Civil War Image Shop

Rare Gemtype of Confederate General William N. R. Beall


Item No. HA39763 Category


Seldom seen gemtype of Confederate General William N. R. Beall. Measures 1″ x 3/4″. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Beall resigned his commission and was appointed as a captain of cavalry in the Confederate Army. Beall served in the Trans-Mississippi Department under General Earl Van Dorn early in the war and was appointed brigadier general in the spring of 1862. Beall was placed in command of the Confederate cavalry forces at Corinth, Mississippi. Beall then commanded a brigade of troops from Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. At the Siege of Port Hudson, the Confederate forces surrendered on July 9, 1863, and Beall was taken as a prisoner of war. He was imprisoned at Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. In 1864, Beall was appointed as a Confederate agent for the purpose of supplying Confederate prisoners of war and paroled for this purpose. He established an office in New York City and sold cotton allowed through the Union blockade of southern ports. The proceeds from these sales were used to purchase clothing and blankets for Confederate prisoners in northern prison camps. On January 3, 1865, Union General Henry Halleck wrote to General Grant regarding Beall:

Since commencing this letter I learn that General Beall’s course of conduct in New York has been so conspicuous and offensive that the Secretary of War has ordered his sign to be taken down. General Paine has also been directed to suspend his parole and take him in custody till the cotton arrives. The selection of General Beall was unfortunate, for he seems disposed to make all the trouble he can. His parole will be renewed the moment the cotton reaches New York.

Secretary of war Edwin Stanton suspended Beall’s parole and placed him in Fort Lafayette in New York Harbor as a prisoner of war until the cotton safely arrived from Mobile, Alabama. He was finally released from Federal custody on August 2, 1865. After the war, he moved to St. Loui, Missouri and became a general commission merchant. Gemtypes of the Union generals are usually encountered but the Confederate examples don’t show up very often.

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