Civil War Records of William B. Gray


Co. Regiment / Ship From To Residence/ Credit Occupation Notes
G ("Concord Artillery") 5th MVI (3 months) enl. April 19, 1861; must. May 1, 1861 must. out July, 31, 1861 South Acton   age 18
E 24th MVI Sergt.; enl. Sept. 2, 1861; must. Sept. 19, 1861 discharged for promotion July 6,  1864 South Acton shoemaker age 18
  1st U.S. Colored Cavalry 2nd Lieut, July 3, 1864 must. out. Feb. 4, 1866 South Acton    
MASSCW, 1:290, 2:802, 7:298

Service Record (select pages from the National Archives):

Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops [microform] : 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusettts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry (1997). Reel 0005 - 1st United States Colored Cavalry Fly, Benjamin - Griffin, Oliver. Online at: See pp: n1295-n1355

Service Ledger (Town of Acton): page 44-45


Co. Regiment Date Filed Type App. No. Cert. No. State Beneficiary/Remarks
5th MVI
24th MVI
1st U.S. Colored Cavalry
May 26, 1891 Invalid 1 027 584 810 225 La.  
May 31, 1907 Widow 870 584 716 629 La. Marie L. Gray

Pension File (select pages from the National Archives):  70 Pages (PDF*)

Grand Army of the Republic



Date October 16, 1905
Place Louisiana
Survived by Marie L. Gray

Additional Information

According to a family record in his pension file, William B. Gray was born November 7, 1842 in Boston, Mass. to William H. Gray and Mary A. Capen.

William B. Gray, age 9, is recorded as an inhabitant of Acton, Mass. in the 1850 census, in the household of William H. Gray, a 29 year old shoemaker. Also in the household (no. 195/234) was Mary A. Gray, age 26; and Abby Gray, age 12 ("1850 United States Federal Census,"

William Bailey Gray, age 12, b. Mass., is recorded in the 1855 Massachusetts State Census for Acton, in the household (288/298) of William Howard Gray, a 34 year old shoemaker, and Mary Ann Gray, age 30, b. Mass. (Lainhart, 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Censuses for Acton: 36). 

According to testimony in his pension file William Gray met Missouri Gray while in the service, and lived with her and their children in Mandeville, La. It is not clear if they married. He worked in the charcoal business and was elected a school director of St. Tammany Parish in 1871. Later that year he is reported to have absconded with school funds, leaving Mandeville, the woman Missouri and the children behind.

1870 federal census, Ward 9, St. Tammany, Mandeville, Louisiana, household 77/77: William Gray, 28, laborer, b. Mass.; Missouri Gray, 27, keeping house, b. Virginia; J.M. Gray, age 4; E.F. Gray, age 2; Missouri Gray, age 1/12 ("1870 United States Federal Census,"

According to testimony in his pension file, William Gray married Kate Baum Roberts, August 5, 1873 in Erie, Pa. He lived with her and sometimes with her teenage daughter Geniveve (a.k.a. Vivian) from around 1873 until they separated in 1877. Kate died in 1889 in New York state.

William B. Gray married Marie Louise Markstine October 1, 1878 in Illinois (marriage record in pension file). They settled in Morgan City, La., where they ran a printing office. The pension file indicates they had five children. William B. Gray died in 1905, leaving his widow and one minor child.

The name William B. Gray is included on the Acton Memorial Library Soldiers' Tablet, "The Men of Acton Who Fought For The Union" under "Privates."




* Note: PDF files can be rotated on screen by using the Adobe Reader "Rotate Clockwise" tool. 
To add the tool to the Adobe Reader toolbar, right-click on the toolbar, click "More Tools" and check "Rotate Clockwise" to add the tool to the Adobe Reader toolbar."