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 • Dinwiddie County
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Capt John Avery Heald
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Birth: Nov. 30, 1842
Penobscot County
Maine, USA
Death: Apr. 6, 1865
Virginia, USA

John Avery Heald was the youngest of a family of twelve, and was a maternal descendent of Capt. Miles Standish and Gov. William Bradford of "Mayflower" fame. When he was eleven years old, his father abandoned the family. As a boy, he was a Congressional page in Washington, D.C., and in his teens he became a merchant seaman. In the first year of the Civil War, at age eighteen, on October 8, 1861, Heald enlisted as a private in Company E, First Regiment Maine Volunteer Cavalry. He then stood five feet eleven inches high, with a dark complexion, dark eyes, and a robust build. Due to his great martial ability, he was appointed corporal on April 7, 1862, and appointed sergeant on September 1, 1862. In the latter months of 1863, he served as an acting second lieutenant, and in January 1864, was commissioned second lieutenant. That month, he had the distinction of leading a detachment of men from his regiment in the famed Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid. From March to June, 1864, he acted a provost marshal of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Cavalry Corps. When his company commander was killed in action, in June 1864, Heald was given the captaincy. Although still somewhat young, his courage and experience instilled confidence and devotion in the men of his command. The First Maine Cavalry fought in many major engagements, including Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, Mine Run, and Cold Harbor. Heald's part in numerous actions of his regiment and on special assignments (including service on the staff of Gen. David M. Gregg) was highly commendable. After participating in some thirty battles and numerous engagements of lesser magnitude, Captain Heald met his death near Sayler's Creek, Virginia, only three days before the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Ordered to attack Lee's supply train, Heald was shot in the top of his head, was found unconscious, and died an hour after being shot. Sources: Edward P. Tobie, HISTORY OF THE FIRST MAINE CAVALRY, 1861-1865 (Boston, 1887), p. 243, 433, 526-67; Military service record of John A. Heald and pension records of Jane Heald (John Heald's mother), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; REPORT OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MAINE FOR THE YEARS 1864-1865 (Augusta, 1866), p. 1051; Leon Basile, "Flask of a Fallen Soldier," NORTH SOUTH TRADER, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jan.-Feb. 1981), pp. 20-21. 
Poplar Grove National Cemetery
Dinwiddie County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Leon Edmund Basile
Record added: May 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 69336088
Capt John Avery Heald
Added by: Leon Edmund Basile
Capt John Avery Heald
Added by: Mandy G.
Capt John Avery Heald
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- Veteran's family
 Added: May. 11, 2014

- Leon Edmund Basile
 Added: May. 4, 2011

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