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Edmund L. Joy, U.S.V., Judge-Advocate
Major Edmund L. Joy, U.S.V., Judge-Advocate
Major Edmund L. Joy was born in Albany, New York, October 1, 1835. He
was a descendant of Thomas joy, who emigrated with Winthrop and his
company to this country from Hingham, England, and settled in Boston in
1630. On his mother's side he was descended from Anthony Stoddard, who
also emigrated from England, and settled in Boston in 1639. His
grandfather, Nathaniel Joy, fought in the Revolutionary War. His father,
Charles Joy, went to Newark, New Jersey, and in 1855 established himself
there in business, which he conducted until his death, in 1873.
Edmund L. Joy, after receiving a preparatory education at the Albany
Academy, entered the University of Rochester, from which he was graduated
in 1856. He was admitted to the bar of New York in 1857, and afterwards
removed to Iowa, where he practiced his profession with success.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he espoused the Union cause and took an
active part in raising troops. He was mustered into the United States
service as captain Company B, Thirty-sixth Regiment Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, October 4, 1862, and served in the Department of Tennessee at
Fort Pickering, Memphis, in the autumn of that year. During the Vicksburg
campaign he was with the Yazoo Pass Expedition, and participated in the
engagement at Fort Pemberton, Mississippi. He commanded the left wing of
the regiment at the battle of Helena, and took part in the movements
resulting in the capture of Little Rock. At one time he was in command of
the provost guard at Helena, Arkansas.
In 1864 President Lincoln appointed him major and judge-advocate U. S.
Volunteers. He was assigned to the Seventh Army Corps, which was under the
command of Major-General Frederick Steele, a graduate of West Point in the
class of 1843, a distinguished officer in the Mexican War, and
subsequently, and until his death in 1868, commander of the Department of
the Columbia. Edmund L. Joy, besides being on the staff of General Steele,
was also made judge-advocate of the Department of the Arkansas, with
head-quarters at Little Rock, Arkansas. He had much to do in this capacity
with the organization of a judicial System for Arkansas and the Indian
Territory, and aided in the organization of a State government under a new
constitution for the State of Arkansas. He resigned his commission and was
honorably discharged May 7, 1865. At the close of the war he returned to
Newark, but with health so impaired by his military service, that it was
impossible for him to resume the practice of his profession. He therefore
entered into partnership with his father, and after his father's death
succeeded to the business, becoming a member of the New York Produce
||Edmund L. Joy was eminently a
public-spirited man, and deeply interested in all that pertained to
the welfare of the city of Newark and of the State in which he
He was an ardent Republican, and in 1871 and 1872 was a member of
the New Jersey House of Assembly, and in the latter year was
chairman of the judiciary Committee.
He was a member of the Board of Education of the city of Newark from
1877 to 1889, and for three years was honored with the presidency of
that body. He was a member of the Newark Board of Trade, was its
president in 1875 and 1876, and from that time till his death served
as treasurer of the board. He was a director of the Manufacturers'
National Bank of Newark, and was identified with other institutions,
both financial and charitable.
In 1880 he was a delegate from New Jersey to the National Republican
Convention which met in Chicago and nominated James A. Garfield for the
Presidency. In 1884 he was appointed by President Arthur a government
director of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.
He was conspicuously a racy and genial companion, and his ability as a
speaker was unquestioned. He was " a zealous patriot, a gallant soldier, a
scholar, and a Christian gentleman of many accomplishments."
In 1862 he married Miss Theresa R. Thrall, a daughter of the late Homer L.
Thrall, M.D., who was a Professor of Chemistry in Kenyon College, and
subsequently of Materia Medica and General Pathology in Starling Medical
College, Columbus, Ohio.
He died February 14, 1892, and, besides his widow, left two sons-Edmund
Frederick Steele Joy and Homer Thrall Joy-and one daughter, Mrs. R. Delos
Martyn, of Chicago.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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