John was born in 1825 in Waddington, St. Lawrence, NY (at the time part of the town of Madrid) to John Peacock and Elizabeth Hoggard, immigrants from Bulmer, Yorkshire, England. At the time of the 1850 Census, he was living in Madrid, NY with his wife, Isabella, and three children, and he was employed as a tailor. By the year 1860, he had moved to the Village of Waddington, where he lived with his wife, four children (a couple others had since perished), and three boarders, and continued working as a tailor. His tailor shop was involved in a fire on 31 December 1853, when a general store in the village caught on fire. Next door to the store was an adjoining Post Office building, where John's tailor shop was located on the second floor. Both buildings were destroyed, although luckily no one was (seriously) injured.
John was also heavily involved in local affairs and Freemasonry. He had gotten elected as Worshipful Master of Waddington Lodge 393 in early 1857. Additionally, between the years 1850 and 1860, John had served as President of the Village of Waddington at least twice (1855 & 1859), and may have also served in the role in 1852, although that very well could have been his father, who perished the year after. He was also a Trustee of the Village of Waddington at least once, as he was serving as such at the time of his first enlistment into the army. During those last few months he was in St. Lawrence County before going off to war, he stayed around and actively helped recruit new volunteer enlistees into his regiment.
John enrolled into the infantry at the age of 36 on 30 October 1861 in Potsdam, NY, with the intention of serving a three-year term. He was mustered in as second lieutenant in Company K under Cpt. Levi Miller on 8 November 1861, and was commissioned as second lieutenant on 13 January 1862. He was discharged on 18 January 1863 for unknown reasons.
As was the case with all other of-aged men after 1863, John had to register for the Civil War draft, and did so in June 1863, this time listing his occupation as "Mechanic". It is unknown why his previous military experience wasn't listed. Regardless, John re-enlisted at the age of 37 in July 1863 at Malone, NY, with the intention of serving a three-year term, and was mustered in as private in Company K of the 48th New York Infantry Regiment on 30 July 1863. John's wife Isabel acknowledged at the 1890 Census of Union Soldiers that he had gone missing in action, having not heard from him "since Gettysburg," which apparently had already ended by the time he was mustered in.
John was severely wounded twice in action in March 1864 while fighting in the Battle of Olustee in Florida and was left on the field, which is assumably where he ended up died from his wounds on 22 March 1864 in Tallahassee, Florida at the age of 38. He was buried in Brookside Cemetery in Waddington, NY.
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