BELL, JOSEPH A. (1841-1922) Joseph A. Bell, confederate veteran, was born in Tennessee in 1841. Around 1852 he moved to Bellville, Austin County, Texas. On October 1, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army in San Antonio and was mustered into the 5th Texas Calvary Company I, under the command of Colonel Thomas Green. His starting rank was sergeant, but on October 22, 1861, he resigned and was demoted to private.
During Joseph?s time in the Confederacy, he fought in many battles with his comrades. One of the first, after the trek from San Antonio to New Mexico was the Battle of Valverde, which took place on February 20-21, 1862. Under Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley, the 5th Cavalry fought to cut communications between Fort Craig and the Union headquarters in Santa Fe. This battle was a victory for the Confederate Army, ending with Colonel E.R.S. Canby?s surrender.
The battle of Glorieta Pass took place on March 26-28, 1862. On the 27th of March, both the Union and Confederates sent for reinforcements. Even thought the Confederates received more reinforcements, they did not win and were forced to return to Texas. During the trek back a substantial loss of life occurred. The Calvary had to recruit more troops and prepare for service in Louisiana.
After the return to Texas, the regiment went to battle in Galveston in early January 1863. This battle was to regain the port for Confederate usage. Though Galveston was on Confederate land, the Confederates lost the area the year before. Major General John B. Magruder took great pains to regain the port. In this battle the Confederates gained much needed artillery and different types of boats used in the battle from the Union. This was a major victory for the Confederates that boosted moral.
Through out this next year, the 5th Texas Calvary participated in many other battles and skirmishes. In February 1864, Joseph was sent home though the reason was not on recorded. Joseph went back to Texas, and either married Mary E. Spence or came home to his wife. The date of the marriage is unknown. They lived in Texas, and on June 14, 1921, he moved into the Confederate Veterans Home in Austin. A couple of months later, Mary joined him. On April 27, 1922, Joseph died at the Home, and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery the next day.
All this information came from his Death Certificate, Confederate?s Veterans Home Roaster, and the Regiment Roll cards.