Born in Stokes County, North Carolina around 1843, Cephus H. Joyce was eager to join the cause and quickly enlisted in Stokes County in Company H of the 22nd NC State Troops on June 1, 1861 as a Private. He quickly became a leader and was elected Corporal on July 10, 1861. His company was heavily engaged in the war, seeing action at The Wilderness, surrounding Richmond, Seven Pines, Gaines’ Mill, Cedar Run, South Mountain, Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg, where Cephus was wounded in the arm.
Before being wounded, he had been promoted to Sergeant in April of 1862. After recovering, he rejoined his men and fought on through Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Petersburg, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Jericho Mills, where he was captured on May 23, 1864. He was sent to Point Lookout, Maryland where he would remain until his parole in May of 1865. An interesting point about his confinement was that he was more than once offered to be exchanged but each time he refused, saying he would not abandon his men. Because of this stand on principle, he was reduced in ranks while a POW.