Private Joseph Simon Bartlum was born June 28th, 1838 at Green Turtle Cay, Great Abaco, Bahamas. His family relocated to Key West, Florida prior to 1857. He married Mary Elizabeth Roberts on October 22nd, 1857 at Key West, Monroe County, Florida.
He was mustered into Confederate service on April 25th, 1862 when was enlisted as a Private in Captain Smith’s Company (Key West Avengers), 7th Regiment Florida Infantry by Major R. B. Thomas at Tampa, Florida for a period of 3 years or the war.
He was present on all rolls, and was wounded at the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25th, 1863. He was reported present on the rolls for November and December, 1864, and reported as absent on furlough for 30 days beginning February 6th, 1864.
He is widely believed to have entered the C.S. Navy at Savannah, Georgia between February and March, 1864 and to have severed in CSS Savannah with a number of other former members of company K; however, there is no further official record of service after February 6th, 1864.
Robert Watson and John Jackson both vouched for him on his wife’s pension application on June 28th, 1906. Watson’s diary entry for Friday, November 27th 1863 (two days after Missionary Ridge) records that he had, “… marched to Dalton, arriving there about 6 p.m. where he found Lieutenant Maloney and some of his company. The [Florida] brigade was camped at the old hospital buildings 1 mile from Dalton where he found that the casualties of his company were Captain R. B. Smith, and Privates Joseph Batlum [sic] John Pent and John Jackson wounded and Privates Joseph Fagan, Charles Comb, and William Herrymand missing. [p. 88]. Bartlum is also mentioned again as VISITING Watson onboard the CSS Savanah on Friday, March 11th, stating that he had been on furlough at home (Tampa) and was on his way back to his command (does not specify whether this was Company K or another vessel).
After the war he lived at Key West and worked as a carpenter and cigar make. He died at Key West, Monroe County, Florida on September 19th, 1903. Mary Elizabeth applied for and was granted a Confederate Widow's Pension for her husband's service.