The Biography Of
Patrick Joyce was one of the first men to join Bankhead's Battery. Only six men had enlisted before him when Captain Bankhead recruited 12 men on May 18, 1861 in Memphis. All of the men enlisted that day were Irish, being recent immigrants to their new country. He was 21 years old and working as a laborer when the desire to fight for his new home with his Irish friends brought him to Captain Bankhead. He enlisted for the duration of the war and was described as five feet eight inches tall with black hair and fair complexion. He had been born in County Carlow in southeastern Ireland.
In the early months of the war the Battery spent time training and drilling on the piece. Patrick Joyce became proficient in the number one position and this became his battle position. At the Battle of Shiloh, Bankhead's Battery was heavily engaged throughout the first day. Joyce served his gun well except that in the heat of the battle it was not always expedient to sponge the bore thoroughly. Joyce had the misfortune to have a premature firing of his gun and lost both of his hands. He was taken to a field hospital but after the battery withdrew to Corinth he was left behind.
He was captured by the Federals on April 7, 1862 and sent to Camp Dennison Hospital in Ohio. He arrived there on April 18 where his wounds were cared for until he was able to be moved. He was sent to the prison stockade at Camp Chase on May 12 where he remained until he was exchanged on August 25.
Because of the nature of his wounds Joyce was very little value to his comrades in Bankhead's Battery. In late June and July the Battery was reorganized under Captain William L. Scott and papers were drawn up for his furlough on July 2. By the fall of 1862 Scott's Battery was involved in the invasion of Kentucky with Chattanooga as their base. He received his back pay on September 1 and wanted to be reunited with his unit. This was not possible at this time and was granted detached duty status. On November 5 he was granted a $50. bounty for reasons that are obscure since he never left the Confederate service. While on detached service he regularly drew clothing and ration allowances. Rations were paid to him at the rate of 60 cents per. day and clothing at 25 cents per. day.
On May 5, 1863 Patrick Joyce returned to active duty with Scott's Battery which was encamped near Shelbyville. With the loss of both hands it was doubtful that he could be of much service but he refused to be discharged and did not want to return to Federal occupied Memphis while his close friends were still in the field. His wounds never healed properly and after the victory at Chickamauga he returned to the hospital. It was decided that his wounds needed special attention and he was sent to Wayside Hospital in Richmond. He arrived on November 3 but the doctors were unable to help him there and sent him to Chimborazo Hospital number 5 on November 13. On November 13, 1863 both arms were amputated as the infection had gotten out of control.
Patrick Joyce survived the surgery and while his comrades were being overrun at Missionary Ridge he was again being furloughed. Feeling that the army was the only home for him he continued to stay with the cause. He continued to draw rations and clothing allowances. On February 20, 1864 Joyce received another $50. bounty in Mobile, Alabama. He was stationed there with the artillery. Lieutenant McDavitt, formerly with Scott's Battery, was with the ordnance department at Mobile and took him in. Perhaps serving as a messenger, Joyce can be found in several locations in 1864 drawing his rations etc. On October 31 he was in Columbus, Georgia. All of his requisitions and vouchers were sighed for him with his unit always recorded at Scott's Battery Light Artillery even though the unit was disbanded in December 1863.
Finally with the war over, Patrick Joyce signed his mark on a parole on April 25, 1865 at Mobile. The Colonel of the 20th. Iowa paroled him. He served Scott's Battery to the very end, although civilian life would prove to be a real challenge.
"Last Updated 12/03/2010"
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