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Allen Hanna Hayes Orr Seymour Strong

Obituary of John Orr, Austin, Texas.

Capt. John Orr, one of the pioneer merchants of Calvert, Tex, died in Austin, Tex., on April 22, 1916, and was buried there. He was born at Montreal, Canada, February 4, 1840. When sixteen years old he went to Demerara, South America, where he was employed handling the Hindu coolies on the British government sugar farms. Early in 1860 he went to New Orleans, La., and was connected with the press until April, 1861. When war between the States broke out, he enlisted in the Confederate army as a private and was elected first lieutenant of his company, which became part of the 6th Louisiana Infantry. Isaac G. Seymour was the first colonel; and John Orr was made adjutant with the rank of captain and held this position until he was captured, in the spring of 1863. His regiment was in the first battle of Manassas and with Stonewall Jackson in his valley campaign, in the 8th Brigade under Gen. Dick Taylor, and also in the Seven Days' fights around Richmond. Here Colonel Seymour was killed, and Maj. H. B. Strong bacame colonel of the 6th Louisiana Infantry. In the march against Pope with Jockson at the Second Manassas, Harry T. Hayes commanded the brigade-5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Regiments-in this battle. Hayes's Brigade held the railroad cut without a cartridge and no weapons except the rocks along the new railroad. When the battle was over, the cut was filled with dead Confederates and Yankees. Orr's regiment was with Jackson at the capture of Harper's Ferry just before the battle of Sharpsburg. In this battle on September 17, 1862, the brigade of Harry Hayes, on General Lee's left wing under Jackson, was almost decimated, Colonel Strong being killed and almost all of the field officers either killed or wounded. Captain Orr participated with conspicuous gallantry in all the battles from First Manassas to Fredericksburg except the Seven Days' fighting around Richmond. He was wounded at Winchester and was in the hospital at Lynchburg almost two months, getting back to his command just in time for Second Manassas. In his report General Hayes said: "Particularly would I call attention to the conspicuous gallantry of Captain Orr, adjutant of the 6th Louisiana Regiment, who was the first to mount the parapet of the enemy's redoubt, receiving while doing so a severe bayonet wound in the side. In an engagement near Culpepper Courthouse in 1863 three or four companies of the 5th and 6th Regiments were captured by the Yankees and with them Adjutant Orr. He was sent, with about two hundred other Confederate officers, to the military prison at Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie, where he was kept a prisoner for seventeen months. He was made postmaster of his ward, containing one hundred and twenty-four other officers. In 1911, forty-seven years afterwards, he made out from memory a list of the name, rank, and command of these one hundred and twenty-four officers, which was published in the VETERAN and materially assisted several Sons of Confederate Veterans in proving the records of their kinsman.

Captain Orr went to Texas in 1865 and was in business in different cities until 1885, when he settled permanently in Austin, where he was known and appreciated for his sterling worth as a man and citizen.

Captain Orr was married to Miss Emma Hanna, oldest daughter of Maj. J. S. Hanna, in December, 1868. She died in January, 1870. In June, 1871, he married Laura K. Allen, of Milam County. Of this union were born seven children, of whom two sons and two daughters survive him. John Orr stood high in the Blue Lodge of Masonry, in the Chapter, and in the Commandery.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, August, 1916.

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