By Douglas Powell
Halifax County War Memorial Commission
Visitors to Halifax County who pass through its county seat can not help but notice the Halifax County War Memorial. Many visitors, as well as residents, visit it often. Based on the inquiries being received, people from everywhere visit its web site, www.halifax.com/warmem. Often as a result of these visits the lists of those honored on the memorial continue to grow.
This month, due to continued research during the past year the names of seven additional county soldiers who died in service are being added as Memorial Day approaches. These will bring the total number so honored to 734. Every name has its own story.
Edward Wade died while in service during the Revolutionary War. He was a Lieutenant in Capt. Cock’s Company, 5th Battalion of the Virginia forces at the time of his death. In 1770 he had been appointed a Lieutenant of Militia and he qualified as Captain in the militia in 1775. He wrote his will on February 12, 1776 and died sometime from unknown causes prior to September 19 that same year. He was survived by his wife and four sons, William, Abraham, Martin, and Washington Wade.
George Ray. Sr., was a musician in Capt. Wallace’s Company, 5th Regiment of Infantry. He died in the War of 1812 prior to February 28, 1814 according to a pension declaration made by his widow, Mary Younger Ray, in 1856. His children at the time of his death were George Ray, Jr., Caroline Ray, and Frank Ray.
Two additional names of War Between the States deaths have been verified. Silas Link enlisted in Halifax in August 1863 as a private in Company I, 18th Regiment of Virginia Infantry. He was captured in the Battle of Sayler’s Creek in April 1865 and was sent to Point Lookout, Maryland, as a POW. He soon died in the hospital there of acute dysentery and was buried in the POW grave yard.
Charles Lewis Womack, not to be confused with the Charles Henry Womack previously listed, was a private in Company G, 53rd Regiment of Virginia Infantry. He enlisted in April 1862. He was wounded and captured in the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, and was sent to Fort Delaware. He died there as a POW in April 1864 from scurvy and was buried in the National Cemetery at Finns Point, New Jersey. He left a widow, Ann Stegall Womack, who received a pension in 1888 from his service.
To the Korean War list are being added three new names. PFC William Barley Stovall died on December 27, 1951, as a result of drowning along with two other soldiers in a training exercise off the coast of Japan. He was a member of Company C, 56th Amphibious Tank and Tractor Battalion. He was survived by his mother, Necie L. Stovall, a brother, Jessie J. Stovall, and a sister, Sallie Stovall Barley, and was buried at Millstone Baptist Church.
Pvt. James L. Nelson and Sgt. Hugh Robert Frazier both died while captured during the Korean War. Pvt. Nelson died on November 28, 1950, and Sgt. Frazier died two days later. Sgt. Frazier was in the Army and was buried in the Union Cemetery in Virginia.
Information leading to the discovery and verification of the above names came from ancestors and family members as far away as California and New York. The search continues for additional names and research continues on all the names to complete their stories as much as possible. Family members and other citizens are encouraged to submit information along with the sources of such information.
To be eligible to be listed a name must be that of a Halifax County resident at the time the military service began who died from combat, illness, or injury, and who died during his or her service in one of the American wars.