The Odyssey of a Reluctant Carolina Confederate

Michael K. Brantley

The story of an ordinary North Carolina farmer reluctantly drawn into the Civil War and thrown into a fight for survival that included serving in both armies, dodging certain death at Gettysburg, surviving a POW camp, and a hometown murder.
Publication date:
May 2020
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781640121225

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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Wright Stephen Batchelor was a farmer from eastern North Carolina who had never left Nash County. However, much like his state, Batchelor's life was upended by the Civil War. He served in both armies, survived Gettysburg, was captured twice, escaped, went to prison, deserted, walked halfway across the country, and, after everything, was the victim of a bizarre murder. Author Michael K. Brantley delves into this common man's Civil War story, detailing his harrowing experiences and, along the way, describing a South in the aftermath of war. Like many North Carolinians, Batchelor was a reluctant Confederate and joined the army only when it appeared inevitable he would be called to serve. He emerged from a POW camp unscathed, after escaping capture. Weeks later, he wasn't so lucky. He was captured again at the Battle of Bristoe Station and found himself at one of the worst Union POW camps of the Civil War, Point Lookout Prison in Maryland. Going with his best bet for survival, he took the Oath of Allegiance and joined the Union Army. Batchelor deserted at his first chance and walked hundreds of miles to rejoin his comrades at Petersburg, just in time for the Union siege. Again he survived combat, and he walked hundreds more miles home to Nash County. After the war he farmed, ran the Nash County Poor House, and dabbled in local politics. One night, after repeated raids on the Poor House chicken coop, Batchelor caught the canine culprit red-handed and dispatched him with his rifle. A few days later, Batchelor was leaving the Nashville courthouse when a teenage boy - the dog's owner - approached him, pulled out a pistol, and shot him down in the middle of the street.