Joseph M. Nichols was a resident of Mansfield on September 2, 1861 when he enlisted as a Private in Co. B of the 10th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to Corporal on October 18, 1862, then reenlisted as a veteran January 1, 1864. He was wounded May 16, 1864 at Fort Darling, Virginia, wounded August 16, 1864 at White’s Tavern, Virginia and wounded October 12, 1864 at Darbytown Road, Virginia. He was promoted to Sergeant November 1, 1864 and discharged for disability July 6, 1865.
He was born about August 1839 in Rhode Island, probably to Sylvester and Martha H. (Briggs) Nichols. In the 1860 U.S. census in Willington, he is a 20 year old in the household of Sylvester Nichols. After the Civil War, he lived in Rhode Island until about 1879 when he moved to Ashford, Connecticut where he resided with his growing family and his parents. The 1890 Veterans Census enumerated Joseph Nichols in Providence, Rhode Island and he moved to Oswego, New York between 1890 and 1900 where he was a laborer in a woolen mill. Joseph Nichols married Harriet M. _____ about 1858. They had sixteen children, probably including: James S. Nichols, born about 1859 in Connecticut; Harry Arthur Nichols, born September 16, 1874 in Smithfield, Rhode Island; Horace Toby Nichols, born January 11, 1876 in Lincoln, Rhode Island; Edith Nichols and Bertha Nichols, twin daughters born about July 1879, probably in Ashford, Connecticut.
On February 4, 1867 he applied for an invalid pension, No. 121,880 that was granted under certificate No. 79,087. According to the list of pensioners on the roll in 1883, he was receiving $6 per month for a wounded right arm. His widow applied for a pension on December 29, 1913.
Joseph M. Nichols died on December 4, 1913 in Fulton, New York according to the Civil War pension index; his burial place is not known.