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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

Remembering Sergeant Major George Petry of the Fifteenth Kentucky

George Petry was born in Titonium County, Pennsylvania in December 1843. A clerk, Petry was 4’7 ¾”; he had a fair complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Private Petry was made regimental clerk shortly after the Fifteenth Kentucky was organized. He was promoted to sergeant major and transferred to the command staff on May 11, 1864. Just after the war, he was junior partner in Robb & Petry, a firm in Shelbyville dealing in drugs and books. Afterward, he was a partner in Middleton, Petry & Co. He became secretary of the Shelby Railroad Company when the line was organized and was later superintendent of the road. Later, he worked for the LC&L Railroad and was seriously injured in a train accident at the Floyd’s Fork bridge. Shortly after the accident, he resigned and became station agent for the L&N depot in Shelbyville, a position he held until his death at 10:00 A.M., May 13, 1889. After the war, he served as captain of Company G of the Louisville Legion. He was a member of the Shelbyville Board of Trustees for the final two years of his life and served one term as mayor. He also served as chief of the Shelbyville Fire Department. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Shelbyville during the final year of his life. Petry married Lou Ellen Matthews (1847-1932) on May 1, 868, and was survived by three daughters, Jessie Elizabeth (1869-1947), Alice (1874-1964) and Amelia (1880- ). Petry is buried in Grove Hill Cemetery in Shelby County.

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