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

Josiah Dunham

Josiah Dunham, son of Oscar and Gertrude Dunham was born in Albany, March 14, 1842. Actuated by a pure patriotism, he enlisted in Company F, Forty-fourth New York Regiment, on the 2d of September, 1861.

He was at the siege of Yorktown, and in the battle at Hanover Court House. He was shot on the 27th of May, 1862, and died on the 29th of May.

Before the fatal moment that he received his death wound, he had given evidence that he was a child of God. As the hour of his dissolution approached, he prayed fervently for his relatives and friends at home; for his country, and then for his soul, that God would receive it to himself. Lifting himself in his bed, with a countenance radiant with peace and joy, he exclaimed to his tent mates: "Now, I am ready," and soon after he slept in Jesus.

Josiah loved to read his Bible; he loved to pray, and labored to live the life of a true Christian. Before entering the army, he attended the First Baptist Church in Albany, and was a member of the Sabbath school.

The following letter, from Capt. Allen, was received by the father of the deceased:

Gen. F. J. Porter's Division, Camp near
New Bridge, Va., June 4, 1862.
Mr. Oscar Dunham:
Dear Sir—I have a melancholy though sacred task to perform, which I hardly know how to approach.

You have doubtless heard, ere this reaches you, of the severe battle of Hanover C. H. on the 27th of May; that the Forty-fourth New York was engaged and got badly cut up, and that Company F, in particular, suffered terribly.

Your son, Josiah, was mortally wounded, and died on the 26th. I saw him the day after the battle, and it is in compliance with his request that I write to you. He was lying in a room with two other men, mortally wounded like himself. His eyes were closed and he was apparently unconscious; but when I took his hand and asked him if he knew me, he said, rousing up, but with a good deal of effort, "Oh, yes, I know you, Captain," but immediately relapsed into his former state. I thought it not best to excite him, and turned to another of our wounded men, when I was surprised to hear him call in quite a strong voice, "Captain." I immediately knelt beside him. "If anything should happen that I shouldn't stand it out, I want you to write to my friends." I promised to do anything for him in my power, and asked the address, and if there was any particular thing which he wanted said to you. He replies: "Tell them how I died, and give my love to my mother and sisters, and send them this picture. I want them to give it to the owner."

He died like a brave man, in a good cause, and his last thoughts were with his mother and sisters, and the friend he loved.

You have my warmest sympathies in your bereavement, and in your severe affliction. The manner and circumstances of his death will, I hope, be a consolation to you. I send the picture, as he requested, and as he also requested me to write to the owner, please allow her to read this.

I am, sir, very truly yours,
Captain 44th N. Y. Vols.

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