[H]e was ever courteous to his subordinate officers and men in the line, and while maintaining proper discipline had always a warm sympathy for the boys in the trenches or on the march. On the battlefield he was cool and collected, bearing himself always as a leader who felt the weight of his responsibility, and yet was ever ready to brave any danger which promised to benefit the cause of which he was devoted.
At the close of the war, General Palmer proved himself as good a citizen as he had been a soldier. He died on the 4th of November, 1890, mourned by his many friends and countrymen.
Source: Evans, Clement, ed. Confederate Military History, Vol. XII, Confederate Publishing Company, Atlanta, GA, 1899
Tribute of Respect
At a meeting of Dibrell Bivouac, No. 12, called to take action on the death of Gen. Joseph B. Palmer, the committee on resolutions reported the following, which were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God to suddenly take from our midst Gen. Joseph B. Palmer, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, it is with deep sorrow that we, his old comrades in arms, meet to pay our last sincere respects to his memory, and his great worth as a soldier, citizen and patriot.
Whereas, we personally bear testimony to his superb gallantry and bravery on the field of battle, his efficiency as an officer in the late Confederate army, both as a colonel of the 18th Tennessee Infantry and afterwards as Brigadier General, and have personally witnessed his magnificent bearing on many hard-fought battle fields, and have witnessed his uniform kindness to his soldiers in camp, his tried and true fidelity to the “Lost Cause” he so warmly espoused and to his great worth as a citizen since the close of the war; that he has both in war and peace, ever exhibited that lofty patriotism, both in moral and physical, so-characteristic of every Southern man, and especially of every true Tennessean. That he was faithful to his friends and magnanimous to his enemies, manly and dignified on all occasions; one in whose heart there was no guile, an eminent lawyer, true and faithful to his clients, and
Whereas, we bear testimony to the fact that his immediate family and friends have sustained irreparable loss, that his county and the whole state have lost a useful, good man.,
Therefore, be it resolved by Dibrell Bivouac, that we greatly lament his untimely and unexpected death; that we sincerely and deeply sympathize with his family in their great and irreparable loss and bereavement, and tender to them our heartfelt condolence.
Resolved further, that the members of Dibrell Bivouac be requested to wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
Resolved further, that the papers of Marshall county be requested to publish these resolutions and that those of Murfreesboro be furnished with the same for publication, and that a copy of these resolutions be furnished Horace E. Palmer, the son of the deceased.
W. W. Walker,
C. C. McKinney,
C. T. Swanson,
J. B. Neil,
J. H. Lewis