LIEUTENANT JOSEPH COLEMAN ALDERMAN, of Wheeling, W. Va., distinguished among the Confederate soldiers of Greenbrier county for faithful and devoted service, was born at Locust Grove, Amherst county, Va., October 19, 1839, the home of his maternal grandfather, John Coleman. His father, Rev. L. A. Alderman, a few years later removed to the old stone mansion opposite the town of Alderson, on the Greenbrier river, where young Alderson was reared. He was educated at the Lewisburg academy and Alleghany college, at Blue Sulphur Springs, an institution which was destroyed by the war. In his senior year at this college he enlisted on April 15, 1861, in the Greenbrier cavalry, a company which served in the West Virginia campaign of 1861 as bodyguard for General Garnett until his death, and afterward as bodyguard to Gen. R. E. Lee and as his couriers until he left that department. In December following the company was disbanded. Alderson was a young man of remarkable physical development and a famous athlete, qualities which, added to great personal daring, made him a natural leader among his fellows. He devoted his talents to the Confederate cause by raising a new cavalry company, of which he was elected second lieutenant. This company was assigned to the Fourteenth cavalry regiment, and Lieutenant Alderson a few months later organized another company, of which he was made first lieutenant, declining, as in the previous instance, the rank of captain. This became Company A, of the Thirty-sixth Virginia battalion of cavalry, distinguished in the commands of General Jenkins and W. E. Jones. Lieutenant Alderson commanded this company from June 12, 1863, to the close of the war, and was frequently in command of the battalion, acting as major. During his four years' service he never had but eight days' leave of absence from his command. He commanded his company at the fight at Buchanan, Upshur county, was in the fights at Weston, W. Va.; Ravenswood and Racine, on the Ohio river; Charleston and Buffalo, W. Va., and in the winter of 1862 was sent on detailed service to Roanoke, Va. Returning in the early summer of 1863, he passed through Lexington, Va., on the day of the interment of the body of Stonewall Jackson, and his company fired the military salute over the dead hero's grave. He next fought at Opequon, captured and brought in eight Yankees at North Mountain Gap, and then participating in the Pennsylvania campaign skirmished every day and night as far as Carlisle, Pa., whence he was sent with an escort of five men to carry important dispatches to General Early, near York, seventy miles away, through the enemy's country, one of his most daring exploits. He was with his command at Gettysburg, carried the first order on the first day from General Ewell to General Rhodes, and at night gave General Lee the first news of the Federal reinforcements. In the cavalry fight which followed from Hagerstown to Williamsport he was wounded by a fragment of shell and disabled two months. In 1864 he was in battle at Jonesville, W. Va.; Cumberland Gap, Rogersville, Tenn.; Waynesboro, Va., and Pettit's Mill. In the last encounter he was captured by the enemy. His conduct while a prisoner strikingly displayed his unconquerable spirit. He had hardly well started on the road north before he secured the escape of twenty-seven of his Confederate comrades, and while confined at Camp Chase, Ohio, he made three ineffectual attempts to escape by tunneling. He refused alike to take the oath or to give his parole on condition of remaining North. Finally, in February, 1865,he was sent to Fort McHenry and Point Lookout, and in the following month was exchanged at City Point. While on his way to rejoin the army he was informed of the end of the war. He took part, in all, in over two hundred engagements, and his service was frequently of the most arduous character, as in the winter of 1863-64, when he was in daily fighting, and in the Tennessee campaign, under General Jones, when he was on the march every night. Going west in 1865 he had charge of the middle division of the Butterfield overland express through the Indian country until it was broken up by the red men, when he joined his father and farmed near Atchison, Kan. Since 1869 he has resided at Wheeling, and has conducted an extensive insurance business and dealt largely in coal and timberlands. He has declined political advancement, but served as a West Virginia commissioner at the Ohio Valley centennial at Cincinnati in 1888 and at the Washington centennial in New York in 1889. He married Miss Mary, daughter of ex-Gov. Samuel Price, of Virginia.