Private Joseph Fagan was born ca. 1846 at St. Augustine, Florida. In 1860, he was living at Key West, Florida with his parents, Henry and Ellen (Lyon) Fagan, and one brother. His pre-war occupation is shown as laborer. In autumn of 1861, Fagan and John T. Lowe were working in Manatee county and joined their comrades from Key West in Tampa. The others were engaged in smack fishing for the Havana market. Their vessels were captured by the Confederates near Tampa, which afforded them an opportunity to give their services to their country.
Fagan was mustered into service as a seaman on December 1st, 1861 with Captain Henry Mulrenan’s Florida Volunteer Coast Guards. He remained in this unit until mustered into Confederate service on April 25th, 1862 when he 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 reported present until November 2nd, 1862 when he was recorded as absent sick in hospital at Knoxville, Tennessee.
He was absent on sick furlough through February, 1863. He was reported present In March 1863, his absence to that point was documented as absent without leave. He is reported present on all subsequent muster rolls until November 25th, 1863 when he is reported missing in action at Missionary Ridge.
He is documented on an undated (Federal) Register of Prisoners of War for the Department of the Cumberland documenting his capture at Missionary Ridge on November 25th. He was taken to the General Field Hospital at Bridgeport, Alabama in December, and remained there until transferred to the Post House Hospital at Nashville, Tennessee in February, 1863, where he received treatment for pneumonia. He was released from care in March 1864, and transferred to travel Louisville, Kentucky on March 20th, 1864, for further transfer to Camp Chase, Ohio where he arrived on March 26th, 1864. He applied to take the oath of allegiance on June 10th, 1864; he was administered the oath and released on March 29th, 1865.
He was described as being 21 years old and having dark complexion, light brown hair, 5’ 10” tall, gray eyes.
He returned to Tampa and married Mary Aurelia Bourquardez on October 3, 1869. He was a member of the UCV Camp Loring No. 1126, at Tampa, in 1907, and drew a Confederate Pension until his death at Tampa, Florida on June 4th, 1911.
Mary Aurelia re-applied for a Widow's Pension, but apparently was denied based upon Joseph have received the Oath of Allegiance prior to the "official" cessation of the war.