AUTHOR: James Marshall Joyner
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In 1838, Hilliard and Penninah (spelled “Penina” in some records) Johnston Joyner had a son, William Burton “Burt” Joyner. Burt and his parents resided in the eastern portion of Nash County, which became Wilson County. [In 1855, the government of North Carolina State created a new county from the eastern portion of Nash County and portions of Edgecombe County, Johnston County, and Wayne County and named it Wilson County in honor of the late NC Senator Louis Wilson.]
According to Census records, while Burt lived with his parents, he was a farmer and he manufactured turpentine (the oily liquid extracted during the distillation of resin from pines and other conifers during the fall of the year). When he was 23 years old, Burt was unmarried, and he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private on February 28, 1862, for the duration of the war. [His enlistment came a little over a year after Jefferson F. Davis’ Inauguration Address (as president of the newly formed Confederate government) on February 21, 1861.] On April 2, 1862 the new recruits mustered in at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh, N.C., forming the 43rd regiment of NC troop. Burt served in Company C of the 43rd North Carolina.
While serving in Company C, Burt was wounded—he was shot in the face and in his upper left thigh. On July 31, 1864, military records state that he was hospitalized at Charlottesville, VA, and after Burt’s wounds showed signs of healing, he was released from the hospital and given a furlough. He traveled home to Wilson County by rail on the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad system. While Burt was home, he enjoyed being with his family and friends, and he was asked many questions about the marches and battles he had participated in. According to his military records, Burt returned to his company around Sept 30, 1864 (“Estimated day”).
On April 9, 1865, Burt was present for the surrender at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, as were the rest of the 43rd Infantry (North Carolina).
After being paroled and returning home to Wilson County, William Burton “Burt” Joyner married a southern beauty named Alice Ann Nolley, of nearby Wilson, a town in Wilson County. As time marched on, the town grew. The farm land that Burt and his parents once worked is now inside the city limits of the township known as Wilson, NC.
Burt and Alice had seven children: Helen M. Joyner (1867 -?); Amersia Joyner Parker (1872 -1944), who married Roscoe Parker (1869 -1941); William Emerod “Bud” Joyner (1873 -1953), who married Mary Elizabeth Driver (1889 – 1953); Alice Blanche Joyner Carpenter (1876 -1958), who married George Carpenter; Moses R. Joyner (1877 -1942), who married Molly Carpenter (1885 -1969); Rufus David Joyner (1885 -1950), who married Mary Jane Page; and James Robert Joyner (1889 -1970), who married Maoma Lamm (1897 -1975).
Although the exact date is unknown, Burt died before December 27, 1904 (He was reported “dead” on his son Rufus’ marriage license from that date).
Alice Ann Nolley Joyner never remarried after her husband died. She filed a claim with the state of North Carolina on July 4, 1916, for her Confederate veteran widow’s pension at the age of 66. It was granted to her.
Alice died on January 1, 1930. Burt and Alice were laid to rest beside their other family members in the Whitney’s Family Cemetery at the corner of Arch Court and Landrum Ave in Wilson, NC.