Joseph Mark Westmoreland was born in about 1827 in Alabama. He was the son of Wilburn Dennison Westmoreland and Elizabeth Simmons of Montgomery County, Alabama.
He was married to Mary Sarah McGill in Macon County, Alabama, on March 22, 1849. Mary was born in 1832 in South Carolina. The couple was enumerated on the 1850 Macon County census in District 21. Joseph was a farmer and was the owner of five slaves, two males and three females.
Later that year, he and Mary migrated to Montgomery County, Texas. Joseph's name appears on the 1851 tax list, at which time he rendered four slaves and three horses. He had not yet purchased land.
In 1855, his brother John T. Westmoreland joined him in Montgomery County, Texas.
In 1860 he was enumerated with wife, "M," age 39 born in South Carolina.
Living with the couple in 1860 was John A. Guynn, (spelled Guinn on the census) age eighteen, who was the brother of Nancy Guynn, wife of John Thompson Westmoreland. John was a student, so he was probably boarding with the couple while attending school.
Also living in the household was Joseph's half-sister, Josephine Cousins, age sixteen, the daughter of his mother, Elizabeth Simmons, by her second husband, Patrick Cousins. After the war, Josephine was to marry Robert L. Wood.
Joseph M. Westmoreland joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen, a local militia company, on May 4, 1861, along with Guynn. He was listed on the muster rolls of September 13, 1861 and February 14, 1862.
Joseph did not join the Texas Lancers with Captain Wooldridge when the other men left to join the Confederate Army in May. At the time, he was 35 years old and was probably considered over age. However, he continued serving as a member of the Texas State Troops.
The Regimental Return of the Third Regiment, 17th Brigade, dated August, 1862, shows that he had been elected Second Lieutenant of Company B, based in Danville.
(See third column under Co. B)
This letter from Seventeenth Brigade TST Brigadier General to the Texas Adjutant General reports the newly elected militia officers in Danville in May of 1862. This election took place shortly after Captain Wooldridge and his men went off to war.
In 1870, J. M. and Mary Westmoreland were living in the Danville Precinct, ages 43 and 38. At this time, they had a one-year-old son named Mark. J. M. Westmoreland was a member of San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106 in Danville. He is listed in their records as Master Mason in 1870 and 1873.
The couple is enumerated in the census of 1880 in District 1, with just one child, 10-year-old Mark. Mary Westmoreland died in 1891 and was buried in Shepard Hill Cemetery at Old Danville, Texas. In 1899, Joseph M. Westmoreland was appointed postmaster of Esperanza, near the former site of Danville. Joseph died in 1904; he is buried next to Mary in Shepard Hill Cemetery. You can read the history of the cemetery here.
Photos courtesy of Anna Shepeard, January, 2004
Sources used include Compiled Service Records; census records; tax lists; vertical files of the Montgomery County, Texas, library; Brigade Correspondence files in the Texas State Archives; also genealogy records of the Wilburn Westmoreland family found online.
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Karen McCann Hett
Return to Co. B 24th Texas Cavalry
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