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This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Joel B. Pitts
of Watervliet

Joel B. Pitts, son of Isaac B. and Allah M. Pitts, was born in Nassau, January, 1843. His mother died while he was an infant, and his father moved to Watervliet, Albany county, in 1845, and still resides there.

His health was never very good. He was always a kind and affectionate boy, and possessed a good character. He never professed religion, but from his last two letters we have reason to hope, that the many prayers offered in his behalf, were answered.

From the commencement of the war, he felt a great interest in it, and often expressed his desire to participate in it. But on account of his health and youth, his friends opposed it. He was told that when he was drafted it would be time enough for him to join the army. He was drafted, and, October 1st, he joined the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, and remained at Fort Reno until May, 1864, when the regiment went out as infantry.

He was in several skirmishes, and in the battles of the Wilderness and Coal Harbor. At the latter place he was wounded, June 3d, in his right arm and in his left shoulder. He laid most of the day in a pit used by a rebel sharpshooter. Late in the afternoon he went to the field hospital, and from there to the Columbian hospital, Washington, where the ball was removed from his neck. In six weeks he was so far recovered as to be able to go home on a furlough of sixty days. He spent most of the winter in the hospital.

During the winter the Surgeon talked of putting him in the Invalid Corps, but he opposed it, and said that he had rather go to his regiment, where he could do more good, and fight the rebels.

March 6th, 1865, he left the hospital at Washington, and joined his regiment at Baltimore. He was taken sick in a few days with fever, and, April 3d, went to Fort Federal Hill hospital, where he died, April 13th.

He was delirious a week or more before he died, but lived long enough to realize our triumph; for he wrote in his Testament, "Victory, victory over our rebel foes."

A Lieutenant, in writing of his death, said: "He was a good soldier, and I wish that I was as well prepared to die as he was."

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