Samuel Ferguson Jayne, the son of Eleanor Ferguson and Walter Peter Jayne, was born in 1834. He studied medicine at Harvard University, until May 1864, when he left school to volunteer with the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The Sanitary Commission was an official agency, primarily organized, run, and funded by civilian women, whose goal was to promote sanitary conditions in Union hospitals and to coordinate volunteer efforts to provide food, water, supplies, and services to wounded soldiers. The commission, established in 1861 at the outset of the war, helped reform all facets of military medical services, such as the retrieval of wounded soldiers from the field, hospital construction and operations, and food supply. Jayne worked at the U.S. Colored Hospital at City Point, Virginia, and treated the wounded from battles at Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg.
Though Jayne was engaged to his first cousin, Charlotte Elizabeth Jayne (1843-1882), before the war, they did not marry until July 1866. They had three children, Alfred, Eleanor, and Ruth. Samuel Jayne died in 1904.