Thursday, May 8, 2008

Charles B. Amory - A Civil War Story

I've been looking for Jamaica Plain's Civil War veterans, and other than the casualties memorialized at the Soldier's Monument, I haven't had much luck. Until now. Meet Charles Bean Amory, of the 24th Massachusetts Volunteers. The Amory name is an old one in Roxbury, memorialized by the street of the same name. I don't know the connection of Charles B. to the original Amory settlers, but during the town of West Roxbury period his family lived in a house on Pond street opposite Jamaica Pond, between Pond and Burroughs streets (there was no Jamaicaway at the time, so in our terms it was between the traffic lights at the pond boathouse and the corner of Burroughs street). The property extended all the way back to Myrtle street in the back, as shown in this map. The father, Jonathan Amory, shows up in the Boston Directory of 1855:

Amory Jonathan, agent Baker's Furnace Co., 28 State, house at Jamaica Plain.

The 1865 listing:

Amory Jonathan, notary public and U. S. Agent, 28 State, house at Jamaica Plain

Charles Amory was born in New York in 1841, and attended school in Jamaica Plain. His service in the Union army is detailed in the autobiographical booklet A Brief Record of the Army Life of Charles B. Amory, written for his children. It's an interesting story, and I highly recommend following the link and reading it through. Terrible battles, an escape from a prison camp and a long trek to Union lines are all described in less than 40 pages. At the end of the war, he became a cotton merchant, working out of New Orleans, and then becoming involved in mills in Massachusetts. In 1911, he was one of six veterans chosen by Governor Foss as part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913. He died in Milton in October of 1919.

Boston Daily Globe October 19, 1919

Maj Chas. B. Amory, Cotton Broker, Dies

Distinguished Civil War Veteran

Milton, Oct. 18 -- Maj Charles B. Amory, a distinguished Civil War veteran and for many years a prominent cotton broker, died suddenly early today at his home on Atherton st. He was 73 years old. Death came while he slept.

Maj Amory was born in New York in 1841, one of his grandparents being Gov James Sullivan of Massachusetts. He attended school in Jamaica Plain and at 17 entered the counting room of B.C. Clark & Co. Commercial Wharf, Boston. When the Civil War started, he had already served two years in the New England Guards and was commissioned first lieutenant in the 24th Massachusetts Volunteers.

He won continued promotion and was finally breveted major for gallantry at Petersburg. He was prisoner in Richmond Jail, but escaped, rejoining the Union forces.

For two years after the war Maj Amory was engaged in the cotton business in New Orleans and in 1868 became a member of the firm, Tabary & Amory, cotton buyers. Until 1885 he engaged in cotton buying and cotton brokerage business in New Orleans in the firms of John A. Burnham & Co and Appleton, Amory & Co.

Coming north he became treasurer of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Lowell. He retired in 1909, but continued until his death as a director of the company.

In 1906 he was elected commander of the Massachusetts Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He was one of six veterans from Massachusetts to act on the commission to prepare for the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg in 1913.

Maj Amory had been a junior vice commander of Post 13, G.A.R. and was a member of the Massachusetts Military Historical Society. He also belonged to the Somerset Club in Boston and the Hoosic-Whisic of Milton. His Boston residence was at 241 Commonwealth av.

In 1867 Maj Amory married Miss Emily A. Ferriday of Concordia, La, who died in 1879. In 1881 he married Miss Lily Clapp of New Orleans, who, with their four children survives him.

The children are Charles B. Amory Jr, Mrs Charles E. Perkins of Burlington Ia; John Austin Amory and Rodger Amory.

Additional source: Boston Daily Globe, May 19, 1911

The story of the 24th Regiment, as remembered by surviving members in 1907 can be read here.

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