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This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Orange Dudley

Orange Dudley was born in the town of Guilderland on the 8th of February, 1844.

In the year 1847 his parents, John T. and Mary Dudley, removed to Albany, where they resided at the time that Orange enlisted in the army.

From his earliest years, Orange was an affectionate son and brother, and was strictly conscientious in all his conduct. He was a member of the Albany Division of the Sons of Temperance, and was an enthusiastic advocate of temperance. At the age of fifteen he was hopefully converted to God, and united with the Washington Avenue Methodist Church. He was an ardent and consistent Christian, and held the office of Librarian of the West Mission Sabbath School.

When the war broke out, Orange was a clerk in the store of Dr. C. H. Smith, druggist, aud he felt it to be his duty to enlist in the array for the defence of his country. But the doctor was reluctant to have him leave, as he valued very highly his faithful services; and besides his parents considered that he was too young to endure the hardships of war. As he could not go without his parents' consent, he gave up at that time the idea.

As the war, however, progressed, he still felt it to be a duty he owed to God and his country to enlist, and if he did not live to return and enjoy the triumph of his cause, it would be a benefit to those that survived him.

As his father was a truly loyal man, he gave his consent, and in August, 1862, Orange enlisted in Company A, Seventh Heavy Artillery, for three years or during the war.

On the 19th day of August, 1862, his regiment left Albany for Washington, at which place they were ordered to do garrison duty. Here he remained about eighteen months. During that time, he was at home only once, on a furlough of ten days, and that was in January, 1864. He came home to see his father, who was very near death, and, although he would gladly have staid with him a few days longer, yet he could not get his furlough lengthened. He went back, saying it was his duty to do so, but if he could possibly come again he would. But his father died on the 16th day of March, and he never saw him again.

While he was at home it was evident that the life of a soldier had not injured his Christian character. On the 15th day of May, 1864, his regiment left Washington, being ordered to the front. On the 19th of May, they were engaged in the battle of Fredericksburg Road, Virginia; on May 23 and 24, at North Anna River; May 31 and June 1, at Tolopotomy Creek, and at Coal Harbor in June. At the battle of Coal Harbor, June 3, he was seriously wounded. The ball entered his left shoulder and came out on the right side. He bled very profusely and, when found, was taken up by Sergeant Smith and carried to the Corps Hospital, where he had his wounds dressed. He was sent from there to the White House hospital, but, as he never reached it, it is supposed he must have given out on the way, and was left to die and to be buried by strangers. His friends have never heard anything from him since. Thus, far from home, without one to cheer his last hours, died one who was loved and respected by all, for his kind and gentle manners and Christian virtues.

On the 19th day of May, he wrote a letter home, which was the last one ever received from him. In that, he said: "Mother do not worry about me. Remember that my life is in the same hands as yours; and, whether in the battle or at the quiet fireside, unless God wills it, death cannot harm me. Remember, He has taught us to say, 'Thy will be done.'"

From the time of his enlistment until his death, he was very punctual in writing home. He always wrote once a week, and sometimes oftener. His letters uniformly breathed an earnest patriotism and an intense love for his home and friends.

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