|Birth: ||Mar. 5, 1839|
|Death: ||Jan. 10, 1876, USA|
Corporal AUGUSTUS DICKSON, Co. F, 86th Illinois
Augustus Dickson was born on __________ __, 18__ at Meadville, Pennsylvania in Crawford County, the son of __________ Dickson and __________ (__________) Dickson.
Augustus Dickson was married to Margaret Elizabeth Jones on May 19, 1861 in Crawford, County, Pennsylvania. Margaret was born on March 15, 1844 in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of
Children of Augustus and Margaret included: Abbie, born in Bureau County; Elsie born in Maquon, Knox County; and a son Lansing born near Maquon.
They had children Abbie, Elsie, and Lansing.
Margaret E. Jones was born March 15, 1844 in Hayfield Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. In 1850, Margaret, her parents, and siblings removed to Illinois, arriving the 17th of May. She married Augustus Dickson (the love of her life and father of her children) on May 19, 1861, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, while visiting her sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Rodrick Frazer Dickson. Margaret and Augustus removed to Bureau County, Illinois, and then on to Knox County, where he enlisted in Company H, 86th Illinois Regiment. After the war, they lived briefly in Missouri before settling permanently in Maquon. Margaret remained in their home "up on Red Chalk" for 54 years. Children of Augustus and Margaret included: Abbie, born in Bureau County; Elsie born in Maquon, Knox County; and a son born near Maquon. Margaret Jones Dickson is listed as marrying a Samuel Alexander in Knox County on February 20, 1877. She died in 1926, and is buried at the Maquon Cemetery.
ILLINOIS CIVIL WAR DETAIL REPORT
Name DICKSON, AUGUSTUS
Rank PVT Company F Unit 86 IL US INF
Residence MAQUON, KNOX CO, IL Age 23 Height 5' 8 1/2 Hair SANDY
Eyes HAZEL Complexion FAIR Marital Status MARRIED Occupation FARMER
Nativity MEADVILLE, CRAWFORD CO, PA
Joined When AUG 13, 1862 Joined Where MAQUON, IL
Joined By Whom J L BURKHALTER Period 3 YRS
Muster In AUG 27, 1862 Muster In Where PEORIA, IL
Muster In By Whom N/A Muster Out JUN 6, 1865
Muster Out Where WASHINGTON, DC Muster Out By Whom LT SCROGGS
Remarks PROMOTED CORPORAL APR 1, 1865
On Wednesday, May 11, 1864, Captain James L. Burkhalter made the following entry in his diary; "Very heavy firing on our picket line at three o'clock this morning brought every man to his feet, ready for action. The rebels tried to surprise and capture our picket reserve, but failed. The 52d Ohio was on the line, a regiment both watchful and brave. They stood their ground and repulsed the enemy, with a loss of but few men. Brisk skirmishing continued during most of the day in which we had one man killed and several wounded in the Brigade.
At 5 p.m., General Whitaker made a reconnaissance with a hundred picket men from his command and drove the enemy pickets and skirmishers several hundred yards. Then the rebels gave fierce battle and forced Whitaker and his men off the field. They retired with a loss of only about ten men killed and wounded.
Our brigade was relieved from duty on the front at dark and march marched back across the Valley and went into bivouac for the night. Officers and men are much fatigued and in want of sleep.
Augustus S. Dickson, William A. Stodgell and Sergeant Barnett E. Haines departed with an ambulance train. (Haines died of intermittent fever on May 31st at the General Field Hospital, Chattanooga.)
Later, there was general muster and all baggage was ordered sent to the rear, in anticipation of an advance. Dark came and all was profoundly quiet. Our Brigade retired to rest arms early, with orders that reveille would beat at 3:30 a.m. At that time, everything must be in readiness to leave at an early hour."
No firing during the night on our front.
A person would scarcely think that we rest on the eve of the most deadly conflict.
The following was written many years after the war and after Augustus had died by Margaret E. (Jones) Dickson;
"Augustus Dickson, your grandfather, was Frazer Dickson's nephew. He was my first love and the father of my children, and the one I will ever grieve for, though 49 years have passed. But he is still the husband of my youth and the one who courted me in my early girlhood. Just 17, I was, when we were married--and he was 22. We saw some hardships, but now I know they were happy times--only the three years he was in the WAR! We bought the farm a year after the War, and that was our real home. I lived there 54 years, and it still seems like home to me!
We saw lovely hills and valleys, and grass was beautifully green when we got to our journey's end here, but such a disappointment to all of us! The people were usually like us--"Newcomers"! And not much 'to do' with--no grist mills near here where they ground wheat flour!! But that was the last. The next year they started grinding wheat and made good four at Burnett's Mill, east of the cemetery, on Spoon River.
There has been some changes in 74 years! I went to school the fall and early winter. I was only six but was reading the second reader. Then I was out of school three years--no schoolhouse near us. But I soon made up for the lost time. Then we moved again, and no schoolhouse for two years. Then the schoolhouse over by Jim Jones' was built. Then we had school ten months in the year. I have given you a fairly good account of my young girlhood. I did not hear as much about politics then as I did later. In 1852 I heard my father and brothers talk some about the Presidents, but I did not know what they meant and they never told children anything. All I know is I used to hollow, "Hurrah for Clay!", but I did not know what it was for. In 1856, I knew then, and I did hollow, "Hurrah for Freemont!" Then later we began to hear about a man named Lincoln. I remember when he and Douglas made their famous speeches in Galesburg. Father and Brother Abe and Mr. Way, our neighbor, and two of his boys, went clear to Galesburg to hear them! Went in a big wagon and sat on a board across the wagon box. They were full of the wonderful speech they heard! They had always been Whigs and were undecided for some time what they should be, but they found themselves about that time, and they were staunch Republicans. I thought then if Abe Lincoln was as smart as they thought he was he may be our next President--and he was!
I continued in school and had good teachers. My last term was in the winter, and I was fifteen in the spring. Lansing J. Dawdy taught the school in 1858 and 1859. He was a fine teacher. In the summer, rather late summer, my sister Sarah had moved to Pennsylvania, and she and her husband, Rodrick Frazer Dickson, came back here on a visit and took me home with them. I lived with them until I was married to your grandfather, Augustus Dickson--1861, May 19th. I sure had a fine time while I was back there. I found new friends and as many of my relatives that I could hardly remember! That was a happy period of my life. I met your grandfather before I was sixteen, and our attachment was mutual, and we went around some. But we had no way, only the same old way--afoot--or ride with some one. We went to all the Republican Rallies in the fall of the 60's. We lived a mile and a half from Meadville, Pennsylvania, and Frazer Dickson never missed any good thing--even if we did have to go in a big wagon! "The Wide Awakes", young Republicans called themselves, marched and carried torch lights, and it was a grand sight! Your grandfather belonged to them. We had an exciting time, and we did elect "Honest Old Abe Lincoln"! Then the War came, and we got married, and your grandfather said he would not have to go to War. We came to Illinois and stopped in Bureau County and lived there a year. Then you grandfather could not stand it any longer--there were calls and calls for men. We came down here to Maquon, and he enlisted in Company H, 86th Illinois Regiment and was gone three years. He was in the hospital two or three times but was not wounded or hurt in any engagement, and he marched from Louisville, Kentucky, to Richmond, Virginia, and then from Richmond to Washington, D.C. He was transferred from the 86th Regiment to the 2nd Illinois Battery, was commissioner for eighteen months, and was then brought back to the 86th Regiment. He was in every engagement from the time they left Louisville until they reached Richmond, Virginia. Sometimes they were so short of rations that he had to guard his team with his musket to keep the men from taking the corn from the horses. They could have done as he did and got their own corn. He took a boat and went up the Tennessee River a mile and shucked some corn from off an island and brought it back to the horses. They had to be fed. They could not forage for themselves. He was responsible for his equipment and they had to have good care, for they had to haul the cannon. I was told by men that knew him that he had the most accurate eye of any many they ever saw. He could locate the enemy's guns and fire on them and silence their batteries.
One thing he had to do that hurt him terribly. He had a buddy that slept with him, and they were together in so many battles, and he was brave and true, your grandfather thought, and he deserted and went home, or someplace. He had a wife and two children. He enlisted again and got the bounty that the government was paying, and he was captured and brought back to the Regiment and court-martialed and sentenced to be shot-----and your grandfather was one of the twelve men that was to shoot him in the morning at sunrise. Six of the muskets were unloaded, six were loaded!! He said it was a sad, miserable day, sort of dull and foggy, everything fit the occasion. Your grandfather did not know whether his gun was loaded or not. He did not point it at him anyway, but he saw him fall. He used to write to me about him, and call him 'his wife'. It cast a gloom over all the men for a long time. I think Lincoln would have reprieved him, if he had known about it. He said so often that he did not want the men shot that way. We had enough killed in battle! Your grandfather was in Company F of the 86th Regiment, commanded by Captain J. L. Burkhalter. Your grandfather knew him from boyhood and always thought a lot of him. In after years he asked him to be guardian of his children. That is why the Burkhalters have always been friends of the Dickson family.
Two of my brothers, William and George, and two brother-in-laws, John Barbero and John Freemole, were in Company H of the 86th Regiment. The latter was killed at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain. Your grandfather was in the same battle. He came through all right. My brother Bill was hurt at the battle of Stone River. Our boys were charging the enemy, and they were running down hill and he ran against a tree and broke some bone in his shoulder and put it out of place. He did not get to see a surgeon for two or three days and they could not set it so it would stay set, but they routed the enemy anyway. They ran down the hill and across Stone River, just rushed right through and up the other side, and the Rebels turned and fled.
At one battle our men had to retreat, and your grandfather had to put their blankets on the horses' feet so they would not rouse the enemy--the horse shoes striking the stones made a racket. "Old Pop Thomas", as the boys called General Thomas, was along the side of the cannon and would say, "Steady, Boys! Steady! Be quiet!"--and just cautioned them all the time, and in the morning when it was light they started back up the mountain. And, lo and behold! The Rebels had retreated the other way!
One time your grandfather and John Hall, father of Mrs. Wainwright and Mrs. Bearmore, started out to find some salt. They had stolen some chickens and cleaned them and roasted them by fire. They were fine, and they hid them--they thought. They walked about three miles and found a poor woman that had some salt tied up in a rag in her bureau drawer. She was a Union woman. She divided it with them. He said they were ashamed to take it, but they did take it and walked back to camp--and some galoot had stolen their chickens! One time they were in a house the Rebels had left, and he got a saucer to pour his coffee in, a big heavy one, and a silver spoon. He had them a long time, but someone stole them from him at last. He had lots of things he wanted to send home, but before he got to a place where he could express them, someone stole them from him.
The women were not idle while the men were in the War! We did everything we knew how to do. In the World War we could do more, for we knew more, how and what to do, and we had more to work with. We did not have sewing machines to work with. It was all hand work. One aunt of mine baked bread for the hospital soldiers. The ladies furnished her with the flour. She made it in light biscuits and split them and baked them again. It is called "Swiback" or "baked twice". She would bake a whole sack of flour up at a time and send it to the nearest hospital.
I went back to Pennsylvania and was there half the time your grandfather was gone. I stayed with my sister, Sarah Dickson. At one time they sent a Regiment of invalid soldiers to Meadville and they camped in the old arsenal that was built there when the folks there had to fight the Indians. I tell you they fared well while they were there. The farmers would go and haul a wagon load out to the farm and let them husk corn and give them their dinners. The sick ones got well. When they left there they were able to go back to the front. Your Uncle Frazer Dickson had them out to his house a couple of times. He made a dance for them once, and he would go after them when he had a lot of cider made. I hated to see them leave, but such is warfare. I hope and pray that my grandchildren never have to pass through all that we did. And we almost had to fight at home! Some folks would sympathize with the confederates and that would cause lots of hard feelings that could never be brightened over. I came near striking a woman once for saying such mean things about our soldiers that was fighting for her as well as for me and mine. Three of her sons were drafted afterwards, and I think she would feel different.
One old German that was in Company F was an oddity. He was a fine drill master. His name was Ernest Forman. The first battle the boys were in was at Perryville, Kentucky--the 8th of October after they had enlisted in August. A spent bullet hit the German and he said, after the battle, swearing a big oath, "I am the first man killed in Company F!" Nat Freemole was a young boy only 16 when he enlisted, but he made a good and brave soldier. He was out on picket duty and came to camp hungry and tired and made a fire to make some coffee and fry himself some sow-belly, and another soldier sat his coffee off and put his on. Nat told him that that was his fire and that he was so hungry. The man told him to make another fire. Nat said, "Take yours off or I'll knock you down." The man laughed at him, "just a little boy you might say". Nat grabbed his musket and knocked the man down and was scared to death that he had killed him. The boys gathered around them and when the man came to he apologized and said it was his fault and he did not blame Nat a bit. They were friends after that.
Your grandfather came home in June, the 18th, 1865. We lived here in town a year. He was in the clothing store with Mr. Dawdy, but he was anxious to get out on a farm. We moved to Missouri in the spring of '66, but did not like it and came back to Maquon and bought the home place and how happy we were in a home of our own!
For three years I was around from pillar to past as the saying is. We were not settled, the first year, just hung on, and when we bought that little home I was the happiest woman you ever saw! A little house, and nothing to do with, but it was our home. And we had two cows and a good team and some hogs, and it was all our own and did not owe anyone a cent! We bought chickens, and the hens laid eggs, and your grandfather had nice fresh eggs to eat, and I tried to cook the best I knew how. For three years we had to live on such poor grub! Vegetables was what he wanted, and the ground was good and new and we sure had good things. It was in September, 21st, 1866 we moved up here and we got the man's garden and we did have plenty. No wonder my heart yearns for the old home. Abbie was born in Bureau County; Elsie, here in town, just across the street from where she now lives, on the west side. And your father was born up on the farm, in the old house. There were the happiest years of my life spent and the greatest sorrows I ever had were there. I will never see any place that can appeal to me as much as my old home up on Red Chalk. How happy we all were when my children came home and brought grandchildren. Late years one failed to come, but I can see him yet and hear him as they all ran through the house, one after the other, and the dog with them. Time will heal the wound, but the scar is still there.
I forgot to tell you about the crude seats we had to sit on. Betty Jones, my niece, says the seats we had where she and I went to school were just benches made out of slabs with holes bored in them and wooden legs put in. She says there were no desks for any of the children. Of course, it was a log schoolhouse, as was every house around us. The house where Oscar Ouderkirk lives now was the only frame house then--and part of the house out on Henry Barbero's place, and part of the house on the place that Harry Harper owns. Where Bill Buck lives, the house they live in, was part of the house where old Peter Ouderkirk lived at that time.
The schoolbooks my brothers and sisters had, the readers, was the New Testament. I heard my sister Sarah tell about a girl that could not pronounce a word, hardly, and part of her verse was, "Hosanna to the Lord", and she could not say it, and Sarah whispered to her and told her, "Hosanna to the Lord." And one boy that could not pronounce the word said out loud, "Skip the devil!" He could not remember the way to say it.
The folks told of an old preacher that could not talk very good English, and those times they always lined the hymns and he looked at it and did not know what the matter was. He did not have his glasses! He said, "My eyes be dim. I cannot see to read this hymn." And the folks, like chumps, sang it! He said, "My God! What fools these peoples is. I did not mean for you to sing that, for I have left my specs to home!" And then they sang that, too! I was not there, so I don't know how true it is, but it is a wonder that anyone at that time learned anything. No one could, or would, pronounce anything right.
When I went to Sunday school, I was four years old, and they told me that the Hebrew children were thrown away in the fiery furnace, and I thought they asked me who threw fire in the furnace and I said the Hebrew children. It was all Greek to me. And no one explained anything to children. When I was going about ten or eleven, the prairies were beautiful. Not very much of the land was cultivated. And the lovely flowers! I found out the name of many of them. I don't know how. The wild Ladyslipper and many flowers that now are extinct. Such lovely lilies, and all kinds of flowers! My brother-in-law, Rodrick Frazer Dickson, had a farm over near Yates City. He sold it in 1858. I used to be there when he was breaking it up. It was a fine sight to see the furrows lying so even!! I do not know who owns the farm now. He had three hundred and twenty acres. A Mathews owned one, a Mrs. Oamadown (*spelling?) owned the other one. I used to be there with my sister so much. Help take care of her children.
My brothers told about a boy that was reading in the Testament, or trying to, and the verse was, "And he saw Abraham afar off--with Lazarus in his bosom." And he could not read it, and some one whispered to him and told him and he tried again--and said, "And he saw Abraham afar off, with lather ears in Boston." But what could anyone expect when they did not have anything but the Testament to learn to read out of!
A man that taught school where Betty Jones and I went to school had long whiskers, and he was quite vain of his whiskers. And in the winter we had fire in an old Cannon stove that used to puff out and fill the room with smoke. One day he went to poke the fire and it puffed out and the blaze came out and singed one side of his long whiskers off. You bet that caused an uproar! You can imagine what a time all the pupils had! I was not there that day. I wonder, sometimes, that any of us learned anything! I got more out of lessons that I heard others recite when I was ten than I did out of anything I studied! Log houses to live in, and log schoolhouses, and just the house. When we went to California in '77, we went on the Union Pacific and every two miles was a nice school-house. The dwelling houses were rather scarce and were sod in many places, but the schoolhouse was there. That much the railroad did for the western states!
While the boys were in the Army, the 86th Regiment was in the Army of the Cumberland and they were stationed near Nashville, Tennessee for some time. They then moved to a place called Lee's Gordon's Mills. I think they were there for six months. They had nothing to do but drill--keep in readiness to be called away. The men laid out a city, and had their tents for houses. The officers had theirs in public square. Set out trees along the streets, and had a mayor and town council and run it in city style. When they went there, the mill was in bad shape, but they had a miller in Company H, James McNauton. He fixed it up and they foraged some corn and he ground it and they had corn pones made with water. They all enjoyed that meal. I think your Daddy can find an account of it in the history of the 86th Regiment that he has. I gave it to him, thinking Ward would some day want to know all about it. Your grandfather used to write me that all the men lacked was their families. He thought then that if he got home safe he would live down there, but he did not want to go down there after all. The southern people were too bitter toward the north. He had no use for them. I would have liked to see the place where they were so long.
The soldiers during the Civil War did not have the things to eat as they had in the late war. They had rice, and dry beans, and hard tack. (That is a hard cracker that they could hardly bite!) The beans were sometimes so full of worms that they would have to pick the beans over and pick them out of the worms. And what they called "sow-belly"--salted pork-so salty that they could hardly soak the salt out of it! No potatoes or any vegetables to amount to anything. One of Riley's poems says, "There was not much pie et during the Army, by the soldiers." The boys used to laugh and tell how they cooked rice. When they would take it off the fire, the kettle would be full and running over. Just cook it in water. No cream nor milk nor butter for in it!
At the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, there were two men killed from Company H. Your Uncle John Freemole and a man named Charles Upp. In the morning the bugles sounded "To Arms!", Captain Burkhalter gave orders for Sergeant Freemole to round up a couple men that had deserted. John was 1st Sargeant. He started after them, and the company was ordered into line and charged up the mountainside. Of course, no one knew whether he found the men or not. He got into the 52nd Ohio Regiment, 2nd Brigade, and was killed there. They buried him the second day, and brought the things he had in his pockets to the 86th Regiment and found Captain Burkhalter. And your grandfather, and John Hall and Burkhalter went back with the soldiers, but he could not tell just where they buried him, and he had lain in the hot sun two days, and it was just as well they could not find him, for they would have opened the grave to see and identify him. His remains have been taken up with every soldier's that was buried there and are in a fine cemetery near there. I can't think of the cemetery. Major Dawdy was wounded there.
The bullet went through him and he was left for dead. He laid there a day and a night. Was in the Rebel's domain. Two Rebels found him and one raised his musket to shoot him when they saw he was not dead, and he knew enough to give them the Masonic sign. And the man that was a Mason knocked the gun up and told the other man not to shoot. They carried him to an old darky's cabin and she nursed him back to life. Of course, he was a prisoner. They drew a silk handkerchief through him and cleaned out the wound and he lived and was exchanged and lived till two years ago. He died at this daughter's home at Bonifay, Florida.
Some time ago, perhaps twenty years ago, we had a preacher here by the name of Clark. He came from Tennessee, and he met Mr. Dawdy, and he knew the Rebel Captain that carried Mr. Dawdy to the old darky's cabin. Mr. Dawdy found out all he could from that man--S. L. Clark--and when they dedicated that cemetery, he went down. He and Captain Burkhalter and a lot of others--Charlie McKown, from Gilson, and a lot of old soldiers from Peoria. They found the man that carried him. Mr. Clark knew his name, so it was not so strange, and he found the old black mammy that nursed him. Captain Burkhalter and the other man that was with him made up the worst lie you ever heard! They said the old black woman went to the door and called, "Mandy! Mandy! Come here quick! Here's yo' PAPA!" Mr. Dawdy wanted to kill him. Only one soldier is alive that was in Company H that I know of around here. That is John West of Dahinda. Oh, yes, Mathew Freemole of Colby, Arkansas. There was six brothers of the Freemoles that was in the War. So many families gave all there boys. Two of my brothers went--and two brothers-in-law, and I think I had twenty or more cousins there. One was wounded--had seven bullet wounds he got at the Battle of the Wilderness, in Virginia.
When the boys had their camp laid out into a city, they would get pretty noisy sometimes, and Captain Burkhalter would tell them to be more quiet. And sometimes they did not listen, and he would try argument and all would fail. Then he would say, "By Gawd! (that is the way he would say it) I'll let you know I'M in COMMAND here!"--and then they knew he meant it. He was well liked by the most of his men. He was always a good friend of our family. You have no idea what War meant to most of us. For months we expected to hear that Lee had surrendered, and it came soon after the death of our martyred President! That was a sad and gloomy time. The soldiers all loved Lincoln!
It was cold in the south the first winter our boys were down there. Your grandfather's poncho--that was his rubber blanket--would freeze fast where they laid on the ground. But they learned better after they were there awhile. They fixed up their beds on evergreen boughs. They went through a lot for their country! Worse suffering and worse hardships than any of the men knew in the World War! It was a glad day when the news came that Lee had surrendered! And the War was closed, or rather, ended.
In compiling this, you will fit this in where it ought to go. In telling you of my childhood, I forgot to mention that most of the farmers would hire a shoemaker to come to the house to make shoes and boots for the family. I remember when I was five years old, not quite five, we had a shoemaker come. His name was Caufman, now "Coffman". I did love to stand and watch him. I bothered him quite a lot. He told me to stand back and let his tools alone. I did not heed him. He said he would cut me with his knife, but I got a little too close, and he made a pass--in kind of playing with me--and cut me on my wrist. And the scar is there yet. That taught me a lesson! I do remember it just like it happened lately. The winter before we came west, in 1850, we had a relative of father's come and make our shoes. Each of two pairs--coarse shoes and fine ones. The fine ones were calfskin--and I expect the coarse ones were bull hide! Anyway, they were very coarse and heavy. We always had shoes in winter, if they were heavy and coarse. I did know children that never had shoes in winter and could not go to school. Times have changed some! Now if children do not go to school, some one finds out why and some one gets them the things they need. We borrowed books and slates and done the best we could. I will write one of the old-time songs we used to sing."
After Augustus' death, Margaret Jones Dickson married Samuel Alexander in Knox County on February 20, 1877.
by Baxter B. Fite III
(Baxter would love to hear from anyone, especially descendants of the Dickson family, who might be able to add to the biographical material that we have on Augustus Dickson and the Dickson family. Baxter would also love to copies of any photographs of Augustus Dickson which may have survived the years, especially any showing him in uniform from his days in the service, added to his Find A Grave site for all to see.)
Margaret Elizabeth Jones Dickson Alexander (1844 - 1926)
Maintained by: Baxter B. Fite III
Originally Created by: Lillie
Record added: Mar 18, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18501688
Angelic Long Wilmouth
Added: May. 13, 2012
Augustus Dickson was inducted in Maquon, Illinois, to Company F, 86th Illinois Infantry the same day as my great grandfather David Coon.|
Added: Aug. 1, 2009
Added: Mar. 18, 2007