The Official William J. Wray Memorial Website
Memorial Website

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Emma Wray 
Now that the grave site of William Wray is known of, we would like to locate the grave of his daughter Emma Wray. She is mentioned on page 293 of the unit history as "The Secratary's Daughter" . William J Wray was the secratary of the 23rd PA.

She was later married to someone with the last name of Fields. Therefore we are looking for an Emma Wray Fields. If any one can help or has any information please contact us at the e-mail address below.

MEMORIAL FUND
We are in the process of obtaining a new government headstone for William Wray to be placed at his gravesite.

 Latest News!
William Wray's New Congressional of Medal Headstone has been Placed at Philadelphia Memorial Park.

PURCHASE THE 23rd UNIT HISTORY
The 100th Anniversary of the 23rd PA Regimental History, expanded edition is still available. Please e-mail us below for more information on obtaining a copy.

BIRNEY'S ZOUAVES RE-ENACTNG GROUP
We the members of the 23rd Pa Re-enacting group hope to preserve and protect the memory of this Regiment who fought to preserve the Union! We are a "politically free" and "membership free" group of Re-enactors and Living Historians. To join us contact us via e-mail for more information.

Donations
You can help the 23rd PA Re-enactors and our endeavors to honor our soldiers by making a donation to...

23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers

PO Box 3984

Gettysburg PA 17325

make all checks payable to "23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers" . You can also use Pay Pal to send a donation. Pay Pal the desired amount to "twentythirdpavol" and a message in the message box.


American Hero, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, Civil War Veteran, Author....
This website is brought to you by......... the following websites

William J. Wray was born in Philadelphia on May 16 1845. Raised in "The Cradle of Liberty" he must of treasured his freedom and Independance at a young age. Living near Independance Hall and the Liberty Bell he must have been reminded many times on how those freedoms were obtained. So it was only a natural thing for him to join to fight in Company F of the Twenty Third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.His love for country and preservation of The United States as one Nation was his devotion in life. .  

 

Wounded at Fredricksburg 
At Fredricksburg in December of 1862 he was shot through the eye. The bullet caused him to lose his right eye and his best friend was wounded in the arm by the same ball. However his desire to defend the country he so dearly loved was not shaken. After spending the Holiday season of 1862 recovering from his wounds, he was back in action with the 23rd Pa for the next year and a half. .

 

Congressional Medal of Honor

He was transfered to The 1st Veteran Reserves Company K ,which was mainly for invaled and disabled soldiers. While defending Washington D.C. on July 15th 1864 and while under fire, he rallied his men during a charge. This action won him the Congressional Medal of Honor on December 15th 1892.

William J Wray after the war never did forget his roots. He went back to the city where he was born (Philadelphia) and to his house 2 blocks from Independance Hall. He was commisioned by the War Department to write the unit History of The Twenty Third Pennsylvania "Birneys Fire Zouaves" He was named the secratary and completed it in 1903. It is still one of the largest and most detailed unit histories on any unit during the Civil War. Now the story gets sad................ .

His later years and Death

William J Wray had a son William C Wray who died in 1899 as a young man of 24 years. Then on June 2 1919 Willam J. Wray died in Philadelphia. He was buried in American Mechanics Cemetery on June 6th 1919. The Cemetery was moved in 1951 and the land developed.

God Bless America

God Bless America

William J Wray, his son and various other family members were disintered from American Mechanics Cemetery on September 11th 1951 and then Re-interred two days later on September 13th 1951 at Philadelphia Memorial Park in Frazer, PA.For many years the whereabouts of his remains would not be known of. His grave is marked only by a small plaque that says "Wray". This American Hero,Author, and Congressional Medal of Honor Winner needs to be properly remembered and Honored, so we have put up this website in his honor to try to raise money to purchase an honorable headstone detailing his deeds. If you would like to help you can send a donation to the address to your left.

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E-mail: birneyszouaves@aol.com