James Ball Fletcher, along with four of his older brothers, served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. A Private in Company F of the 10th Florida Infantry, James was present at Appomattox Court House when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army to the Union, thus putting an end to the War Between the States. The family story is that he walked back home to Lafayette County, Florida, after the war. He probably walked with several others from the same county who had fought alongside him for that last year of the war. I’m sure the destruction he saw as he traveled home was etched upon his memory as much as the horrors he saw in battle.
After settling in back home, James began to look for a wife. He found Sarah Deas a willing partner and married her in Hamilton County, Florida, on 27 April 1867. However, she presumably died before 1870 as James is back at his mother’s home with an apparent son, William H[enry] who was born in June 1868. So far, I have found no record of her death or burial.
James began to look for another wife and found Sarah F. Daughtry who he married 3 March 1871 in Lafayette County, Florida. Her death and burial is also a mystery. It must have occurred before 1880 because, at the time of the census, James was again back at home with his mother along with William H. and two more children, John and Gertrude who were listed as ages 7 and 2, respectively. Whether these were actually James Ball’s children is yet undetermined. The 1880 census is the only time I have found them listed in any documents I have searched thus far. One problem presented here is that it lists their father as having been born in Florida, and we know that James Ball was born in Georgia and is indicated on the 1880 census. More research needs to be done to establish or disprove the relationships.
So for the third time, James Ball Fletcher finds himself in need of a wife. This time he married a lady named Laura Lee. Perhaps he gave up on looking for anyone named Sarah (or not). James and Laura were married 20 January 1881 in Suwannee County, Florida. James outlived his third wife also, but not before the birth of nine children and 43 years together. So certainly, James must have believed that the third time was the charm for him in marriage.