Allen W. Spears

The relationship of Allen W. Spears to Richard White, if any, is unknown.

Allen W. Spears has the same first and last names as my great great grandfather, and was born in Wilkinson County, Georgia, in 1836, the same year that my great great grandfather Allen Spears married Sarah Ridley in the same county.  Though he is not actually known to be kin, presumption that he may be seems reasonable.

Allen W. Spears was enrolled as a private in Company A, 49th Georgia Infantry, in Irwinton, Wilkinson County, Georgia, on 4 March 1862.  He is shown as present on existing rolls except for the roll for the period of July and August 1862, which shows him to have been "in Hospital sick".  A register of the C.S.A. general hospital at Farmville, Virginia, shows that he was admitted with "Jaundice" on 21 August 1862 and returned to duty on 11 September 1862.

He was captured on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, 2 July 1863, and was imprisoned at Fort McHenry, Maryland on 6 July 1863.  He was transferred to Fort Delaware, Maryland, at an unspecified date in July 1863, and to Point Lookout, Maryland on 20 October 1863.  On 25 January 1864 he was released, "on taking the oath of allegiance and joining United States service."

Allen W. Spear was then enrolled in the U.S. Volunteers (U.S.V.), the so called "Galvanized Confederates" who were recruited from Union prisoner of war camps, formed into units, then sent to Western frontier to patrol the areas of conflict between Indians and settlers.  This specific type of assignment was selected  for the U.S.V. units to minimize the possibility that these men might be captured by Confederates who would then very likely execute them as deserters.  However, in Allen W. Spear's case, he was never assigned (as was the routine procedure) to a specific U.S.V. regiment, and I suspect it most likely that he died before that could be accomplished.  However, I do not have detailed information to that effect and there are other possibilities, such as that he deserted the U.S.V., or that for some odd reason I've not found his entire Union record yet.  As a whole the U.S.V. had fewer deserters than might be expected... given that all of the men involved had "turned their coats" (changed sides) once already, and even moreso because the overall thrust was towards recruiting foreign-born former Confederates.  The foreign-born were targeted because Union authorities thought they would have little or no allegiance to the Confederacy in the first place.  However... that could work both ways!

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This page was created by Richard White on 3 April 2000.
Changes to this page were last made by Richard White on  1 June 2005.