Joseph Mullins

Joseph Mullins
Mystery Soldier of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry
By Rhonda Robertson

     A Joseph Mullins served as a Private in Company H of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry and was listed as missing October 27, 1862, Captured at Gladeville. Joe served under Colonel Benjamin E. Caudill and spent the remainder of the war in at least three different Yankee prisons before returning home, among them Camp Chase, Ohio, Camp Douglas, Illinois and Point Lookout, Maryland.
     There, however, exist two Joseph Mullins' of virtually the same age who could possibly be the soldier in question.  One Joseph Mullins was born March 16, 1835 and died July 6, 1912 in Knott County, Kentucky of Heart Failure and is buried in the Franklin Cemetery, Smithsboro, Knott County, Kentucky. He was the son of Joshua and Mary Everidge Mullins, the grandson of John Mullins and Nancy Gentry. He married Lizanne Harris and  will be referred to as Joseph Mullins the First. In the Franklin Cemetery are two additional Mullins soldiers: Voluntine/Valentine Mullins and Franklin Mullins who also served in the
13th Kentucky.  Both men were the sons of James Baker and Rachel Mullins, daughter of John Mullins and Nancy Gentry. Hence, Valentine, Franklin and John would have been first cousins.
     The second Joseph Mullins was born June 19, 1834 in Letcher County, KY and died July 29, 1929 in Wise County, VA and is buried in the Dewey Memorial Cemetery, near Pound, the son of Joshua and Mary Caudill Mullins.  He married 1st Mahala Shepherd, 2nd Mazy Parsons, 3rd Rachel Holcomb Roberts and 4th Drucilla Stidham Church.  He was the grandson of Joshua and Anna Robinson Mullins, brother of John Mullins who married Nancy Gentry making these two men second cousins. This Joseph will be referred to as Joseph Mullins the Second. Between 1911 and 1912, Joseph Mullins leaves Eolia, Kentucky and moves in with his son, Frank Mullins, at Flat Gap, near Pound, VA. Joseph Mullins was buried in the Mullins Cemetery on Laurel Fork and when the Pound Dam was proposed, several cemeteries were due to be flooded and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed and developed a new cemetery, Dewey Memorial, where all the graves were to be moved.  According to Nella Hubbard Baker, a descendant of Joseph Mullins, the family was divided as to what to do with Joseph Mullins. Half the family wanted to return him to Eolia to be buried by Mazy Parsons in the cemetery located near the old homeplace. The other half wanted to leave him with Frank and move him to the Dewey Memorial Cemetery. The latter half won and he was moved into the Dewey Memorial where he rests today. This service was attended by two of his
granddaughters, still living today.
     Joseph Mullins the First  had brothers, John who served in the 13th Kentucky, brother Daniel Duff, no record of service  and brother Napoleon who was too young to serve.
     Joseph Mullins the second had brothers, John Mullins who married Celia Maggard; Solomon Mullins  and William Mullins all of whom served with the 13th Kentucky.
     Now the problem...which of these Joseph Mullins' was the actual soldier in the 13th Kentucky Cavalry serving under Benjamin Caudill and you can see that the similarity of names in the Mullins family does not help the situation.
     Let us consider the facts: 
     1.   Both men are virtually the same age and as the Military records in the National Archives only give the details of Private, Company H, 13th Kentucky Cavalry, Prisoner of help there in separating these two men.
     2.   Joseph Mullins who died in Knott County, Kentucky and is buried in the Franklin Cemetery on Irishman's Creek is buried "within a few feet of Volentine Mullins." Volentine Mullins is the son of Rachel Mullins, a sister of the father of Joseph Mullins.
     3.   Joseph Mullins the second is found in the 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 census records of Letcher County, Kentucky along with, at different times, his different wives. However, in 1920 he appears on the Wise County, VA census. This being consistent with the family research indicating that he moved to Wise County from the mouth of Roberts Branch, Eolia, Kentucky to live with his son Frank, at Flat Gap, near Pound, VA.
     However, none of the above information conclusively proves one or the other is the mystery soldier of the 13th.
     Now, the real evidence for the Joseph Mullins who was the mystery soldier of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry is a Confederate Pension application filed with the Commonwealth of Virginia, number 2861, filed April 15, 1913 by George Washington Adams who is found on the roster for the 13th Kentucky Cavalry as
serving in Company D under Colonel Benjamin Caudill and Captain Enoch Webb. When asked to give the names of two comrades who served with him during the war and their addresses, he lists: John Sturgill of Oven Fork, Kentucky and Joseph Mullins of Flat Gap, VA. Therefore proving that Joseph Mullins the first of Knott County, Kentucky, buried in the Franklin Cemetery, cannot be the Joseph Mullins, Private Company H, 13th Kentucky Cavalry as he died July 6, 1912 in Knott County as George W. Adams clearly states that the Joseph Mullins of the 13th Kentucky is still living on April 15, 1913.
     The Mystery Soldier of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry is Joseph Mullins, known as "Little Joe", born June 19, 1834 in Letcher County, KY, and died July 29, 1929 in Wise County, VA, son of Joshua and Mary Caudill Mullins and husband of Mahala Shepherd, Mazy Parsons, Rachel Holcomb Roberts and Drucilla Stidham Church...buried in the Dewey Memorial Cemetery, located near Pound in Wise County, VA.

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