Role in Ravensworth: Owner Parcel 18.104.22.168.6
Meade Battaile was born in Culpeper County, Virginia in May 1841 to Ann (Fitzhugh) and Charles R. Battaile. The 1850 federal census recorded Ann, age 45, as head of household living in Culpeper County with seven children, of which nine year old Meade was the second youngest.
In the second year of the Civil War, Meade enlisted on May 15, 1862 at Culpeper Courthouse and was assigned to Company B, 13th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia. He soon saw action and was wounded during the Battle of Sharpsburg / Antietam on September 17, 1862. That day and battle are remembered as the bloodiest single day in American military history with about 23,000 casualties. It’s also remembered as a turning point for the Union that gave President Lincoln the public support needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.1
The 13th Virginia Infantry’s role during the battle was supporting and defending an artillery unit from attacking Union forces, at one point slinging their weapons to help manhandle field pieces across a muddy field and into position. Then returning to the firing line to hold off Union attackers. Meade was one of about 7,750 Confederate wounded at Sharpsburg / Antietam.2
The wound must have been significant, as Meade did not return to duty until a year later in September 1863. Several months following, while participating in the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse (May 8 – 21, 1864), he was captured on May 12, 1864. May 12 was the most intensive day of the battle, with 9,000 Union and 8,000 Confederate casualties. Meade was among that day’s 3,000 Confederate prisoners captured.3
He was imprisoned at the Union facility at Fort Delaware, DL for the duration of the war. Upon signing a loyalty oath, Meade was released on June 19, 1865.4
The 1880 Federal Census recorded Meade living in the household of his 65 year old sister Elizabeth with other older siblings Israel, Ann, and Susan – all of them unmarried. His occupation was listed as “works farm.” It’s probable that the four were living in the Oak Hill house, which became Ann’s share of their mother’s property.
Between 1882 and 1894, Meade sold all but about 10 acres of his land in 23 separate sales to both African Americans, including former Oak Hill slaves, and Caucasians. In 1897, he signed over his remaining acres to settle loans.
In 1900, he and his sister Susan were living together. Both were still single. Meade was listed as head of household and neither had an occupation.5
Meade Battaile died in 1906 at age about 65. The location is uncertain. His remains were moved to the Fairfax City Cemetery sometime after April 1910. A notice in the Fairfax Herald on May 10, 1910 announced that a Camp Marr CV committee had been appointed “to attend to the removal of the remains of Meade Battaile to the Confederate mound in the cemetery.” His headstone inscription reads: “Meade Battle, 1840-1906, Stonewall Brig.”6
Note: The information presented here is adapted from a biographical sketch of Meade Battaile written for the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association (FCCPA) Veteran Honor Roll.
- “The Battle of Antietam,” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Antietam&oldid=681756381, accessed November, 22, 2015, Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page ↩
- “Confederate Regiment 13th Virginia Infantry,” http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?unit_id=558, accessed August 22, 2011, Antietam on the Web, encyclopediahttp://antietam.aotw.org/index.php. ↩
- “Battle of Spotsylvania Court House,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Spotsylvania_Court_House, accessed August 22, 2011, Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page. ↩
- Brothers and Cousins: Confederate Soldiers and Sailors of Fairfax County, VA, 12, compiled by William Page Johnson, II. The personal details of Meade’s Civil War service are primarily from Johnson’s book. ↩
- 1900 Federal Census ↩
- The 13th Virginia Infantry served for a time in the corps commanded by Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson – The Stonewall Brigade. Meade’s last name is misspelled, perhaps intentionally with poetic license. ↩