34th Massachusetts POWs and Harrisonburg Unionists
A little something I came across recently, from Lt Col. (at the time) William S. Lincoln of the 34th Massachusetts Infantry, following his capture at the battle of New Market (May 15, 1864), and regarding the brief stay at Harrisonburg…
We had many visitors, most of them apparently coming to see how we looked, as they exchanged no words with us. Some came, however, from interests in the cause for which we suffered; or drawn by sympathy for us, on account of our wounds. Among the latter was a Mrs. Lewis, wife of a prominent merchant in the place, whose kindness of heart overbalanced the contempt in which she held the “myrmidons of the Tyrant Lincoln,” and who furnished to many of us supplies from her own table as long as we remained in the Court House. Among the former was Col. Asa S. Gray [Algernon Sidney Gray], and his daughter, Miss Orra Gray, staunch lovers of the Union, both of them; ministering angels in our hours of despondency, of want, of suffering, and of death! To their unwearied attention, and unstinted supply of whatever they could procure, which in any way would contribute to our welfare, all of us were indebted for comfort, and some of us for restored health and life.
Miss Orra Gray… also known as Orra Henderson Moore Gray (1841-1904) was later known, by her literary contributions, as Orra Gray Langhorne… Southern Sketches from Virginia, 1881-1901, being one of her works.
Source of quote: Life with the Thirty-fourth Mass. Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, by William Sever Lincoln (Press of Noyes, Snow & Co., 1879).