Under the letter D, I came across the fairly common surname, Dickson, which was my grandmother's maiden name. As I clicked on each of these men, one name stood out to me: Joseph Dickson. I have four Joseph Dickson's on my tree. Two were born after the War of 1812, but one was born in 1772 and another was born in 1795 (though I figured he was probably too young). The Joseph in the Pension File was from Linden, Perry County, Tennessee which is where "all" of my grandmother's family lived.
The pension file includes 37 pages and never mentions his wife or family members. But, three different papers indicate his birth year. The first is image #29 which is dated 7 May 1855 where Joseph says he is "aged fifty nine years." The second letter is on image #32 and is dated 09 Dec 1852 and Joseph says he is "57" years old. Third dated 29 May 1871 saying "75 years" old. All of these ages match my Joseph Dickson, born on December 1st, 1795, exactly.
Joseph Dickson (1795-1898) was my fourth great-grandfather, and this pension file was the first piece of evidence I'd ever seen that he fought in any war.
So, what did I discover in Joseph Dickson's pension file?
|Joseph Dickson's Pension File (image from Fold3)|
- Joseph received two pieces of Bounty Land: 40 acres in 1850 (claim #93350) & 120 acres in 1855 (claim #57224) - this is something I need to look into further! (Image #1 on Fold3)
- He enlisted on Jan 28th, 1814 & discharged on May 23, 1814 in Tennessee Militia under Captains Michael Moulton & Joseph Williams (Image #1)
- Mentions the "Creek War" (Image #4)
- Lists length of service as 116 days (Image #7)
- Discusses that, besides actual fighting days, he was also paid for 200 miles "travel allowance" (Images #9 & #10)
- States "Joseph Dickson aged 59 years a resident of Perry County in the state of Tennessee who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical Joseph Dickson who was a private in the company commanded by Captain Joseph Williams in the regiment of mounted riflemen commanded by Colonel Michael Molton in the War with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812 (with the Creek Indians) for the term of three months and continued in actual service in said war for fourteen days, that he has heretofore made application for bounty land under the Act of September 28th 1850 and received a land warrant No------- not reccolected (?) for forty acres which he has since legally disposed of and cannot now return. [paragraph] He makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the additional bounty land to which he may be entitled under the act approved 3rd day of March 1855. [paragraph] He also declares that he has never applied nor received under this nor any other act of Congress any Bounty Land warrant except the one above mentioned. [signed] Joseph Dickson (Image #29)
- States "... that he volunteered at Dickson [County] on the [blank] day of January 1814 for term of 3 months and continued in actual service for the term of 3 1/2 months and was honorably discharged at Camp Blount on the 10th day of May 1814 as will appear by reference to certificate of discharge herewith filed - and by the muster rolls of said company (Image #32)
- Includes Joseph's actual discharge papers! (Image #35)
- A fill-in-the-blank form dated May 29th, 1871 says he is "not" married & all information about a wife is crossed out. Joseph's wife died in 1867, but this is still puzzling as it is asking about who his wife's name "was"... (Image #36)
The brief history of this regiment (at the above site) states that it was "part of General John Coffee's cavalry brigade throughout most of the Creek War. The unit participated in most of the battles of the war, including... Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814). There were several companies of "spies" in the regiment: companies of cavalry that were sent on reconnaissance patrols and usually took the lead in the line of march for Jackson's army."
|Battle of Horseshoe Bend (public domain image from Wikipedia)|