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Written by Randy Vester; edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter

I have my Great-Great-Grandfather’s—George Washington Joyner’s—picture (attached). He was the youngest son of Nathan Thomas Joyner and Amy Land Joyner of Nash County, N.C. There were seven boys—Little Berry, Burrell Hildsman, Ira Ellis, Nathan Thomas, David D., Jonas A., and George Washington—in the Joyner family, and all served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

George’s eldest brother, Little Berry Joyner, married Eliza Jane Williams, daughter of Barden and Celia Williams, on February 19, 1850. They lived in Nash County, N.C. and had six children: Madison, Mary Ann, Samanthais Ann, George, Mary Eliza, and David. At the age of twenty-five, Little Berry enlisted as a private into I Company, 30th Infantry (North Carolina) on Sep 10, 1861. He died on Aug 10, 1862 at Richmond, VA of “typhoid fever.”

Burrell Joyner married Sarah “Sally” Hill Barnes on December 29, 1860 in Nash County, North Carolina. He was twenty-eight years old when he enlisted in the Confederate Army on Mar 6, 1862 at Gordonsville, VA. Burrell surrendered while serving in 12th Infantry (North Carolina) on Apr 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. He was paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865 [Roll dated April 10, 1865; Number or roll: 159. Signed by: J. Jacobson (Copyist)]. According to the1870 Census in Nash County, North Carolina, Burrell and Sally had a farm and were raising five children: Annie, Thomas, Sarah, Judy, and Ara. Later, Burrell sold his farm. He went to school, then kept books for a man in Johnson County for many years. Many of his descendants are still in the Wilson area.

Ira E. Joyner was twenty-eight years of age at time of his enlistment on May 1, 1862 at Nash County, NC as a private in the Confederate army. He served in the 30th Infantry, North Carolina. His military records list him as: “Absent on Nov 30 1862 (Returned); Returned on Jul 3 1863; Confined on Jul 7 1863 at Fort Delaware, DE; Transferred on Oct 15 1863 to Point Lookout, MD; [and] Exchanged on Nov 1 1864” [North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, (1993)].

Like his brothers, Nathan Thomas Joyner was born in Nash County, N.C. According to his military records, his pre-enlistment occupation was “Farmer,” and he was twenty-four years old when he joined the Confederate army. On Sept. 10, 1861, Nathan enlisted into Company I of the 30th Infantry (North Carolina). He was discharged due to disability on Apr 25, 1862.

David D. Joyner enlisted on May 25, 1861 at Wilson County, NC as Private. He was 23 years of age at time. He served the Confederacy in the 7th Infantry (North Carolina) until he was killed during battle on Aug 29, 1862 at 2nd Manassas, V.A.

Jonas A Joyner was living with his parents and 21 years of age at time of his enlistment. On Sept. 10, 1861, Jonas enlisted as a Private into I Company, 30th Infantry (North Carolina). His military records reveal that he was taken as a POW on Nov 7, 1863 at Kelly’s Ford, VA. He was confined on Nov 11, 1863 at Point Lookout, MD and paroled on Feb. 24, 1865. Jonas was exchanged on Mar 3, 1865 at Aiken’s Landing, VA. Jonas survived his war experiences and came home to Nash County, NC after it ended. On Oct. 19, 1865, Jonas married Eliza Jane Williams Joyner, his brother Little Berry’s widow, to help her take care of his nieces and nephews, and they had one daughter together, Sally L. Joyner. Presumably after Eliza Jane’s death, Jonas married Sarah Williams Ward on Jan. 7, 1886 in Nash County, N.C. They also had one daughter together—Mary Elizabeth Joyner.

George Washington Joyner, at 18 years of age, enlisted into I Company, 30th Infantry (North Carolina) on Sep 10, 1861. He was wounded on May 3, 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA but returned to service. On July 3, 1863, George was taken as a POW at Gettysburg, PA. He was confined on July 7, 1863 at Fort Delaware, DE, then transferred on Oct 15, 1863 to Point Lookout, MD. On Nov. 15, 1864 he was exchanged at Venus Point, GA. After the war, George returned home to Nash County, married Zanie Ann Lindsey, and they had several children: William, Matthew, Mary Ann, Senora Ann, Susan, and Josiah.

I have always been told that my great-great-grandfather George Washington Joyner (1844-1936) wore his Confederate uniform to church and to other social gatherings throughout Nash County for all his life. His death certificate even lists “Confederate Soldier” as his occupation. He was the next to last Nash County soldier to die. John Wesley Bone was the last, and they were lifelong best friends. I have an article that was written in 1935 that states that John was at George’s 91st birthday party and both were dressed in their uniforms. George died in March of 1936, and John died one month later, in April.

Click photo below to enlarge.

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