JOYCE,Martin VanBuren, Pvt. - Union

JOYCE,Martin VanBuren, Pvt. - Union
Co. L, 8th Reg. Ky Cav.

Private Martin Van Buren Joyce, U S Army

Martin Van Buren Joyce, at age 27 and son of Thomas Patrick Joyce and Elizabeth Colson Joyce, was mustered into service as a private with Company L, 8th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry, U S Army for a period of one year. He was born in Grainger County Tennessee, September 12, 1835. He came to Trigg County in the mid 1840's with his parents where they settled in the Golden Pond area of the Land Between the Rivers.

The first battalion of the regiment was organized at Henderson, KY, by Major James M. Holloway and mustered into service September 13th, 1862, by Captain V.N. Smith, United States Mustering Officer.

The second battalion was organized by Colonel Bristow at Russellville, KY, and mustered into service by Captain T.E. Noell, September 8th, 1862. This battalion was commanded Mayor J.M. Kennedy.

The third battalion was recruited at Lebanon, KY, by Major J.W. Weatherford, and mustered in at Russellville, KY, by Captain T.E. Noell, September 8th, 1862.

The whole regiment numbered 1,248 men, was recruited and organized within the space of three weeks from the time authority was issued for same, and was composed of the very best material in the State. The line officers were competent and gallant soldiers, and, from the day of organization their respective commands were well disciplined and under perfect control.

The first battalion under Major Holloway, commanded by Colonel Shackelford, remained at Henderson, KY, during the months of September and October 1862, and was constantly skirmishing with the rebel forces under Adam Johnson. This battalion, together with one or two companies of Indiana Cavalry, fought a large force under Adam Johnson, at Geiger's lake, and scattered them in every direction. In this engagement Colonel Shackelford received a severe and painful wound while leading a charge.

The second and third battalions, in the meanwhile, were engaged in a number of skirmishes with the rebel Colonel Woodward, and finally, by a night march under Major Kennedy, they came upon his forces at Camp Coleman, in Todd County, KY, dispersing the whole force.

Upon the invasion of Kentucky by Bragg, General Buell ordered the second and third battalions to join his command at Bowling Green, KY. In conjunction with a part of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry, were assigned to the responsible duty of guarding General Buell's immense wagon train across Green River. Upon returning to Bowling Green, two companies of the 8th Calvary were sent upon a scout into Tennessee, where they surprised and captured a party of over one hundred rebel soldiers who were engaged in collecting supplies for Bragg's army.

In November of 1862, the first and second battalions were ordered to Russellville, KY, and the third battalion ordered to Clarksville, TN, where it remained during the remainder of its term of enlistment, doing good service in repelling invasions and keeping open the Cumberland River, thus securing supplies to General Rosecrans' army. During the winter and spring, the first and second battalions were engaged in many skirmished and were assigned the duty of protecting the country west of the Nashville railroad.

In January 1863, Colonel Shackelford was promoted Brigadier General, and Lieutenant Colonel B.H. Bristow was commissioned Colonel.

This regiment and battalion of the 3rd Kentucky Cavalry, under command of Colonel Bristow, were in pursuit of John Hunt Morgan in his raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, and did good service in that long and fatiguing march and was present at the taking of the notorious raider.

Martin Van Buren Joyce mustered out with the regiment on September 23, 1862 at Russellville, KY. At which time he returned home to Golden Pond, KY married December 1863 and raised a family of 14 children. Martin Joyce applied for a military pension August 1890. His widow applied and was also granted a widow's pension and at the time of her death in January 1915 she was receiving the sum of $12.00 (not sure if it was monthly or quarterly).

Martin Van Buren Joyce died on December 31, 1904 and is buried in Jenny Ridge Cemetery in LBL along with his wife Sarah Catherine Lowery Joyce and several of his children and other family members.

Submitted By:

Joyce Kelley, great-granddaughter