army.  However, the researchers did find this biography of a Confederate  who became a  Galvanized Yankee.     

HALSTEAD, JUDSON         1836-1878
31st Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company K (Private)
U. S. Navy (Landsman)

            Judson Joshua C. Halstead was born about 1836 to William Miller Halstead in Trumbull County, OH.  Miller Halstead is said to have bought land in Lawrence County, IL in 1839.

            On May 1, 1862, Judson enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army in Company K of the 31st Arkansas Infantry at Dardanelle, AR.  He gave his age as 24, his occupation as farmer, and his residence as Yell County, AR.  There were other Halsteads living in Yell County at that time.  As with many other soldiers on both sided, Halstead soon became ill; he was listed as sick in the hospital at London, TN from August 30 through December of 1862.  He was taken prisoner on May 20, 1864 at Cassville, GA by Union forces under Major General Thomas.  He was sent as a prisoner of war to Nashville, then to Louisville, and later to Rock Island, IL. 

       Union officials regularly recruited prisoners of war for service on the Union side.  Judson Halstead pledged his allegiance to the U. S. and became one of the “Galvanized Yankees.”  He was assigned as a “Landsman” for the receiving ship Ohio.  These “Galvanized Yankees” later suffered discrimination from North and South alike. Judson was discharged on October 31, 1864 at the hospital in Boston, MA.

            He married Roxey A. Stairs on January 11, 1870 in Perry County, IN.  He was listed on the 1870 census there as a 34 year old farm laborer with his 21 year old wife Anna and a four year old daughter Selina.  They divorced and Judson then married Mahala Ellen Alvey in Perry County, IN on November 16, 1871.  A son, John Thomas, was born on February 17, 1875.  Judson Halstead died on January 31, 1878 in Lawrence County, IL.  Family records indicate he was buried in Centerville Cemetery, but he is not listed on current records.  His wife Ellen lived in the Lawrence County Poor Farm and was destitute when she died in 1890.  The casket she was buried in was donated by the firm of Dexter Gardner & Son of Vincennes, IN.

Don't forget to stop by the new Research Library if you are looking for military records of Civil War soldiers, or other military material.