John Yates Beall, gallant soldierStands in foremost line of the heroes and martyrs of the Civil war.
Captured while on Raid—Kept in prison a year and then sentenced to death by a drumhead Court-martial.
by J. H. Crawford.[For further matter as to the plan of Captain Beall to release the Confederate prisoners on Johnson's Island, see Vols. VIII, XIX, XXVII and XXX, and ‘Why John Wilkes Booth Shot Lincoln’—the animus being revenge for barbarous treatment and what he believed the illegal execution of his personal friend, Captain Beall, Vol. XXXII.—Southern Historical Society Papers.—Ed.]
Captain John Yates Beall, who served in the Stonewall Brigade Second Virginia Infantry, before he entered upon his daring career as a Confederate naval officer, stands in the foremost line of the heroes and martyrs of the Civil War. He met his pathetic fate with that stern, yet gentle sense of honor that not unwillingly pays its price without repining or regret. He was just 26 years of age in 1861. He had graduated in law at the University of Virginia. He had been right in the midst of the John Brown insurrection, and he was ripe for those services to his State by which he was soon distinguished. He was badly wounded in a charge under Ashby in October, 1861, and possessing alike the mind, the nerve and the spirit which befit great adventure, he was soon singled out for ‘enterprises of great pith and moment.’ The story of his ill-fated endeavor to release the Confederate prisoners on Johnson's Island, is told in the enclosed article by a loving comrade who cherishes and honors his memory, and who fitly says: ‘It is a sacred duty to defend those who sacrificed their lives in the God-given right of self-defence and preservation of home.’ Captain Beall stood for the principle which animates the pen of  his loyal friend, and that pen expresses also the duty which a loyal people owe to those who suffered and died for them. Very respectfully,
The lamented John Y. Beall ranked as captain in the Confederate Navy, having been appointed by Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Confederate Navy, at Richmond, Va., in 1863. The integrity of Captain Beall's motives, the incorruptibility of his principles, and the injustice and illegality of his execution by General Dix, in February, 1865, on Governor's Island, N. Y., are well known. He was a devout Christian, a thorough gentleman, and an accomplished scholar. His home was in the garden spot of old Virginia-Jefferson county-now West Virginia. A few miles distant of Charlestown is ‘Walnut Grove,’ a fine farm owned by Captain Beall's father, and here the son was born January 1, 1835. His ancestors were of the best people in the South, and his father was a prominent citizen in that section. Young Beall was sent to the University of Virginia to study law, and in the course of due time he graduated in the legal profession. It was in 1859 that John Brown and his gang of murderers and robbers invaded Harper's Ferry, a few miles distant from Mr. Beall's home, and it made a serious impression upon all who resided in that immediate neighborhood. It was but a prelude of the Civil War. Brown having been aided and abetted by Northern fanatics, and the irrepressible conflict was fast approaching. Virginia seceded in April, 1861, and John Y. Beall was one of the first volunteers in Virginia, enlisting in the Second Virginia Regiment, Stonewall Brigade. General Turner Ashby had a sharp engagement with the enemy at Falling Waters, in October, 1861, and John Y. Beall led a charge and was seriously wounded, the ball passing through his breast; but good nursing and strong will power enabled him to survive the injury.