Heroes of Albany - Paul Quay

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY



Paul Quay, the son of John and Elizabeth Quay, was born in the town of Knox, July 30th, 1841.

From his early youth he was a regular attendant at the Sabbath school, and in the winter of 1861 he became a hopeful Christian, and united with the Reformed Dutch Church in Knoxville. He was very conscientious in the discharge of all his duties, and was an active and useful Christian.

Patriotism induced him to enlist in his country's service, and he joined the Seventh Heavy Artillery about the 1st of August, 1862.

He was in all the battles in which his regiment was engaged during Grant's campaign till he was taken prisoner on the 16th day of June, 1864. He was sent to Andersonville, where he suffered all the hardships and horrors incident to that horrible pen. Thence he was sent to Milan, where he died some time during the following winter. During his confinement in these Southern prisons he was never able to send a single letter to his friends at home, nor to receive one from them. He suffered all the agonies of disease and starvation without one human being to offer him the least relief, or offer to him one word of consolation. Those by whom he was surrounded delighted in his pains and wretchedness, and wished him to die. His remains lie somewhere in the Southern States, but where his friends do not know.

He died a child of God, a friend of Jesus, and a martyr to the cause of American liberty.

The following touching lines were composed by a prisoner, a


member of a Pennsylvania regiment, who felt that more should have been done for their release:


When our country called for men, we came from forge, store and mill,

From workshop, farm and factory, the broken ranks to fill;

We left our quiet, happy homes, and those we loved so well.

To vanquish all our Union foes, or fall as others fell.

Now in prison drear we languish, and it is our constant cry,

Oh ! ye who yet can save us, will you leave us here to die?

The voice of slander tells you, that our hearts were weak with fear,

That all, or nearly all, of us were captured in the rear;

But scars upon our bodies, from musket ball and shell.

The missing legs and shattered arms a truer tale will tell.

We have tried to do our duty in sight of God on high ;

Oh ! ye who, yet can save us, will you leave us here to die?

There are hearts with hopes still beating, in our pleasant northern homes,

Waiting, watching for the loved ones that may never, never come.

In southern prisons drear, meagre, tattered, pale and gaunt;

Growing weaker, daily, from pinching cold and want.

There brothers, sons and husbands, poor, helpless captives lie,

Oh ! ye who yet can save us, will you leave us here to die?

From out our prison gate, there is a grave yard close at hand.
Where lie fourteen thousand Union men, beneath the Georgia sand
And scores are laid beside them, as day succeeds each day;
And thus it ever will be till all shall pass away;
And the last can say, when dying, with upturned, glaring eye,
Both love and faith are dead at home, they have left us here to die