A native of Hawkins County, Tennessee, he lived in Stoddard County, Missouri when the war began. He enlisted on 16 November 1861 at Cape Girardeau. He was captured on 6 April 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh. Battery F, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery had a total of only 9 casualties at Shiloh: 1 officer and 5 enlisted men wounded, and 3 men missing. Battery F fought in the Hornet's Nest.