Joseph Ledbeter was born on February 6, 1828, in London, England.
Joseph immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a mill hand and living at the Paddock boarding house in Georgetown, Ottawa County, Michigan, along with: John Finch (who would join Company I), Albert Hayes (Company I), Benjamin Parker (Company I), James Parm (Company I), Thomas Rowling (Company B), Stephen Scales (Company I), Alfred (Company F), William Tate (Company I) and John M. Taylor (Company I).
He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 33 years old and listed his place of residence as Wayne County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick in the hospital in July and August of 1862, and probably still hospitalized when he allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was discharged for dyspepsia and nephritis on December 12, 1862, at Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island.
After his discharge Joseph eventually returned to Michigan and settled in Caledonia, Shiawassee County, working for many years as a gardener.
He married Vermont native Maria (b. 1839), and they had at least five children: Jonas (b. 1871) Charles (b. 1873), Gracie (b. 1876), Fannie, Thomas and William (b. 1878).
By 1880 Joseph was working as a gardener and living with his wife and children in Owosso’s Second Ward, Shiawassee County. Joseph was living in Caledonia when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1352) for the first time on August 27, 1890; and in December of that year he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also reportedly living in Caledonia in 1894.
He was probably a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Quackenbush post in Caledonia. In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 298557).
Joseph was in and out of the Home several times but was not a member of the Home and indeed was probably living in Caledonia when he died of a stroke of paralysis (a result of severe heart disease) at about 12:45 a.m., on September 2, 1896, in Caledonia. Funeral services were held at his home under the auspices of the GAR, the Rev. Marshall officiating. He was buried in Oakhill cemetery in Owosso.
His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 440886).