Pvt. JOHN GRAY
Musician 5th Ohio Infantry
Port Republic, Va.
9 June 1862
The Battle of Port Republic VA. in 1862 was fierce and the line seesawed back and forth from moment to moment. Stonewall Jackson needed the victory and Erastus Tyler couldn’t afford a loss.
Regimental Musician John “Scotty” Gray found himself in the thick of the battle. Gray somehow got to the forefront of the 5th Ohio’s onslaught against the Rockbridge
Being a regimental Musician his normal post was at the front of a marching column playing a Sousaphone of Snare Drum, He may not have even had a weapon issued to him.
During one of the see-saw moves, Gray noticed an enemy Artillery piece in the open, un-manned…
The Confederates had retreated without taking the 8-Pounder with them.
Gray found an unwounded horse and, in spite of withering Confederate fire – crossed the lines and stole one of Stonewall Jackson’s Cannon Delivered it to the rear where it was deployed and used against the enemy.
Gray’s coverage inspired the Union line to fight with new found energy eventually taking the field.
PVT. Gray survived the war passing peacefully on 1 JUne 1899 at the age of 63.