Private John J. Penny was born in Alabama ca. 1836. He married Emeline (née unknown) in Florida ca. 1859-1860. In 1860 he and Emeline were living near Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida. The census lists his occupation as a laborer, with a personal worth of $100.
He enlisted in Captain Davidson’s Company on March 12th, 1862 at Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida; his age was given as 26 years. He was listed as sick at Gadsden County prior to June 30th of 1862, but rejoined the company after that date. He fell ill again on August 15th, 1862 at Knoxville, Tennessee. He was discharged from service at Knoxville Hospital on October 27, 1862. His Certificate of Disability for Discharge dated October 26, 1862 at Knoxville, Tennessee stated that he was discharged for debility and chronic rheumatism in both lower extremities, requiring the use of a crutch in standing and walking. He was described as being born at Sumpter County, Georgia, aged 26 years, 5’ 9” tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, and by occupation a farmer.
He returned to Florida after being discharged; one year later, he enlisted with Company D, 5th Battalion Florida Cavalry. He survived the war and was paroled at Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida on May 20th, 1865.
The date and place of his death are unknown, as is his place of interment.