A Pennsylvania Soldier at Libby Prison
Luther Bradford Sampson was born in 1841 and enlisted at age 20 in October of 1861 as a Private in Co. K of the "Proud 84th" Pennsylvania 84th Volunteer Infantry. He would have first 'seen the elephant ' with his regiment at Bath January 4, 1862 against "Stonewall" Jackson's forces and the retreat to Cumberland, Maryland. Promotions came quickly and he was soon a Sergeant of his Company. The 84th fought in numerous engagements across Virginia. Then, when in advance with his company as skirmishers on the night of August 30, 1862, at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), they encountered Jackson's brigade and were captured. He soon found himself enroute to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Paroled in exchange, September 1862, he returned to his regiment as the Battle of Fredericksburg closed. Commissioned an officer in Co. F in 1863, Sampson was to serve in the major engagements of the regiment including Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and led his company into battle at Winchester and Port Republic. Mustered out in December of 1864, Sampson eventually became Chief of Police in Rochester, NY. He was a member of the John C. Sampson Post, Grand Army of the Republic, which was named for his brother who was killed at Petersburg. He was also a member of the National Association of Ex-Prisoners of War, and a Mason. Captain Luther Sampson died in January 1923.
Luther Sampson left to history a legacy of his service. He is shown in his enlisted shell jacket with musket in his wartime tintype. The forage cap bears the unit designation of "K 84" on the top and interestingly also in the underside of the brim, flanked by Harder hat insignia. Veterans badges, as he would have proudly worn at reunions, holidays and parades, include his GAR membership medal. His members badge for the Association of Ex-PoWs features a PENNSYLVANIA top bar and LIBBY prison clasp. Also shown is his two-piece veterans badge, in the lozenge shape of the 3rd Corps badge.