ALGenWeb : County Index: Cherokee County home : Civil War Soldiers, Confederate : Hale
Don Jones, Researcher · Sent by Martha Bankson Lyle
Family genealogists and historians may be interested in this new information concerning Fielden Lewis Hale (1814-1894).
The Hale family is well documented in two publications: Cherokee County Heritage, published by the Cherokee County Historical Society, Inc. and Northern Alabama, Historical and Biographical, by Smith and DeLand. Fielden and his wife Elizabeth lived in Cherokee County, Alabama during part of the Civil War.
Now comes this interesting historical note by the researcher, Don Jones, DJNJPI@aol.com. Donīs avocation is collecting and researching inscribed and presentation weapons. Fieldenīs story begins with a Confederate sword. Here, in Donīs words:
His story begins on a Confederate sword made by Thomas and Griswold of New Orleans. On the top mount of the scabbard the inscription reads:
/Capt. F. L. Hale
The sword [says Jones] has been in a famous Confederate collection for many years, and although prior research connected it to Captain Fielden L. Hale of Hillsville, Carroll County, Virginia; the Louisiana connection was never made. Hale's "official record" in the archives only details his service for 11 months as the Captain of Company D in the 29th Virginia Infantry, the "Carroll Rifle Rangers". He was discharged upon his own request, on May 13, 1862 due to his age and his stated inability to comply with the rigors of field life.
I have uncovered a letter dated July 11, 1862, written by Hale from the Goodrich Plantation in Louisiana, (Goodrich was the precursor to the Thomas and Griswold Sword Manufactory) to General John B. Magruder. Hale thanks Magruder for interceding on his (Hale's) behalf to the Secretary of War in securing for him a Commission to raise a company of Partisan Rangers. As is evident by the letter, Hale was scouting for Magruder, and there is much sensitive information in this correspondence including how to avoid blockades, troop movements, Confederate leadership, and or lack thereof, in his future command. (Magruder had recently been transferred from the Eastern theater to the Texas and Louisiana area due to the widespread perception of poor performance by him at Malvern Hill) Hale's letter to General Magruder also references a promise made by Hale to give him information regarding his future command.
We next find Hale in South Carolina, submitting a voucher for daily payment for services rendered by him as an observer of enemy movements from the St. Michael's Church Belfry tower in Charleston, S. C., from July through November of 1863.
This assignment was ordered by General Beauregard, Commanding the Dept. of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Correspondence from Hale to General Beauregard, detailing enemy movements in the Charleston area have also been uncovered, including orders and vouchers for daily expenses in traveling to James Island in July of 1863 for troop observations, as a special messenger for Beauregard from Charleston, S. C. to Atlanta, GA. in May of 1864, and to Lake City Florida in July of 1864.
Hale, when captured in Florida at the end of the War, swore in his parole application that his only service against the Union was his 11 months served as a Captain in the 29th VA. (Had he attested otherwise, he would have been subjected to severe punishment) His statement was not questioned, and his heroic service to the Confederacy as a secret operative for most of the war went unrecognized, and unheralded, until now.
Included in the widows pension claim submitted by Fielden's wife Elizabeth in Florida in 1909, is a sworn statement by W.H. Sutherland, late Captain of the 24th Virginia Infantry, and fellow Hillsville resident. In it, he confirms Hale's service, but only in the 29th Virginia. He further states that after Hale's service in the 29th, "he continued to render all the aid in his power to the cause of the South, receiving a severe gunshot wound in the year 1863, when aiding in the arrest of some deserters from the army, from which wound he suffered to the close of his life." This portion of the statement was perhaps a veiled hint concerning Hales service as a secret operative for the Confederacy. I'm sure that there is much more to be discovered with respect to Hale's "secret service." Captain Fielden Lewis Hale is much deserving of a "Southern Salute" and a befitting epitaph.
As Don says, ‘Hale's story, as it has unfolded, begs to be told.’
You may contact Don for more information about his research at
My connection to the Hale family is through my g-g grandfather, William A. Shackleford, whose second wife was Elizabeth Hale. No blood kin, but interested in all Cherokee County families. Visit my website at http://home.mchsi.com/~mlyle/
Additional resources on Fielden Lewis Hale
Fielden Lewis HALE was born on 9 Sep 1814 in Elk Creek, Grayson
County, Virginia.19,189 He died on 5 Nov 1894 in Seville,
Florida.19,189 Parents: Sr. Stephen M. HALE and Frances BOURNE.
Source: Pioneer Settlers of Grayson County, Virginia
part of the USGenWeb
Last updated Tuesday, 24-Jan-2017 14:32:41 EST