3rd Sgt. Robert H. Jay - Co. I (Dawson Co)

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Robert H. Jay (1842 – 1931)
Of Lumpkin Co. Dawson Co., GA and DeSoto Parish LA.

Civil War Knife?

It is believed that this Bowie knife was carried at some point during the Civil War by Confederate soldier Robert H. Jay of Lumpkin County, GA. The knife would have been carried either prior to his capture at Gettysburg on July 4, 1863 or after his exchange at City Point, Virginia on August 28, 1863. This is assuming that the weapon would have been confiscated by the Union at Gettysburg and not returned to him upon his exchange.

In either case, the location of the knife remained a mystery until it was purchased at an auction in Iowa sometime in the late 20th century. The owner in Iowa said they used the knife at “hog killin time”.

Knife description: Approximately 16” Long X 2 ¼” Wide

Blade approximately 11” long

Handle is wood with 3 rivets inscribed with “R. JAY, GA I”

Guard is inscribed with “R H J”

Back of metal tang in handle inscribed or stamped with XVII

Civil War Service Record for Robert H. Jay

• Enlisted as a private in Co. H, (Dahlonega Vols. or Dahlonega Volunteers Lumpkin County), 1st Regiment Ga. Inf. (Ramsey's,) July 24, 1861. The unit was organized at Camp Oglethorpe, Macon, GA 3 April 1861, with companies being enrolled since 18 March 1861. The men were mustered out on 18 March 1862 at Augusta, GA.
• Enlisted as a private in Co. I, Dawson Farmers (Dawson Co.) 38th Regiment Ga. Inf. May 15, 1862.
• Appointed 3d Sergeant September 25, 1862.
• Wounded and captured at Gettysburg, Pa. July 4, 1863.
• Paroled at DeCamp General Hospital, David's Island, N. Y. Harbor, August 24, 1863.
• Exchanged at City Point, Va. August 28, 1863.
• Appointed 2d Sergeant May 1864.
• Wounded and permanently disabled at Monocacy, Md. July 9, 1864.
• Pension records show he was at home on wounded furlough at the close of war.

Robert H. Jay had four brothers that also served the Confederate Army:*

1. William Harvey Bramlett Jay (1835 – 1913)…Cobb’s Legion, Georgia Cavalry Battalion, Co. H

2. John Wesley Jay (1839 – 1919)…38th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Co. I

3.Nathan Harrison Jay (1841 – 1914)…1st Regiment, Georgia Volunteer (Ramsey’s) Infantry, Co. H Dahlonega Volunteers & 11th Regiment, “Gainesville Light Infantry, Co. A

4. Isaac Mack Jay (1845 – 1923)…55th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Co. D

All served during the conflict. All survived the war.

Ancestors & Descendants of Robert H. Jay*

William Jay (Bef. 1711 in VA – 1773 in SC) m. Mary VESTAL (1725 in PA- 1820 in OH)

David Jay (1765 I NC – 1839 in GA) m. Unknown Wife # 1

William Jay (1789 in SC – 1860 in TX) m. Lydia MORROW (1796 SC – 1866 in TX)

John Jay (1817 in TN– Aft. 1900 in GA) m. Sarah Bramlett (1818 in SC - ???? in GA)

Robert H. Jay (1842 in GA – 1931 in LA) m. (1) Elizabeth Blalock (1844 in GA – 1879 in GA)

John H. Jay (1872 in GA – 1927 in LA)
(2) Mary Darnell (1857 in GA – 1914 in LA)
Bertha Jay (1882 in GA – 1970 in TX)
Robert Jay (1895 in LA - ????)


Jay, Robert H.- b. 11/9/1842 in Hall Co., GA. d. 7/7/1931 in DeSoto Parish, LA, buried in Keatchie Cemetery, Keatchie, DeSoto Parish LA

He married (1) Elizabeth L. Blalock, Nov 8 1868 in Lumpkin Co. GA, born Aug 27 1844 in Georgia, died Jun 5 1879 in Dawson Co. Georgia, buried in Old Soules Methodist Cemetery, Lumpkin Co. GA. Tombstone states Elizabeth Blalock-Jay was born 1844, census records and mortality schedule indicate a ca 1842 birth year. He married (2) Mary E. Darnell, about 1881 in probably Dawson Co. GA, born Jun 11, 1857 in GA, died Jan 5, 1914 in DeSoto Parish, LA, buried in Keatchie Cemetery, Keatchie, DeSoto Parish LA.

Census Records*

1860 Lumpkin Co. GA census, Auraria, Lumpkin, Georgia
1870 Lumpkin Co. GA census, two houses down from brother John W. Jay.
1880 Dawson Co. GA census, living near James and Malinda Mincey.
1900 Desoto Parish LA census, living with second wife and family
1910 Desoto Parish LA census, living with wife Mary, son(John) Henry, Robert and daughter Maude Jay McCrary and her husband Archie McCrary
1920 DeSoto Parish LA census, , living with Mary E.
1930 DeSoto Parish LA census, living alone with second wife Mary E.
July 7, 1931 died in Keatchie township, Desoto Parish LA
(*North Georgia Jays….The descendants of David Jay, Sr. by Vince King)

Information and bio courtesy of Mr. Joe Bailey
Norcross, Georgia

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