13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

Joseph Ward (May 1842 - December 24, 1900) served as a private in Company C, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Personal life

Joseph Ward was born in May 1842 in Yancey County, North Carolina. Census records show him living with Hugh and Mary "Polly" Ledford.[1] He married Elizabeth Ann Bailey (1845-1926) with whom he had at least eight children.

Civil War service

Ward enlisted as a private in Company C on September 24, 1863 in Carter County, Tennessee for a period of three years. He mustered in October 28, 1863 in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. Ward was appointed corporal on December 28, 1863 and reduced to the ranks at an unknown date.

He is listed as present for duty throughout his term of service until October 6, 1864 when he was charged with desertion. In his 1866 request for a discharge, Ward stated that he was never absent from the regiment until Stoneman's 1864 raid into North Carolina where he became ill and was left at Asheville. He further stated that he was unable to rejoin the regiment, nor was he able to report to any U.S. Army official to report his condition.[2] On May 18, 1865 Ward was left sick in Mitchell County, North Carolina, but how he got there from Asheville is not recorded. Eventually, the charge of desertion was removed by an act of Congress[3] passed on April 10, 1869.[4]

When the regiment mustered out on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville, it was recorded that he had last been paid to June 30, 1864, was owed $18.84 from the government for clothing, and had received a bounty of $25.

Post-war life

Ward died December 24, 1900 in Glen Ayre, North Carolina and is buried at Major Cemetery in Mitchell County, Tennessee. His wife applied for a widow's pension on January 16, 1901.


  1. Why Joseph's surname is different from his parents' could be that he was adopted or his mother had remarried Hugh.
  2. Company records indicate that he returned to the regiment on April 28, 1865. However, that does not correspond with the muster out records nor his account of being ill and absent.
  3. Noted as Private No. 6 in 1869.
  4. A petition to pardon him "and others" of the 13th Tennessee Cavalry was presented by Senator John Pool of North Carolina and it was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, which approved the petition on February 2, 1869 for a Senate vote. See, Journal of the Senate, January 26, 1869, p. 143.

External links

Find A Grave memorial