John J. Bullard, my third great-grandfather, was born about 1846 in DeKalb County, Tennessee to Mary Reeves and Henry Bullard. John is on the 1850 and 1860 census with his parents and siblings in District 5 of DeKalb County near Smithville.

At the age of 15, John joined the the confederacy as a Private in the 35th Regiment, Tennessee Infantry (5th Infantry) (1st Mountain Rifle Regiment), Company E. His regiment was formed on September 11, 1861 at Camp Smartt near McMinnville, TN. John was enlisted by Captain J.H. Wood on September 27, 1861 for one year. His name appears on a list of men furloughed right after joining.

John, now 17, appears next on the rolls for January and February 1863 with Company G of the 5th Tennessee Regiment Provisional Army. This was what his old regiment and company were now called. He enlisted on February 3, 1863 in Tullahoma by Captain Gunter (?) for three years.

On the rolls for March and April 1863, John is listed as absent. The next roll lists him as deserted on July 2, 1863.

On July 24, 1863, John appears on a list of confederate prisoners paroled by R.W. McClain (Col. 51st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, & Provost Marshal of McMinnville, Tenn.).

I’m not a Civil War history expert, but I would guess he was captured by the Union then paroled. Did John desert and get caught? Did he not desert and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time? I found an article about R.W. McClain and his time in Tennessee in 1863.

The 51st remained in the vicinity of Murfreesboro until June 24, 1863, when the regiment embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign. The 51st marched to Ringgold, Georgia, moving through McMinnville, Tennessee and Point Lookout, Tennessee. (Credit: Ohio Civil War Central)

Here is a link to the PDF of his service records. (Google Drive)

That’s all I know about John’s time in the war. He married Margaret Manda Jane Pack on December 23, 1869 in DeKalb, Tennessee. They had one daughter, Nancy Jane “Nannie”, on September 29, 1870. John died before August 1872, when his wife remarried. Nancy (married name Carroll) applied for his pension benefits in 1895.

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John’s pension index card

I have considered ordering the pension packet, but I hate to pay and not receive anything useful. After compiling what I know about John for this post, I have decided to order the pension packet. (I’ll document the ordering process and what I find out!)

nancy-bullard-jim-frank
John’s daughter, Nancy

John’s story is sad. He died between the ages of 24 and 26. His cause of death is unknown, perhaps more information exists in the pension packet. Also, he didn’t get to see his only child grow up.

I wish I could tell you more of John’s story, but this is all I know. Perhaps more information is tucked away in his pension file just waiting to be discovered.

This post is in memory of my third great-grandfather, whose story was cut short.

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