The Civil War letters of Jacob Flory
 
Jacob B. Flory

Jacob B. Flory was born on August 18, 1845 in Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania and was killed on July 22, 1864 in the Battle of Atlanta. He was the oldest son of David and Eliza Brown Flory. In 1861, at the age of 16, he left home against his parents wishes and after spending about two months in southern Ohio, he enlisted in the Union Army. It was his intention to enlist in the Army when he left home.

David B. Flory (Jacob's younger brother who was born in 1866 - two years after Jacob's death) remembered how his mother grieved over the loss of her oldest son and was never able to completely accept his death. She saved Jacob's letters that he wrote during the war.

In 1940, on a trip through the south, family members located Jacob's final burial site within the Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia, about 20 miles north of Atlanta.

In his Flory genealogy book, Walter Q. Bunderman (David B. Flory's son-in-law) included both the correspondence between David Flory and the US Quartermaster General's office, and the transcribed copies of Jacob's Civil War letters to his family.

Because these documents provide a unique insight into the Civil War, being that of a foot soldier, they are reproduced here with the hope that they will gain a greater exposure.

Grave site and marker

Jacob was originally buried in Atlanta. In 1866, the National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia was established as a final resting place for the 10,000 Union soldiers who died during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The original grave marker bore the name "J. B. Flora". Following an exchange of letters between David B. Flory and the US Quartermaster General, a new headstone was erected, as shown below to the right. To the left is a copy of the letter to David Flory from the Quartermaster General's office, confirming that Jacob's records had been updated and that a new headstone had been ordered.

April 19, 1940

Dear Mr. Flory,

Reference is made to your letter of March 27, 1940, concerning the burial place of your brother, the late Jacob B. Flory. Records of the Adjutant General's office show one Jacob B. Flory, surname also borne as Flora, was enrolled 11-15-61, at West Boro. Was mustered into service 11-25-61 at Gauley Mountain, Virginia, as a Pvt., Company E, 47th Ohio Infantry, and died 7-23-64 of wounds received in battle before Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 1864. The records of this show one J. B. Flora, Pvt., Co. E, 74th Ohio Infantry died 7-22-64, buried in Grave 4668, Section F, Marietta National Cemetery. The original place of burial was Atlanta, Ga.

As there is no record of any J. B. Flora in the 74th Ohio Infantry and as the other data agrees with that pertaining to Jacob B. Flory, the decdent interred in Grave 4668 is undoubtedly the Jacob B. Flory in whom you are interested. The records of this office have been changed accordingly and a new headstone has been ordered for the grave.

For the Quartermaster General:

Very Truly yours,
Thomas E. Mahoney
Major, Q. M. Corps
Assistant

Jacob Flory grave marker
photo courtesy of Helen Jeffrey Gaskill
The Civil War letters of Jacob B. Flory

The following are photocopies of the letters of Jacob Flory. They were written while he was a Union soldier in the Civil War, between the years 1862 and 1864, to his parents and family in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. They were photocopied from Walter Bunderman's "Flory Flora Fleury Family History 1948" book, pages 56 - 67. Some parts of the letters are missing due to either sensitive material that was removed by the military censors at the time, or were undecipherable at the time they were transcribed.

These letters provide a unique perspective of the Civil War, as seen through the eyes of an enlisted soldier.

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