Joseph Waddell

Joseph Waddell
Virginia Union University
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"When I read of wars in my boyhood, I thought of them as belonging to the dark ages of the world, and never expected to witness horrors of the kind. — The thousands now lying slaughtered in Pennsylvania, and the thousands mangled by wounds, the thousands who are anticipating evil tiding! Such is war — to say nothing of the destruction of property, fields laid waste, and all the innumerable outrages and griefs which follow in its train".
Diary of Joseph Addison Waddell, Tuesday night, July 7, 1863

Joseph Addison Waddell
Joseph Waddell lived in Staunton in Augusta County, Virginia, during the Civil War. The surviving portions of the diary held by the University of Virginia covers the period from June 1855 to October 1865. His diary presents a neglected perspective from the Confederacy. Most Civil War diaries by Confederate men followed marches and battles across the South. Diaries of the Confederate home front are usually the diaries of the women left behind, struggling to maintain order in a world increasingly depleted of men. The home front was not solely the sphere of women.

Joseph Waddell told the story of the men who stayed home. Before the war, Waddell owned and edited a newspaper in Augusta County, Virginia, the Staunton Spectator. On the pages of his paper, Waddell supported Southern institutions.

Privately, however, he noted in his diary his misgivings over slavery and his desire to see it extinguished in God’s time. In the prewar sections of his diary, Waddell described everyday happenings of family and community life as well as extraordinary events like feared slave uprisings.

Waddell opposed secession, but supported his state in the Civil War nonetheless. Initially too old to be drafted and later exempted by disability, Waddell did not serve his fledgling nation as a soldier. Instead, he performed his duties to the Confederacy as a clerk in the Quartermasters Office. During the war years, Waddell recorded his views on slavery, abolition, politics, secession, and the war in his diary with great detail and clarity. His commentary ranged from perceptive political observation to extensive battlefield rumors. In his diary, Waddell recounted the confusion that greeted news from the battlefields of the South and the trepidation that greeted no news from the same quarters. He described gatherings with friends and family, remarkable not for serving delicacies like "genuine coffee" but for their juxtaposition with the sacrifices of everyday life.

As conditions on the home front deteriorated, he celebrated the homespun ingenuity that transformed handkerchiefs into suit linings and "Confederate candles" into meager, but treasured, lighting. Surrounded by hardship and tragedy, he expressed anxiety for loved ones separated by war and gratitude for those close at home. He bemoaned the institution of slavery, but feared for the fate of an inferior people left to their own devices. Through the war, Waddell remained a believer in the Confederate cause, but became increasingly depressed about its chances of success.

Once Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Waddell counseled against further attempts to wage war. In the subsequent months, Waddell described the looting of Confederate property in Staunton following surrender, occupation by Union military authority, and the assassination of Lincoln. He expressed his disapproval toward both those who ingratiated themselves with Union commanders and those who flaunted symbols of Confederate patriotism. Waddell became increasingly disturbed by the unruly behavior of ungrateful "negroes" emboldened by the presence of the Yankee occupiers. Toward the end of his diary, Waddell discussed early attempts to restore Virginia to the Union, an endeavor in which he desperately wanted to participate.

Waddell ended his diary in October 1865 when he ran out of writing paper.

Joseph R. Smith

Joseph R. Smith
Virginia Insurance
Image by Dystopos
Joseph R. Smith was born February 6, 1818, in what is now Jefferson County, Alabama, at that period known as Blount County, Mississippi Territory.

His father, John Smith, was a native of the Union District, South Carolina, where his parents had settled upon emigrating from Wales. His mother’s ancestors were Irish and her parents among the pioneers of Kentucky. Her maiden name was Sallie Riley, and her place of nativity Rockcastle County, Ky. They were married in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in 1814, and, soon after, learning of the beauty and rich soil of Jones Valley, were induced to emigrate thither, and settled upon a large tract of land near Eyton, a portion of which is now owned by the Wheeling Furnace Company. They resided upon this land, within a half mile of their first location, until their deaths.

His father pursued cotton planting upon a large scale, owning, prior to the war, about sixty slaves ; he was well and widely known, serving for many years as magistrate and county commissioner, and, at the time of his death, in October, 1876, was the owner of 2,000 acres of land, which is now among the most valuable in Alabama.

The mother of our subject departed this life in April, 1863. Ten children descended from them — David, now living near Crawfordsville, Mississippi ; Joseph R., our subject ; Wm. D., a resident of Jefferson County ; John B., Colonel of the Thirtieth Alabama Regiment, was killed at Vicksburg ; Octavius S., who represented Jefferson County in the State Legislature one session, died in 1867 ; Thomas was admitted to the Jefferson County bar in 1852, served as Captain in the Confederate service, emigrated to Texas, and while Register in Chancery of Smith County, was accidentally killed ; George W., of Jefferson County ; Susan Weaver, living near Columbus, Mississippi; Sarah J. Baird, who died in 1883 ; and Lucy.

Joseph R. received the benefit of superior educational advantages for those early times — attending Union Seminary, in Tennessee. He entered the office of Dr. James Kelley, one of the early physicians of Jefferson County, in 1838, and remained under his tutelage until the fall of 1839, when he entered the Medical Department of Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky, and after two years attendance graduated therefrom.

He entered upon the practical duties of this noble profession in Jonesboro, where he continued for two years, and in 1843 became a resident of Elyton, where he has ever since resided.

Dr. Smith abandoned the practice of medicine in 1870, and engaged very successfully in the mercantile trade at Elyton until 1877, when the growing town of Birmingham presented to him a more important field, and he removed his business interests to that point, and was interested in merchandising there until 1884.

Dr. Smith has been the owner of large tracts of land for many years, and since 1884 has devoted his entire attention to those interests. He is probably the largest individual real estate owner in Jefferson County, and has been one of the foremost in building up the business portion of Birmingham, owning at the present time some of the most substantial business blocks, besides considerable residence property. He is the founder of what is destined to become one of the most popular suburban towns, which is named in honor of its projector, Smithfield, a full sketch of which appears elsewhere in this work. He has a large interest still retained in this enterprise, and owns large tracts of mountain, iron, and coal lands in the country.

Dr. Smith has accumulated a magnificent fortune, which is being rapidly added to by the remarkable increase in the value of real estate in this section, a large portion of which he has given to his children.

Dr. Smith has never sought political preferment, but has earnestly devoted himself to the prosecution of hi.s professional, mercantile, and real estate interests.

Having resided in Jeft’erson County all his life, being the third white child bom, he has witnessed the early days of the State ; its development into one of the greatest of the cotton belt ; the birth of the Confederacy, and the ruin following ; the gradual growth and development of the iron, coal, and mineral wealth, until the future promises to rank Alabama one of the greatest States in the Union.

The first newspaper published in Jefferson County was started by Dr. Smith in association witli Baylis E. Grace, Sr., and was known as the Central Alabamian. This paper was continued by M. B. Lancaster until the close of the war.

Dr. Smith, although having arrived at the period when the shadow of life is falling toward the east, is still active, energetic, and untiring in his devotion to his business interests, and, as he comes from a long-lived ancestry, will probably long live to enjoy the fruits which Providence has showered so bountifully upon him.

He is a director of the Birmingham Insurance Company, also a stockholder in the First National Bank, a director of the Birmingham and Pratt Mines Street Railroad, and a member of the Masonic order.

Dr. Smith’s first wife was Miss Margaret, daughter of Mortimer Jordan, who was one of the early settlers of the county, settling in 1828, and following cotton planting upon a large scale, until his death, in 1866. They were united in January, 1844, and over thirty years of happy life passed, when, in 1875, she departed this life. Twelve children were born to them, five of whom are now living : Joseph R., Jr., a progressive
business man and prominent railroad contractor ; Thomas O., assistant cashier of the First National Bank ; Charles J., also a railroad contractor ; William D., and Virginia Irene.

While a medical student at Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Smith met a young lady, whose accomplishments and rare personal beauty deeply impressed him. Unable to return to Kentucky, he cherished through all the following years the memory of his youthful friendship. Years afterward, when a widower, he learned she was a resident of St. Louis, and was the widow of Dr. Thomas J. Kilpatrick, who had been a celebrated practitioner of that city. Dr. Smith immediately sought her, and the dream of his youth met its full fruition when, in 1876, she became his wife. Her maiden name was Mary Smithers.

In the courthouse of Lexington, Kentucky, stands a beautiful statue entitled "Chastity Triumphant." It is the handiwork of the late celebrated sculptor, Joel T. Hart, who, encouraged to prosecute his sturlies, died in Europe. This work of art has the form and features of Mary Smithers, as he last saw her, and is a beautiful tribute and acknowledgment of their friendship.

Mrs. Smith is a lady of great personal worth, a member of the Methodist Church, and devoted to all good works.

Dr. and Mrs. Smith reside quietly in their elegant home at Elyton.

– from Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama: History and Biographical, edited by John Witherspoon Dubose and published in 1887 by Teeple & Smith / Caldwell Printing Works, Birmingham, Alabama

Joseph A. Wells

Joseph A. Wells
Virginia Lawyers
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Captain, Co. H, 91st ILL. Infantry
The Chanute Daily Tribune, Tuesday, March 16, 1926, Pg 1
Volume XXXIV, Number 288

He Came to County in 1866 and Was
One of the Founders of Erie and
Of New Chicago, Now a
Part of Chanute.

Judge J. A. Wells, dean of Neosho county pioneers, passed away last evening at his home in Erie at the age of 88 years. Funeral services will be held from the Methodist church in Erie tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 and burial will be in the Erie cemetery.
Judge Wells came to this county in 1866. He was one of the founders of the city of Erie and of New Chicago, a part of Chanute. He was the first mayor of Erie and was the organizer of the first Masonic lodge in Erie. He was a thirty-second degree Mason and was secretary of the Erie chapter for forty years. He has served as justice of the peace in Erie for twenty-five years and wrote up his last case just a day or so before he was taken sick last week.
When his country needed men in the days of the Civil war, Judge Wells joined Company H, Illinois volunteer infantrymen as a private, served during the struggle and came home a captain. The year following the close of the struggle he left his home in Illinois and came to Neosho county, where he has been a factor in the development since.
Judge Wells has always enjoyed good health until a few days ago and has been unusually active for a man of his years. He took to his bed last week and was sick only three or four days.
He is survived by three sons and a daughter. The sons are Seth G. Wells, state oil inspector and editor of the Erie Record, Logan H. Wells, Fort Worth, Tex., and J. C. Wells, Los Angeles, Cal. The daughter is Mrs. Jennie Rogers, Topeka.

William G. Cutler’s History of the State of Kansas

JOSEPH A. WELLS, born in Greene County, Ill., in March, 1838; received a limited education at the district schools of his county, the most of his early life being spent on the farm, but was always acknowledged as a very apt scholar. At the age of eighteen he received a first grade certificate as a school teacher, passing an examination before the State Commissoner (sic) At the age of twenty-one he was elected a Justice of the Peace of his township. Previous to this he was, on motion, admitted to practice law before the District Court of his county. At the age of twenty-two he was married to Matilda, youngest daughter of Pleasant and Lydia Wood of his county. At the age of twenty-four he entered the service of his country as a private of Company H., Ninety-first Illinois Infantry, and by his prompt attention to business, he was rapidly promoted to the office of Orderly Sergeant, First Lieutenant and Captain of his company, and for daring acts on the battle field in and around Mobile, Ala., in March and April, 1865, he was, by the president, in special order, breveted Major of Volunteers. At the close of the war, in 1865, he returned home to his family, and a short time afterward declined the offer of a Second Lieutenancy of Cavalry of the regular army. In August, 1865, he removed to Adair County, Mo., where he bought a farm and remained until the spring of 1866, when he sold out and started for Kansas, arriving in Neosho County on the 4th of April, 1866, and bought a claim three miles northwest of where Erie is now located. In the fall of 1866 he was elected Probate Judge of Neosho County, and served as such until January, 1869. In the summer of 1867 he sold his farm and went to the woods and cut, hauled, rafted and then sawed the logs of which the Erie House, in Erie, and other buildings were built. He then, as a member of the Erie Town Company, built the first hotel ever built in the town, and moved into and occupied the same on the last day of 1867. Here he has ever since had his family residence. He, together with S. W. Fastar, bought the first piece of land for town purposes where Chanute now stands, and here he built two houses in 1870. He also completed the first business house ever built in Coffeyville, Kansas in August, 1871. He has several times been appointed Justice of the Peace of the city and was the first Mayor of the city of Erie, at its organization in December, 1869. In 1871 he was editor of the Erie Ishmaelite, a red hot local organ. In 1872 he was appointed Deputy United States Marshal, which place he held until 1874. During his two years service he was instrumental in bringing a large number of offenders to justice; those acts, coupled with the fact that he was chairman of the Erie executive committee for county seat purposes, made him many enemies as well as a large number of warm friends. In 1873 he was arrested for violation of his duties, which caused him a great deal of trouble. After two years of law bickerings the case was finally nolle prosequied. June 19, 1874, he received his appointment as one of the force of the United States secret service, which place he now holds. Among the noted criminals that he has captured he mentions those of J. S. Wilson, at Shreveport, La., in 1875, and Martin Hixley, in Sumner County, Kansas, in 1877, both of those being arrested and delivered to the proper officers, the former at Memphis, Tenn., and the latter at St. Louis, Mo. In February, 1876, he was ordered to report at New Orleans to the United States Marshal and was detailed to go to Cuba in the interest of the United States, but owing to the revolutionary state of the country at that time, the business was not arranged to his satisfaction; nevertheless the government was pleased with the tact he displayed, and for his shrewdness in the matter he was highly complimented. He mentions many other arrests and incidents of his life which would be of interest, but space forbids. He has been a Notary Public of Kansas ever since May 1, 1868, and is now engaged in the real estate and loan business. In February, 1883, was elected Justice of the Peace and City Judge by an almost unanimous vote.

Volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. … / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar

Joseph A. Wells of Erie, Kan., is a pioneer settler of the state and the representative of a family whose patriotism is unquestioned, for four generations of the Wells family have served in as many of our wars, Judge Wells, himself, being a veteran of the Civil war. He was born in Walkerville, Ill., March 24, 1838, a son of Samuel and Mary (Powers) Wells. Samuel Wells was a native of Tennessee, from which state he removed to Illinois in 1831. There he settled on a large farm which thereafter remained his home. He was a Democrat in politics and during the struggle of 1861-65 his sympathies were with the Southland. He was the father of twenty-four children and died in 1893, at the age of eighty-four. Philip Wells, the father of Samuel and the grandfather of Judge Wells, was born in Tennessee and was a Baptist minister. He, too, became a resident of Illinois and died in that state at the age of seventy-six. His wife attained the age of ninety. Philip Wells served in the war of 1812 and participated in the battle of New Orleans under Gen. Andrew Jackson. Carter Wells, the great-grandfather of Judge Wells, represented Virginia in the patriot army during the Revolution and soon after the war removed to Tennessee. The Wells family is of English descent and very early settled in America. The maternal grandfather of Judge Wells was Joseph Powers, who was a native of North Carolina but moved to Tennessee, where he engaged in farming and reared his family. Later he moved to Illinois and thence to Missouri, where de died. Judge Wells received his education in a log schoolhouse in Illinois and began life independently at the age of sixteen. He worked on his father’s farm for a time, read law, and at the age of twenty-two was elected a justice of the peace in Illinois. Two years later, Aug. 8, 1862, the young man, inspired with the generous sentiments which actuated the flower of the youth of the North, enlisted in Company H, Ninety-first Illinois infantry, as a private under Col. Henry M. Day. The regiment was mustered in Sept. 8, 1862, left for the front Oct. 1, and arrived at Shepherdsville, Ky., on the 7th. On Dec. 27, at Elizabethtown, after an engagement with the forces of Gen. John Morgan, the regiment surrendered and the men were paroled. On June 5, 1863, it was exchanged and newly armed and equipped for the fray. The regiment was sent to Louisiana, where in the following September the brigade to which it belonged had a fight with the enemy near the Atchafalaya river, the result of the contest being that the enemy held his ground and the brigade fell back six miles. On the following day the brigade again advanced, driving the enemy across the river. On Nov. 6 the regiment started for Brownsville, Tex., skirmishing all the way with the enemy, and reached Fort Brown on Nov. 9, going into winter quarters, where it remained until Dec. 31, when it made its famous raid on Salt Lake, ninety miles out in the enemy’s country, capturing a lake of salt two miles square, a few hundred horses, mules and cattle, which were promptly confiscated for the good of the command. In September, 1864, the regiment had quite a fight with the Confederates near Bagdad, on the north side of the Rio Grande, and it was said at the time a squadron of French troops forded the Rio Grande to help the Confederates, but all to no use, for they were driven back over the "old battlefield," Palo Alto, of 1846. Throughout the siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely the regiment took a very active part, and the fall of those strongholds resulted in the surrender of Mobile April 12, 1865. Company H was one of six that participated in a running engagement with Hardee after the surrender of the city, which was the last fight in which the regiment was engaged. The regiment was mustered out July 12, 1865. Besides the engagements mentioned above Judge Wells participated at Vicksburg and at Baton Rouge. During his service he was promoted to first lieutenant and during the last year of the war served as captain of his company. After the war he returned to Illinois, from whence he moved to Adair county, Missouri, where he remained six months. He then came directly to Erie, Kan., where he took a claim, proved it and sold it. In 1867 he built his home, which is the second oldest house in Erie. At this date (1911) he is the oldest continuous settler in Erie and was one of the original town-site men that established that place. He was also one of the organizers of Chanute and built the first house erected in Coffeyville. Judge Wells has always been a Republican and was the only Wells up to his time that believed in and supported the principles of that party. In 1866 he was elected probate judge of Neosho county and served until 1869. He has also served a number of years as a justice of the peace. He was admitted to the bar at Erie, Kan., in 1886, but had practiced law previous to that time. His business career has been along different lines, though his attention has been given principally to a general insurance, loan and pension business, in which he has been extensively engaged, but from which he is now retiring. He is now interested in raising fancy poultry and in past years has raised thoroughbred horses, principally trotters and pacers. In 1860 he married Matilda, a daughter of Pleasant Wood, a farmer resident of Illinois. Of their union were born six children. Loyal T. Wells, the eldest son, died in 1898, after serving five years in the regular army. Seth G. Wells, the second son, is well known to the people of Kansas through his official services and his political and journalistic activities. He was the efficient auditor of state eight years, from 1903 to 1911, and was postmaster at Erie five years preceding that. He has edited the "Erie Record" for a number of years and is one of the leading Republican politicians of the state. He was born, reared and educated in Kansas and his whole career has been one of useful activity in promoting the welfare of his state. Byron C. Wells, the first child born in the town of Erie, died in 1898. He was deputy postmaster there at the time of his death. Logan H. Wells, now an attorney at Lawton, Okla., and Jay C. Wells, a horseman at Salt Lake City, both served in the Spanish-American war, the former as a second lieutenant and the latter as a corporal. Jennie E. Wells, the only daughter, is a high school graduate and married J. E. Rodgers, who at the present time (1911) is bookkeeper for the state treasurer of Kansas and resides at Topeka. The mother of these children died in 1891, and in July, 1894, Judge Wells married Mary J. Hazen, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. Her father, David H. Hazen, was a practicing lawyer at Pittsburgh for a number of years, but later removed to Iowa and thence to Kansas, where he died. He had enjoyed a successful business career and was a wealthy man at the time of his death. Mrs. Wells takes a prominent part in the work of the Methodist Episcopal church at Erie and is a leader in the Woman’s Relief Corps there. Judge Wells is an enthusiastic member of the Masonic order and is one of the best informed men in Masonry in Kansas. He is a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He has served as master of his lodge ten years, as secretary about the same length of time, and is at present filling that office. He is a man of unquestioned force and probity of character and throughout a long and active career has entered heartily into every movement which would promote the growth and welfare of his town and county. He is one of Neosho county’s oldest and most honored pioneers and by an upright and useful life has won the esteem of all who know him.

Here is where his photograph is:…

She’s Called Virginia Starring Joseph Cotton In Commemoration Of America’s 200th Anniversary, Written and Directed By Brick Rider

She’s Called Virginia Starring Joseph Cotton In Commemoration Of America’s 200th Anniversary, Written and Directed By Brick Rider