Joel Henry Brazeal, Sergeant
Company A, Poe's Battalion
11th Arkansas Mounted Infantry, CSA
There is no other legend quite like the Confederate fighting man. He reached the end of his haunted road long ago. He fought for a star-crossed cause and in the end he was beaten, but as he carried his slashed red battle flag into the dusky twilight of the Lost Cause, he marched straight into a legend that will live as long as people care to remember anything about the past.
Joel Henry Brazeal was killed in Sept. 1864, while going home on leave from a Confederate camp near Princeton, Arkansas. He was captured and hanged, near the present day town of Sheridan, Arkansas, by a Yankee Patrol Company organized and lead by Captain Patterson Dodd. Before the war, Joel Henry Brazeal and Patterson Dodd were neighbors, living within 4 miles of each other.
It was told by Dodd's family, that after the war, Patterson Dodd lived out the rest of his life near the Providence Community, Grant County, Arkansas, suffering from paranoia. He believed just because you are paranoid doesn't mean there is not someone out there trying to getcha. He dug a tunnel from under his bed to a wooded area in back of his house and when he would hear someone approaching, he would sneak into the woods and hide. Now here is the most unusual part of the story, Patterson Dodd was great-grandfather to Frances Isabelle Walters Breazeal . Isabelle's husband, William Henry Breazeal, was the grandson of Joel Henry Brazeal, and her mother, Deliah Winchester Walters, was Patterson Dodd's granddaughter. Click on her name for the Dodd Genealogy Page.
Confederate Marker on 1864 grave
The Government started to issue these markers about 1922.
Your tombstone stands among the rest.
Neglected and alone.
The name is wrong and there are no dates
On your Confederate marble stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died before I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Grandpa, the place you filled
So many years ago,
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot
And come to visit you.
Joel Henry Brazeal lies in the grave under this marker, but the name on the stone is his grandson's, William Henry Breazeal. It is likely that both men were called Henry, so when the stone was installed, between 1935-38, it was said by someone, in the past, that they had the same name. Hence, Wm. H. Breazeal was placed on the marker. Now, it has come to light that another man, William (Wild Bill) M. Brazil joined Company B, 11th Arkansas Infantry in Benton, Arkansas, July, 1861 and this is the information that was placed on this marker. This new grave marker with his correct information has been received and will soon replace the older stone. The photo & story of the new stone is by Jim Lancaster, a valued friend.
Some where between Joel Henry and William Henry, the Breazeal family gained the first 'e' in our name. Further proof is the April 1860 Jury List , for Saline County, Arkansas, had Joel Henry's name as Brazil, but as a Juror, he was listed as Brazeal. It can be assumed that he had corrected the court in the spelling of his name.
This is the signature of Joel Henry Brazeal, taken from a document dated Nov 8th, 1861 and so ends the quest to find how he spelled his name. Joel Henry died without a will and the Probate Court procedure wasn't completed until 1871.
Hurrah for Dixie!
We still love our old battle flag with the Southern Cross upon its fiery folds! We have wrapped it round our hearts! We have enshrined it in the sacred ark of our love; and we will honor it and cherish it evermore, not now as a political symbol, but as the consecrated emblem of a heroic epoch, as the sacred memento of a day that is dead, as the embodiment of memories that will be tender and holy as long as life shall last.
Most of the Confederate Soldiers were interested in protecting their families and property, or some other noble cause, so they joined up. Joel Henry had the 'Breazeal's Streak of Mean' in him and they let him kill Yankees! So he joined up.
These awards are posthumously awarded to Joel Henry Brazeal, who gallantly served the Army of the Confederate States of America. Since the Confederacy ceased to exist there is no nation presently surviving to recognize the Confederate soldier's heroic service in battle. It is up to us, the living descendants to remember their sacrifice, and to never forget our heritage.
This POW Memorial Awarded to:
Pvt. Joel Henry Brazeal
of 11th Arkansas Infantry, Confederate Sates of America
Taken a Prisoner of War at Island No. 10, on the Mississippi River, near Tiptonville, TN, on April 8, 1862, imprisoned at Camp Douglas, Illinois, Escaped!