Lora Hudson Bissell

By Patrick Kavanagh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery

Section 10, Lot 295
Date of Death: 2/6/1899
(Army Nurse-Civil War)

Mrs. Bissell, known to the 44th Regiment as A. Lora Hudson, was born near Albany, New York, August 4, 1839, the daughter of a Baptist clergyman.

Early left an orphan, she followed the vocation of schoolteacher until she began her work as an Army nurse. It was at her desk after school hours that she wrote the words of the "Ellsworth Avengers." This song came to the notice of the regiment. A committee called upon Miss Hudson, asking her permission to adopt the words as its regimental song and learned of her desire to serve her country. They actively invited her to accompany them as the "Daughter of the Regiment." Miss Hudson joined the regiment as a volunteer nurse and continued with the regiment throughout her entire service.

While matron of the 3rd Brigade Hospital in 1861 at Hall's Hill, VA, she met Dr. Elias Bissell, then Assistant Surgeon of the Regiment. Miss Hudson married Dr. Bissell in 1864 while she was still in the service.

After the war, Dr. & Mrs. Bissell resided in Buffalo, NY. Mrs. Bissell continued to live in Buffalo until her death in 1899. She was an efficient and self sacrificing hospital nurse. Mrs. Bissell never lost her love for "her boys" as she always called the men of the 44th , and they were as loyal to her as she was to them.

It was with great pride that her name is engraved on a monument dedicated to the NY 44th Regiment located on Little Round Top at Gettysburg,Pennsylvania. It is our understanding that she is the only woman whose name appears on a monument at Gettysburg.

Her husband, Dr. Elias Bissell is buried next to her at Forest Lawn. At the time of her death she was living at 2793 Main Street in Buffalo.

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