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Basil William Spalding

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Basil William Spalding
Basil Willaim Spalding.jpg Basil Willaim Spalding.jpg
Basil William Spalding
Born(1846-12-11)December 11, 1846
Pleasant Hill Plantation, Charles County, Maryland, United States
Green's Inheritance, Charles County, Maryland, United States1929
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation
Confederate Civil War Soldier, Farmer
📆 Years active  1862–1865 (Confederate States Army)
👩 Spouse(s)Elizabeth Dement Mary Ann Elizabeth Green

Basil W. Spalding (December 11, 1846 – 1929) was a Confederate Civil War veteran and tobacco farmer who lived in Charles County, Maryland. He was born at Pleasant Hill Plantation, which had been in his family for two hundred years and died at Green Park nearby. A native of Maryland, Spalding fought from 1862-1865 in the American Civil War in the name of the Confederacy after escaping from school to join "the Great Adventure".

After returning to his home state, he married and took on a simple lifestyle as a father to his children, husband to his wife, and a farmer. He married twice and had ten children. Spalding Died in 1929. He was a Catholic.

Early life[edit]

Basil Spalding was born on December 11, 1846 to John Spalding, a slave-holding tobacco plantation owner and his second wife, Mary Carroll, a great-granddaughter of Daniel Carroll, a Founding Father of the United States. Very shortly after Spalding's birth, however, Mary Carroll died.

When he was two years old, his father, John Spalding, also died. An orphan, Spalding was taken into the care of his relative, William Fendley Dement, a Charles County plantation owner. Dement's wife, Mary Teresa Symphronia Green, was John Spalding's sister and therefore Spalding's aunt.

At the Dement's plantation, Eutaw, Spalding was raised by Mary Teresa as a son. Later, as a young adult, Spalding left to attend a private academy in northern Maryland.

The Civil War[edit]

In early 1861, tensions between North and South were high, and war seemed imminent. Although Maryland officially remained in the Union upon the outbreak of the Civil War, support for the Union was not all that common. The prominent Dements, like many Southern Maryland families at the time whose lifestyle was dependent on slavery, had much at risk. Ardent supporters of slavery, the Charles County elite vehemently opposed Abraham Lincoln as President and when the Confederate States of America was founded, Charles County took its side. Charles County even requested the immediate secession of the state of Maryland.

In June 1861, William F. Dement and one of his servants left Eutaw and crossed the Potomac into Virginia to join the Confederate Army. He founded an artillery battery, known as Dement's First Maryland Battery.

In 1862, with the war raging on, Spalding, only seventeen years old, became determined to fight against what he viewed as Northern aggression and one day, he escaped from school by jumping out the window to take up arms against the Union. He joined a notorious guerrilla force known as McNeill's Rangers, a 210 man battalion-size unit that was known for its brazen attacks, unpredictable behavior and relentless raids. It operated mainly in the western counties of Virginia and West Virginia.

Spalding took part in McNeill's numerous raids on Piedmont, West Virginia, and Cumberland, Maryland, which were aimed at destroying the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad service. The raids severely damaged supply routes for the Union forces and hindered their forces ability to wage war. As McNeill's Rangers used horses for swift mobility and had no known base, they caused such extensive damage that more than 25,000 troops were dispatched by Federal commanders to guard the B&O against them.

Later life and death[edit]

Spalding lived a simple life after the war. He lived at Pleasant Hill and raised his children there. After his second wife died in 1909, he took care of his youngest son, Francis Philip, who was only thirteen at the time.

In 1911, Pleasant Hill, which had been in the Spalding Family for generations and was originally part of Green's Inheritance, was sold.

Spading then lived in Green Park, where he died in 1929 after an illness of about a month.

Marriage and family[edit]

Spalding married first Elizabeth Dement (1844–1880), William Fendley Dement's sister, in 1871. After she died, he married again. This time being his cousin, Francis B. Green's daughter, Mary Ann Elizabeth Green. She died in 1909 and Basil never remarried.

He outlived his second wife by twenty years.


All of Spalding's children were born at his plantation, Pleasant Hill, in Pomfret, Charles County, Maryland.

Spalding and Elizabeth Dement had four children: John Carroll, Mary Genevieve, Anna Mary, and Louis Joseph. One month after Louis's birth, Elizabeth Dement died, leaving Basil a single parent of four children, all under the age of 10.

A few years later, Spalding married Mary Ann Elizabeth Green, his cousin's daughter. By Mary Ann, Basil had six children (four girls and two boys), but only four of them lived into adulthood.

They were: Bernard William Green; Mary Louise Cecelia; Marie Leola; twins Mary Elizabeth & Mary Helen; and Francis Philip.

Children by Elizabeth Dement
Name Birth Death Notes
John Carroll Sept. 28, 1871 1951 Born at "Pleasant Hill", Pomfret, MD. Died in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mary Genevieve October 7, 1874 Born at "Pleasant Hill", Pomfret, MD. Died at Little Sisters Of The Poor, Washington, D.C. and buried at St. Marys Catholic Cemetery, Bryantown Md.
Anna May 3 March 1877 26 Nov., 1919 Born at "Pleasant Hill", Pomfret, MD. Died in Washington D.C. and buried at St Josephs Catholic Cemetery, Pomfret Md.
Louis Joseph 11 April 1880 29 October 1931 Born at "Pleasant Hill", Pomfret, MD. Died at the Old Providence Hospital in Washington D.C. and buried at St Josephs Catholic Cemetery, Pomfret Md.
Children by Mary Ann Elizabeth Green
Name Birth Death Notes
Bernard William Green Oct. 11, 1888 Died in Baltimore, MD.
Mary Louise Cecilia June 30, 1970 Died at Physicians Hospital, La Plata, MD. Buried in St. Josephs Catholic Cemetery, Pomfret, MD.
Marie Leola Sept. 4, 1889 October 10, 1981 Married Stephen Latchford. Died at Doctors Hospital, Arlington, VA. Buried in Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Mary Elizabeth Sept. 15, 1894 July 1895 Died at "Pleasant Hill", Pomfret, MD.
Mary Helen Sept. 15, 1894 July 1895 Died at "Pleasant Hill", Pomfret, MD.
Francis Philip May 26, 1896 Nov. 1986 Died in Richmond, VA.


See also[edit]

  • McNeill's Rangers

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