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Free Genealogy Biography of Jesse Gray
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Jesse W. Gray

Jesse W. Gray, farmer, Section 30, Township 15, Range 10, P. O. Council Grove, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., January 29, 1844. He received a common school education in his native county, where he resided, engaged in farming until Mary 4, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company E, Fifty-seventh Regiment, 57th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers for three months. He took part in the movement to repel the raid of the Rebel, John Morgan, into Ohio, and was with the troops that effected his capture.

He was then discharged, and re-enlisted as a private in Company I, One Hundred and Eighty-sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 186th Regiment for three years.

After four months service in camp at Philadelphia, he was examined by the United States Examining Board at Washington, D. C., receiving a first-class certificate, and in the fall of 1863, he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant of Company B, Thirty-seventh Regiment United States Colored Troops. The regiment was raised in North Carolina, Lieutenant Gray being for some time on recruiting service in New Berne and other points in North Carolina. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the James, and was engaged in digging the great Dutch Gap Canal, near Richmond. It afterwards formed part of the expedition against Fort Fisher, N. C., under Gen. A. H. Terry, and took part in the actions resulting in the capture of that Fort and the city of Wilmington.

His regiment was then stationed at Fencing Station and at Goldsboro, on the Wilmington & Weidon Railroad, and afterwards ordered to Raleigh, at which point they were at the time of the surrender of Johnston. From there the regiment was ordered upon garrison duty at Wilmington, Fort Fisher, Smithville, Fort Caswell and Morehead in North Carolina. Mr. Gray was promoted to First Lieutenant, after the Fort Fisher engagement. His company was stationed at Fort Caswell, and remained in the service until February, 1867, when he was mustered out at Raleigh.

He returned to Pennsylvania and engaged in farming, in which he continued one year. In 1869, he came to Kansas, but returned to Pennsylvania the next year to make preparations for his final location here.

In the spring of 1871, he located in Lyon County, his father buying a farm of 160 acres, situated on Rock Creek, in Agnes City Township. He has improved this farm by the erection of two dwelling houses, barn and other buildings. Has an orchard of 100 apple trees, 50 peach trees, 20 pear trees and other fruits. He has since purchased 240 acres of Trust Land adjoining the home farm, and has it all fenced. His principal crop is corn. He also raises cattle and hogs.

Mr. Gray is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is also a member of the Council Grove Lodge, A. O. U. W., and a member of the I. O. O. F. He married Miss Marion W. Welsh, of Westmoreland County, Pa., February 16, 1871, by which marriage he has four children -Anna J., Dora A., Josie A., and Hattie A., all living.

Source: History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas, Chicago, IL; 1883

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