Lieut Robert Walsh

Lieut Robert Walsh

Birth
Death 13 Apr 1865
Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Plot Confederate Cemetery (Sec: 1 Lot: 425)
Memorial ID 56343575 · View Source
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As you walk through the memorial arch leading to the Confederate Cemetery in Oakwood, the first grave is that of Lt. Walsh of the 11th Texas.

Much has been written about Lt. Walsh and how he was hung in Raleigh during the closing days of the Civil War, however, there are also unanswered questions as to who this young man really was.

Input from Texas 11th and Civil War researchers having information on the true identity of this soldier are welcome.

No record of an any Walsh serving with the 11th Texas was located. There are two men with the name of Edward WELCH in the rosters of the 11th Texas, but both were privates, not lieutenants.

Written accounts of the incident involving Lt. Walsh do not always identify his first name; and, those that do, appear to be anecdotal accounts. Notice of the hanging appeared in the April 15, 1865 edition of the Daily Progress in Raleigh, but did not state his first name. A slave narrative given by 82-year old Milly Henry in 1936 (some 71 years after the incident, when she was about 11 years old) identifies the soldier as Robert Walsh. Some sources indicate Lt. Walsh was making a valiant "last stand" as the Union Army entered Raleigh; others say he was part of a departing band of Confederate soldiers looting the city.

Lt. Walsh's grave was exhumed and re-interred at Oakwood Cemetery in 1867.

In Mark L. Bradley's book, This Astounding Close: the Road to Bennett Place, he states Lt. Walsh was hanged by the Yankees on 13 Apr 1865 soon after being caught by them. He was captured after opening fire on the Yankee cavalry as they entered Raleigh under a flag of truce and tried to, but was unable to escape by horseback after entering a dead end street and being thrown from his mount.

Walsh was not in any battle in Raleigh, as there was no battle in Raleigh. The City of Raleigh surrendered as General Sherman's approach was eminent. It is known the 11th Texas had been involved in skirmishes in and around Raleigh from April 12-13, 1865. On April 15th, the 11th reported skirmishes in Chapel Hill, and then on April 26, 1865 they were part of the Confederate surrender at Bennett's House in Durham Station, where Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Union Gen. William T. Sherman met and signed surrender papers for Southern armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. It was the largest troop surrender of the American Civil War.

*****
The following article was an excerpt taken from an article appearing in the Carolina Confederate, Volume XII, Number 3, - May/June 1997

"Rear Guard, Wheeler's Cavalry.

THE ONLY CASUALTY DURING THE OCCUPATION OF RALEIGH, N.C.

On April 12th, 1865, Governor Vance sent former governor's David L. Swain and W.A. Graham, Surgeon General Edward Warren, Colonel James G. Burr, and Major Devereux to meet with General Sherman regarding the surrender of the city of Raleigh. Not hearing from Swain or his party, Vance fled Raleigh. On the 13th of April, during a driving rainstorm, another ambassador group was dispatched to meet with Sherman. This assembly included Raleigh mayor, William H. Harrison. Harrison and his group of men who waited several hours for Sherman's field commander, General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick to arrive. Later that day, Harrison's group surrendered the city to General Kilpatrick along with a request for protection for the citizens of Raleigh. Kilpatrick accepted the surrender with one caution to Harrison's group, "this will be a peaceful occupation unless hostile actions are taken by your citizens." Later, as Kilpatrick's first columns approached the Capitol, the departing Confederate soldiers, Wheeler's Cavalry, had set fire to the railway station and a few stragglers were looting a store at the other end of Fayetteville Street when ex-Governor Swain shouted "the Yankees were coming." The Confederates fled, that is all of them but one.

Young Lt. Walsh, of the 11th Texas Cavalry mounted his horse, and took a position midway between the old New Berne Bank and the book-store (near Fayetteville Street and now, the Hargett Street intersection), drew his revolver and waited until Kilpatrick's advance guard was within a hundred yards. He discharged his pistol three times in rapid succession in the direction of the officers at the head of the troops. Walsh then wheeled, dug his spurs into his horse and galloped up Morgan Street, followed by a dozen Union horsemen in hot pursuit. Turning a corner, his horse fell. He remounted and dashed around the corner at Pleasant's store on Hillsboro Street. A few yards further on, near the bridge over the railroad, he was overtaken by his pursuers and brought back to Capitol Square, where General Kilpatrick scolded "your actions today have endangered the lives of many citizens of this town" and ordered his immediate execution by stating "take him from the eyes of the ladies and hang him". It is said that Walsh ask for five minutes to write to his wife, a request which was refused.

Lt. Walsh was hung in the grove of trees just behind the Lovejoy home, (at the corner of Lane and Bloodworth Street) where his body was immediately buried. He was buried with his feet sticking out of the ground. Miss Nannie Lovejoy asked the General if she could have him buried deeper and he consented and the grave was reopened and dug deeper with the Lieutenant's entire body being buried on the second burial. Lt. Walsh's body remained at the base of the "hanging tree" near the Lovejoy home until the spring of 1867, at which time he was exhumed and interred in the Confederate Section at Oakwood Cemetery.

This celebration is on the anniversary of the death of Confederate Lt. Walsh of the 11th Texas Cavalry, known as the lone defender of Raleigh against approaching federal troops in early April 1865. He was captured by federal troops and hanged without a trial. He was the first Confederate buried in Raleigh's Oakwood Cemetery. The Independent added that "You don't have to make the pilgrimage to celebrate. Just hoist a glass in Walsh's memory."

For more information on this incident you may check these sources:

As you walk through the memorial arch leading to the Confederate Cemetery in Oakwood, the first grave is that of Lt. Walsh of the 11th Texas.

Much has been written about Lt. Walsh and how he was hung in Raleigh during the closing days of the Civil War, however, there are also unanswered questions as to who this young man really was.

Input from Texas 11th and Civil War researchers having information on the true identity of this soldier are welcome.

No record of an any Walsh serving with the 11th Texas was located. There are two men with the name of Edward WELCH in the rosters of the 11th Texas, but both were privates, not lieutenants.

Written accounts of the incident involving Lt. Walsh do not always identify his first name; and, those that do, appear to be anecdotal accounts. Notice of the hanging appeared in the April 15, 1865 edition of the Daily Progress in Raleigh, but did not state his first name. A slave narrative given by 82-year old Milly Henry in 1936 (some 71 years after the incident, when she was about 11 years old) identifies the soldier as Robert Walsh. Some sources indicate Lt. Walsh was making a valiant "last stand" as the Union Army entered Raleigh; others say he was part of a departing band of Confederate soldiers looting the city.

Lt. Walsh's grave was exhumed and re-interred at Oakwood Cemetery in 1867.

In Mark L. Bradley's book, This Astounding Close: the Road to Bennett Place, he states Lt. Walsh was hanged by the Yankees on 13 Apr 1865 soon after being caught by them. He was captured after opening fire on the Yankee cavalry as they entered Raleigh under a flag of truce and tried to, but was unable to escape by horseback after entering a dead end street and being thrown from his mount.

Walsh was not in any battle in Raleigh, as there was no battle in Raleigh. The City of Raleigh surrendered as General Sherman's approach was eminent. It is known the 11th Texas had been involved in skirmishes in and around Raleigh from April 12-13, 1865. On April 15th, the 11th reported skirmishes in Chapel Hill, and then on April 26, 1865 they were part of the Confederate surrender at Bennett's House in Durham Station, where Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Union Gen. William T. Sherman met and signed surrender papers for Southern armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. It was the largest troop surrender of the American Civil War.

*****
The following article was an excerpt taken from an article appearing in the Carolina Confederate, Volume XII, Number 3, - May/June 1997

"Rear Guard, Wheeler's Cavalry.

THE ONLY CASUALTY DURING THE OCCUPATION OF RALEIGH, N.C.

On April 12th, 1865, Governor Vance sent former governor's David L. Swain and W.A. Graham, Surgeon General Edward Warren, Colonel James G. Burr, and Major Devereux to meet with General Sherman regarding the surrender of the city of Raleigh. Not hearing from Swain or his party, Vance fled Raleigh. On the 13th of April, during a driving rainstorm, another ambassador group was dispatched to meet with Sherman. This assembly included Raleigh mayor, William H. Harrison. Harrison and his group of men who waited several hours for Sherman's field commander, General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick to arrive. Later that day, Harrison's group surrendered the city to General Kilpatrick along with a request for protection for the citizens of Raleigh. Kilpatrick accepted the surrender with one caution to Harrison's group, "this will be a peaceful occupation unless hostile actions are taken by your citizens." Later, as Kilpatrick's first columns approached the Capitol, the departing Confederate soldiers, Wheeler's Cavalry, had set fire to the railway station and a few stragglers were looting a store at the other end of Fayetteville Street when ex-Governor Swain shouted "the Yankees were coming." The Confederates fled, that is all of them but one.

Young Lt. Walsh, of the 11th Texas Cavalry mounted his horse, and took a position midway between the old New Berne Bank and the book-store (near Fayetteville Street and now, the Hargett Street intersection), drew his revolver and waited until Kilpatrick's advance guard was within a hundred yards. He discharged his pistol three times in rapid succession in the direction of the officers at the head of the troops. Walsh then wheeled, dug his spurs into his horse and galloped up Morgan Street, followed by a dozen Union horsemen in hot pursuit. Turning a corner, his horse fell. He remounted and dashed around the corner at Pleasant's store on Hillsboro Street. A few yards further on, near the bridge over the railroad, he was overtaken by his pursuers and brought back to Capitol Square, where General Kilpatrick scolded "your actions today have endangered the lives of many citizens of this town" and ordered his immediate execution by stating "take him from the eyes of the ladies and hang him". It is said that Walsh ask for five minutes to write to his wife, a request which was refused.

Lt. Walsh was hung in the grove of trees just behind the Lovejoy home, (at the corner of Lane and Bloodworth Street) where his body was immediately buried. He was buried with his feet sticking out of the ground. Miss Nannie Lovejoy asked the General if she could have him buried deeper and he consented and the grave was reopened and dug deeper with the Lieutenant's entire body being buried on the second burial. Lt. Walsh's body remained at the base of the "hanging tree" near the Lovejoy home until the spring of 1867, at which time he was exhumed and interred in the Confederate Section at Oakwood Cemetery.

This celebration is on the anniversary of the death of Confederate Lt. Walsh of the 11th Texas Cavalry, known as the lone defender of Raleigh against approaching federal troops in early April 1865. He was captured by federal troops and hanged without a trial. He was the first Confederate buried in Raleigh's Oakwood Cemetery. The Independent added that "You don't have to make the pilgrimage to celebrate. Just hoist a glass in Walsh's memory."

For more information on this incident you may check these sources:


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  • Created by: pbfries
  • Added: 7 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56343575
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Robert Walsh (unknown–13 Apr 1865), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56343575, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by pbfries (contributor 46951237) .