78th PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Late Summer/Early Fall, 1861 Kittanning Armstrong County, PA
Mustered In: Mid-September to Mid-October, 1861 Kittanning Armstrong County, PA
Mustered Out: 9/11/1865 Nashville, TN
The 78th Pennsylvania was a three year infantry regiment. Its term of service was spent in the western theater of the American Civil War (ACW).
On 10/18/1861 the unit left Pennsylvania and moved into Kentucky. It remained in the Bluegrass State until March, 1862 when it marched to Nashville, TN. Throughout the remainder of that spring and summer it performed railroad guard duty along the line from Nashville to Columbia, had a garrison assignment at Pulaski and Rogersville, as well as guard duty on the railroad from Columbia to Elk River, Throughout this period it engaged in numerous skirmishes with enemy cavalry. Then, ordered into the defenses of Nashville, it was often attacked.
The 78th concluded 1862 and opened '63 by being heavily engaged at the bloody battle of Stone's River, TN (12/31 - 1/2). During that clash the regiment lost one hundred ninety men (190) killed or wounded.
A provost (military police) assignment at Murfreesboro, TN preceded the 6/1863 Union campaign from Murfreesboro to Tullahoma. After pursuing Rebel forces under Confed. Gen. Braxton Bragg the 78th fought at Chickamauga, GA (9/18 - 20/1863) before retreating to Chattanooga, TN. There, (11/23 - 25) it fought at Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. After the fighting ended it was assigned to guard duty on Lookout Mountain.
In May, 1864 the 78th joined the forces of Union General W.T. Sherman as they moved to capture Atlanta, GA. During that campaign it saw hard fighting at Tunnel Hill, Buzzard Roost Gap, (Resaca 5/13 - 15), Dallas 5/26 - 6/1), New Hope Church (5/25 - 26) and in the struggle for Kennesaw Mountain (6/27). It was next ordered back to Chattanooga, TN where it guarded wagon trains for three months. After being active at Pulaski, TN it was mounted and moved against enemy cavalry in southern Tennessee.
Returning to Nashville in mid-October, 1864, the 78th’s term of service having expired, all original members except re-enlisted veterans and new recruits returned to Pennsylvania for final muster. The veterans and new recruits remained at Nashville where the regiment was brought up to strength by eight new companies. This version of the 78th continued in Federal service until being mustered out at Nashville on 9/11/1865.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 2; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 3; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 68; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 194.
Residence: Armstrong County, PA Age: 22.3 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 10/12/1861 Rank: Sgt.
Mustered In: 10/12/1861
Mustered Out: 11/4/1864
Highest Rank: 1st Sgt.
Rank At Discharge: 1st Sgt.
James Boyd Fleming was born 7/6/1838. His place of birth was Eddyville Armstrong County, PA.
Parenting James were Arthur Phillips Fleming (b. 4/4/1810 Westmoreland County, PA - d. 12/19/1874 Armstrong County, PA) and Rebecca Margaret (nee McNay b. 12/4/1808 Greene County, PA - d. 7/12/1902 Armstrong County, PA) Fleming. Although Arthur's occupation is not noted in available documentation, it is surmised he and his family were farmers.
Based on U.S. Census tallies, as best as can be determined Arthur and Rebecca produced at least seven children. Of the seven, James was third-born. His older siblings were: Mary L. Fleming (b. 1835) and Nancy Jane Fleming (b.1836) His younger siblings were: John McNay Fleming (b. 1842), Margaret E. Fleming (b. 1846), Anna Clara Fleming (b. 1847) and Clarisa A. Fleming (b. 1849).
In 1860 James married. His bride was Elizabeth "Lizzie"/"Eliza" Calhoun. Lizzie had been born 8/20/1837 in Armstrong County, PA. Although details on how and where the two met are not available, because both hailed from Armstrong County it seems likely they had known one another for many years. Other unknowns are when and where the marriage ceremony took place.
Available evidence points to James and Lizzie setting up their initial household in or near the community of Armstrong located in Butler County, PA. It was there they also started their family.
During their years together James and Lizzie produced at least nine children. Their first child, Oscar Boyd Fleming was born on 5/23/1861 (Armstrong Butler County, PA). But wait, before the family could grow further, there was a war to be fought.
In April, 1861 civil war swept across America. That October, although not married long and the father of a newborn son, James left his home and fledgling family to fight for Uncle Sam. Perhaps, however, just perhaps, the enlistment was financially spurred. Receipt of an enlistment signing bonus or "bounty" coupled with a thirteen dollar per month pay check which could be sent home was a huge financial enticement in those days.
James enlisted in the U.S. army on 10/12/1861. Entering the military as a sergeant in Co. "A" of the 78th Pennsylvania, Infantry, on 8/29/1862 he would rise further in rank to be a first sergeant within the 78th’s Co. "B".
Without accessing Sergeant Fleming's military service records all we can really say about his period of enlistment is that, besides advancing to the rank of first sergeant, he also survived the conflict and returned to Pennsylvania to grow his family.
Following the birth of Oscar in 1861, the next child to be born to the Flemings was Margaret "Maggie" S.Fleming.* The fact that Maggie was birthed on 12/5/1863 indicates that, while serving Uncle Sam, Sergeant Fleming did find some time to come home to Pennsylvania.
After James' return home from The War the first child to be born was Mary B. Fleming. She was birthed in Pennsylvania during 8/1866. Following Mary into this world were: Edward/Edwin B. Fleming (b. 1867 PA), Noah C. Fleming* (b. 3/3/1869 PA), Ruth R. Fleming (b. 5/11/1873 Boone County, IA), Daisy Dell Fleming (b. 5/14/1876 Ringold County, IA), while rounding out the nine was John Worth Fleming (b. 5/23/1880 Ringgold County, IA - d. 7/2/1887 Armstrong County, PA).
Exactly where James and family resided in Pennsylvania after his return from the military is unclear. In 1860, he had noted his address as being Redbank Armstrong County, PA. Daughter Maggie was born in same county in 1863, so we are surmising that was the community to which he returned.
Noah was born in Pennsylvania during 1870. The U.S Census for that same year placed the Flemings in Philadelphia Philadelphia County, PA. What we don't know, however, is whether Noah was born before or after the move to Philadelphia.
Not long into the 1870s Daughter Ruth was birthed (5/11/1873) in Boone County, IA. What had promoted the Fleming family to move westward, and exactly when that transition occurred are unknowns. Likely, however, it was the lure of open farm land as by the time the U.S. Census tally for 1880 came around the Flemings were tilling the soil in Lincoln Ringold County, IA.
As best as can be determined, the Flemings did not dally for long in Iowa. By 8/16/1890, when James applied for a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering, he did so not in Iowa, but in Kansas.** Exactly where in Kansas, we do not know, but at some point James was a member of the Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) post located in Oak Hill. Another unknown is when the Iowa/Kansas move was made.
The dawn of the twentieth century noted that, once again, the Flemings had made a move. As of that point in time James and Lizzie were residing with married daughter, Daisy, her husband and young child in Burnham Pawnee County, OK. There, the U.S. Census noted that James was working as a farm laborer. At that same time, Lizzie noted that having birthed nine children, five of whom were still living.
1910. Ten additional years and another move. The decade of the teens found the Flemings residing in Port Angeles, Clallam County, WA. What had drawn the family to the far northwestern edge of the Pacific Northwest in 1901 is not clearly documented, but James's newspaper obituary would later note that he had three married daughters living in Port Angeles. The move to Port Angeles would be the last for both Lizzie and James.
Elizabeth Calhoun Fleming died in Port Angeles Clallam County, WA on 7/19/1925 at the age of 87.11 years. She was/is buried in Clallam County's Ocean View Cemetery.
Former Civil War soldier and retired farmer James Boyd Fleming died in Port Angeles, Clallam County, WA on 1/27/1927. According to the state death certificate, cause of the 88.6 year old's passing was "apoplexy" (stroke). He was/is buried with Lizzie in the Ocean View Cemetery.
* Maggie died on 6/7/1865. Noah died 7/2/1887. Both deaths occurred in Armstrong County, PA. In 1910 Lizzie would report to census takers that five of the nine children she had birthed, five were then living. After his passing, James' obituary noted the same.
** The pension request granted, James' initial monthly stipend was $12. Over the decades that sum increased to where, at the time of his passing, he was receiving a whopping $90 per month.
Buried at Ocean View Cemetery GAR Section Clallam Co.
Row: Sec: 1 Lot 8
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