Jacoby Journal Index Jacoby Soldier's Profile 16th OVI Home Page April-May, 1861
Journal of Samuel Lay Jacoby
Private, Company C
April 24, 1861 to July 31, 1861
Web Author's Notes: The following is a preface, written by Joan E. Jacoby in 2005, to the transcription of the journal of Samuel Lay Jacoby, a private in Company K of the 90-day 16th OVI. The transcription was made by descendants of the soldier and kindly provided to this website by Erica Joan Jacoby, great-great granddaughter of Pvt. Jacoby.
Pvt. Samuel Lay Jacoby

Journal of the Civil War Travels

of Samuel Lay Jacoby

April 1861 - July 1861


Related Documents

Verbatim Transcriptions


Joan E. Jacoby



Samuel Lay Jacoby kept this journal in 1861 during his first enlistment as a 90 -day volunteer with the 16th Ohio Regiment (Union Army). The journal begins with Samuel Jacoby's arrival in Columbus, Ohio on April 24, 1861 and concludes on July 31, 1861 with the news of his company's leaving Virginia to return home for discharge. On the last pages of the journal are recipes used by Samuel; to make the ink he used in writing the journal, to preserve fresh meat, to manufacture boot black (two recipes) for both ordinary and dress boots, and finally the first two stanzas of the Star Spangled Banner.

Personal History

Samuel Lay Jacoby was born on December 12, 1839 in Seneca Falls, Seneca County, New York, the only child of Rueben B. Jacoby and Lorinda A. Lay. Little is known of his early life other than that his mother died in 1840 and that Rueben re-married and fathered four more children. Family historians have said that Samuel was sent out to live with one of his uncles in Ohio somewhere around the age of 12. This could account for his enlistment in an Ohio regiment at the outbreak of the Civil War. According to the 1850 census and birth records, Samuel had three uncles and one aunt who lived in Ohio during the 1840's through the 1860's; Andrew J. Jacoby, John Jacoby, and George Washington Jacoby, and Rebacca Jacoby. From the journal, we learn that Samuel kept in touch with his family in New York.

Samuel was 22 years old when he enlisted and departed from Dresden, Ohio on his first service in the Civil War. He enlisted with the rank of Private in the 16th Ohio Regiment (Union Army) and spent the 90 days traveling with his unit from Ohio, into what is now West Virginia, and Virginia. The 16th Ohio Regiment saw its major engagement at the Battle of Philippi in Virginia although Samuel did not take part in the action due to illness. In fact, Samuel seems to have spent the majority of his time during this enlistment sick with the "measels" He was discharged in August 1861 with the rank of Private.

Samuel returned to New York and married Sarah Lucinda Morehouse in Seneca Falls, New York on May 29, 1867. They had five children; Evangeline Lorinda Jacoby, Maynard William Jacoby, Calvin Stowell Jacoby, James Morehouse Jacoby, and Alyce Mae Jacoby . Samuel died in Seneca Falls on July 3, 1916 at the age of 76. He is buried in Seneca Falls.

History of the Journal

Samuel preserved the journal after the war was over and passed it to his son, James Morehouse Jacoby. James in turn passed it to his son, Everett James Jacoby. In 1959, Everett's wife, Joan Elizabeth Jacoby, transcribed the 99 page journal and its appendix verbatim into typewritten form in the early 1960's because the ink was already beginning to fade. In 2005 the typewritten version was digitized by two of Everett's daughters, Erica Joan Price and Christina Elizabeth Hill. The journal has been in the possession of Everett Jacoby's family until it was presented to the Seneca Falls Historical Society on June 25, 2005. The accuracy of the travels and actions taken by the 16th Ohio Regiment as described by Samuel Jacoby have been confirmed by Christina Hill through research and cross-referencing. The wounding of Col. Kelly while leading men into Philippi (Monday, June 3rd) was verified through historical documents. Several of the other officers and enlisted named by Samuel were also verifiable.

Donation to Seneca Falls Historical Society

The Jacoby family donated the actual and digitized versions of the journal, three letters from Samuel to his unnamed Uncles during 1862-1863, and a Memorial Day address given by Samuel on May 30, 1898. Along with these documents, the saber used by Samuel and passed down through the family was included in this donation.

The Jacoby family believes that the Seneca Falls Historical Society is an appropriate recipient of these items because the Jacoby family has long ties to Seneca Falls since at least 1839, and to Fayette, New York since at least 1810. The family of Samuel Jacoby's son, James Morehouse Jacoby, spent most of the 20th century living and working in Seneca Falls, with the family residence at 12 Powell Place. The house at 12 Powell Place was in the Jacoby family until the death of James's daughter, Evelyn Jacoby Canne, in 2001.

Jacoby Journal Index Jacoby Soldier's Profile 16th OVI Home Page April-May, 1861