Joseph Henry Milstead – Private, Confederate States of America

Some years ago, I provided information on Joseph H. Milstead that you posted on your site.

After lots of additional research, including visits to the Library of Congress, I realized that there were two individuals by that name.  The photo I supplied is not the person buried at Arlington.

The Joseph H. Milstead buried at Arlington and a friend, John Henry Chunn, traveled from Anne Arundel County in Maryland, probably mostly on foot to Richmond, to enlist.  They marched from there, up the Shenandoah valley,  and fought in the 2nd battle of Manassas, before continuing on to Gettysburg.  After capture at Culp’s Hill, Joseph Milstead was in Point Lookout prison by September, 1853.  He spent the rest of the war there, and in June, 1865 he marched to Richmond with the rest of the prisoners to be paroled.  Imagine, after a year and a half, imprisoned very close to your own home to have to march right past it and 100 miles beyond, just to turn around and hike back.

Most confederate soldiers that were buried in Arlington were relocated by their families back to the South, feeling that Arlington, being taken from the family of Robert E. Lee to make a cemetery was not the place where they should be buried. But some were either unknown, or without family, or for some other reason were not relocated. In the early 1900s, when the idea for the memorial was gaining steam, there were very few confederates still buried in the cemetery, only around a hundred, and the design of the memorial was to be surrounded by over 300. What to do?

At the time, there was a home for confederate veterans in Pikesville, just south of Baltimore. Maryland Line Confederate Soldiers’ Home. Those organizing the memorial approached soldiers living in this home, and possibly in other homes around the country, and asked for volunteers to be buried at the memorial after their deaths. This is how, in 1924, 59 years and 1 month after the end of the war, and ten years after the dedication of the memorial, Joseph Milstead, a confederate soldier, came to be buried in Arlington.

Please remove the picture of the person from the page and replace the text with the above.

Many thanks,
Bob Milstead


Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment