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John J Williams was born in 1843 in Jay County, Indiana, and joined the Union Army September 1863. He spent most of the war on guard and garrison duty in the Western Theatre until the Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas, which was the last of the Civil War. Even though the battle was his first time seeing action, Williams died on May 13, 1865, and as such, has the distinction of being the last soldier to have been killed in action during the Civil War. His body was brought back to the county and he is now buried in Jay County Infirmary Cemetery.