William Ellis Jones was born May 15, 1838, in Richmond, Virginia. He was mustered into service in Crenshaw’s Battery (Pegram’s Battalion), Virginia Light Artillery, on March 14, 1862. Jones participated in the battles of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), Mechanicsville (Beaver Dam Creek), Gaines’ Mill, Cedar Run, Groveton, Second Bull Run (Manassas), Harper’s Ferry, Antietam (Sharpsburg), and Fredericksburg, between March and December 1862, the period covered by his diary. He survived the war and returned to Richmond, where he married Ella Cordelia Smith, and ran a printing and binding business with William H. Clemmit under the name Clemmit & Jones. He died on April 18, 1910, at the age of 72, survived by three sons--F. Ellis Jones, Fairfax Courtney Jones, and Thomas Grayson Jones.