Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Family of Florida's 6th Regiment

Mt. Vernon Arsenal
Built 1839. Used to muster Confederate troops in Civil War, later a penitentiary and now part of Florida State Hospital.

Florida's 6th Infantry Regiment, organized in March, 1862, at Chattahoochee, Florida, contained men from Gadsden, Jackson, Union, Collier, and Washington counties. During April the unit had 31 officers and 511 men, and soon moved to East Tennessee. Later it was assigned to Colonel R. C. Trigg's, and General Finley's and J. A. Smith's Brigade, Army of Tennessee.

It served on many battlefields from Chickamauga to Atlanta, was active in Tennessee with Hoods, and ended the war in North Carolina. This regiment reported 35 killed and 130 wounded at Chickamauga and in December, 1863, totalled only 214 men and 133 arms. Only a remnant surrendered in April, 1865. The field officers were Colonels Jesse J. Finley, Daniel L. Kenan, and Angus D. McLean, and Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. M. Davidson.

  • Source: National Park Service, Confederate Florida Troops

  • Thomas Dawsey Cabin
    Built 1827. Frame vernacular. 1 and a half stories, log construction, clapboarding, full-width front porch. The oldest documented building in Gadsden County, it is a good example of a pioneer homestead.

    Great-great uncle dies at Chickamauga

    James S. Dawsey and John R. Dawsey were the only sons of Thomas A. Dawsey and Pheraby Laurel (Crawford) Dawsey. They enlisted together in Florida's 6th Infantry Regiment, Company K, 8 March 1862, at Mt. Vernon, Florida.

    At the time, James was 26 years old and had been married to Sarah White for four years. James and Sarah had one daughter, who was to become my great-grandmother, Callie "Caroline" (Dawsey) Retherford, born in 1861. A son, James S. Dawsey Jr, was born in 1863.

    John was 19 and single, so far as we know. The young men had two sisters, Desdamona M. (Dawsey) Hayes and Sarah Ann Elizabeth (Dawsey) Smith.

    John R. Dawsey lost his life at the Battle of Chickamauga, 19 September 1863. He was 20 years old.

    Great-great grandfather disappears without a trace

    Records indicate that James S. Dawsey was absent without leave on 8 February 1863 (perhaps to see a newborn son, James Jr?). James appears on duty again in October 1863, but was under arrest in Atlanta in early 1864 (reason unknown). He later appears on a receipt roll dated in mid-1864. James never returned home following the war and the family never learned what became of him. Searches of historical records have provided no clues.

    Several years went by following the war's end, and Sarah finally remarried. By then, her son James S. "Jimmy" was about 15 years old. He had promised his mother that if she married "that old man" he would run away from home. She did, and he did, becoming a fireman aboard merchant ships and sailing the world for twenty years before settling down near Edinburgh, Scotland. He met his wife Nellie Jackson, an English girl, in Dalkeith and they were married there in 1902. They later bought a home in Annon, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, near Carlisle, England. During those years, Jimmy never returned to Alabama. In 1907 - twenty-seven years after leaving home - James contacted his family and returned to the US because of his mother's failing health. She died the same year. James and Nellie raised their sons in Geneva County, AL and Holmes County, FL.

    * Family data from my father, grandfather, and Cousins Scott Dawsey and Nell Sellers Dawsey.
    * If anyone reading this has further information on James S. or John R. Dawsey's military service in the Florida 6th Regiment, please contact me.


    1. Great Blog Jim.

      Growing up in Chatt. I love it. You might not know that there is remnants of a tunnel that was dug from the Mt. to the Ridge overlooking the River. It could pass supplies, cannons and men when the Union was up and down the River on Patrol. I am not certain, but I believe My GGG Cousin Cornelius Stephens was in this regiment. Will have to ask my Cousin Historian Gene. Great Pic of the old place. On one of my earlier blogs about my Son who plays golf I mention the Hospital as the place where I learned to play golf. You should read it.

      Yours in the Bond.

    2. Thanks for the comment. I didn't recall the part about the tunnel. If your cousin served from that area, chances are he was also in the 6th. Let me know if you get the answer.

      Good luck with your boy and the golf. It's great to spend that kind of quality time with kids. I left a msg. (and a very old, corny joke) on your blog. :-)

    3. Hi,
      Just wanted to see by chance.. since you were tossing around names like Mattox and locations such as Holmes County, Bonifay, Florida, if you were familiar with or related to John Henry Mattox (elected Sheriff of Holmes County, who never served due to his death with pneumonia). He was married to Nellie and had a large family. His birthdate was 1872 and some family is buried in Mount Olive & Shady Grove cemeteries. These are my great grandparents. By the way, your site is very well presented. Very nice.
      -Susan Annabelle Crowe