Play - The Lady in Gray
The Lady in Gray – Ronnie Bowman
(Mark “Brink” Brinkman, Mike Evans & Paula Breedlove)
Mark Brinkman Songs – BMI /Paulajon Music ASCAP
“With so much heartache and loneliness in its past, it is no wonder that Camp Chase cemetery has witnessed a long history of strange occurrences.” – Dr. Von Zuko, author
In Columbus, Ohio, Camp Chase served as a Confederate prison camp where the lives of over 2000 soldiers were ended by disease and malnutrition from the notoriously poor conditions. The majority of these men were buried in the prison cemetery. According to legend, the spirit of a young woman in a gray traveling dress haunts the cemetery, pausing to cry over the grave of the Unknown Soldier and marker number 223, belonging to Benjamin F. Allen of the 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Company D. To this day, the mournful weeping of the Lady in Gray can be heard at night behind the locked iron cemetery gates, and fresh flowers mysteriously appear on the tombstone of her lost love, Benjamin.
In one dark prison in a small Ohio town
Two thousand Rebs were laid to rest in Yankee ground
With their children, wives and mother’s miles away
No one would weep or bring fresh flowers to their graves.
Until one lonely grieving girl in Tennessee
Who missed the man whose bride she’d never be
Journeyed north to mourn him in her dress of gray
And be close to where her only true love lay.
And the Lady in Gray still mournfully cries
At stone 233 where her Benjamin lies
With flowers and tears she grieves to this day
For the soldier who loved the Lady in Gray.
She lived close to that graveyard till the day she died
Spending many hours there at Benjamin’s side
And for two thousand lonely soldiers lying there
She never failed to weep or bow her head in prayer.
Now fragrant flowers often suddenly appear
On unmarked stones when there is nobody there
And on moonlit nights on stone 233
A ghostly figure dressed in grey can still be seen.