Joel Gilmore Wood was born in Cherokee County, Alabama on October 7, 1829, the son of William H. Wood (1806 – 1861) and Elmira Lane (1808 – 1866).
January 29, 1854, he was married to Maria Evans, daughter of Jesse and Caroline (Anderson) Evans.
Joel and Maria farmed in Alabama for two years after their marriage, and then moved to Greene County, Arkansas. Two years later they relocated to Craighead County and purchased sixty acres of land one and one-fourth miles south of Jonesboro, where they resided until the time of his death. Besides the operation of the family farm, Joel owned and operated a grocery store/general store in Jonesboro. Ten (10) children were born to Joel and Maria.
Following The War of Northern Aggression, Joel served with credit one term as sheriff of Craighead County, and filled the offices of justice of the peace and constable in Cherokee County, Ala. He was a prominent citizen and a Democrat. He died November 20, 1882 following an attack by Elder J. F. Crow on November 16, 1882. Crow was arrested and charged with murder.
Service Record for The Confederate States of America (CSA):
Joel Gilmore Wood enlisted in Craighead County, Arkansas on March 11, 1862.
His company completed its organization in March 1862 and Joel Wood was elected Captain. The Company was assigned to Lieutenant-Colonel Batt L. Jones’ 8th Arkansas Infantry Battalion as Company F (Wood’s Rifles) on April 9. As a result of the battalion’s reorganization a month later, Wood’s Rifles was re-designated as Company E on May 10, 1862 with Joel remaining as captain of the company.
In October, 1862, the battalion was assigned to Cabell’s Brigade, Price’s Corps, and covered the Confederate withdrawal from the battle of Corinth. The battalion suffered significant losses in this rear-guard action of October 5, 1862.
The battalion was then transferred to the brigade of Brigadier-General William Nelson Rector Beall in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, and formed part of the garrison of Port Hudson, Louisiana. They endured the siege of that place from May to July, 1863, only surrendering when the fall of Vicksburg rendered the defense of Port Hudson irrelevant. The garrison capitulated on July 9, 1863. This company did not rejoin the battalion after the surrender at Port Hudson.
Captain Wood returned to northeast Arkansas and organized Company A, Davies’ 7th Arkansas Cavalry Battalion, in Craighead and Greene counties, and several members of his former company enlisted. It was organized with 5 companies (at least). The battalion was surrendered by Jeff Thompson on May 11, 1865. It’s only assignments were: Northern Sub-District of Arkansas, District of Arkansas, Trans-Miss (Apr 1865) Northern Sub-District of Arkansas, District of Arkansas and West Louisiana, Trans-Miss (Apr-May 1865). Joel Gilmore Wood received his official parole on May 25, 1865 at Wittsburg, Arkansas.
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