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Confederate (CSV)


Joseph Benjamin Polley

(1840 - 1918)

Home State: Texas

Education: Florence Wesleyan University (AL), Class of 1861

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Texas Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

After graduating, he enlisted as Private in Company F, 4th Texas Infantry at Camp Clark in Guadalupe County, TX on 11 July 1861 and was detailed as the Quartermaster's clerk by June 1862. He was slightly wounded in the head at Gaines' Mill, VA on 27 June 1862.

On the Campaign

He was with his regiment on the Maryland Campaign of 1862, still Quartermaster's clerk.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant of the regiment on 1 November 1862. He was reduced to Corporal by February 1864 and was wounded by a gunshot in action at Darbytown Road near Richmond on 7 October 1864. He lost his right foot to amputation by Surgeon J.C. Jones the same day, and was furloughed on 26 November for 60 days, probably to Botetourt County, VA. He was retired for disability on 25 January 1865 near Richmond, VA and was paroled on 12 August 1865 in San Antonio, TX, then living in Guadalupe County.

After the War

He returned to Texas, studied law and passed the bar in 1868. He went into practice in 1876, when he moved to Floresville, Texas. He was County Attorney (1877-78) and in the State Legislature (1879). He wrote extensively on the War, most notably in Hood's Texas Brigade (1910), and A Soldier's Letters to Charming Nellie (1908). He was elected commander of the Texas Division of the United Confederate Veterans, and contributed often to the Confederate Veteran magazine.

References & notes

Basic biography from the Handbook1 with service from his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. Personal details from the finding aid to an 1862 letter of his in the collection of the Pearce Museum at Navarro College. His gravesite is on Findagrave.


10/27/1840; near Bailey's Prairie, TX


02/02/1918; Floresville, TX; burial in Floresville City Cemetery, Floresville, TX


Ellis, L. Tuffly, and James W. Pohl, and Ron Tyler, Editors in Chief, The Handbook of Texas, Published 1999, <>, Source page: /articles/fpo10  [AotW citation 2906]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 26963]