Lucy, born a slave April 10, 1838, was owned by the Higgs family that by 1850 lived near Bolivar, Tennessee. She gained her freedom in 1862 by escaping to the 23rd Regiment, Indiana Volunteers camped nearby. She worked as a nurse for the soldiers as they fought in many major battles of the Civil War. She mustered out with them in Louisville in 1865.
Lucy came to New Albany with returning veterans of 23rd Regiment. She married John Nichols, 1870. Lucy applied for pension after Congress passed 1892 act for Civil War nurses; she was denied. In 1895, Lucy and 55 veterans of the 23rd petitioned Congress; in 1898, a Special Act of Congress awarded her pension. Lucy was an honorary member of the G.A.R. She died 1915.