Regrets are often written in the words, if I had only known. It’s doubtful my great-grandfather John Anderson Roberts ever saw the end coming.
When does the common become uncommon?
It’s unlikely you’ve ever hear of John Baker Dickson or his brother-in-law Lemuel W. Lassiter. I doubt very many ever have or ever will. Is it because they were too common? Is it because we’re inattentive, uninformed or disinterested? I fear it is the latter rather than the former.
I came across Dickson and Lassiter while working on my John Anderson Roberts research. I’m going to write a short blog here on these men in case this lead proves helpful to another researcher one day.
John Anderson and Lavina Jane Roberts’ daughter Cornelia Ann married J.B. Lassiter in Calloway County, KY in 1870. John Baker Dickson and his wife Emily Jane Lassiter Dickson were J.B. Lassiter’s aunt and uncle. They were in Red River County, Texas well ahead of the Roberts. Were they the Roberts family connection and encouragement to come to Texas? (This and of course land) Lemuel Lassiter would arrive later across the Red River.
Clues to follow Lemuel Washington Lassiter
Mary Bigelow added a photo to Find a Grave in 2012. The picture is of a headstone in the Bogota Cemetery in Red River County, Texas. Thanks Mary.
Lemuel Lassiter appears in the 1920 Federal Census in Justice Precinct 3, Red River, Texas. He is a 73-year-old merchant/druggist born in about 1847 in Kentucky. He’s married to Willie Lassiter and they appear to have six children living in their household. His father’s birthplace is recorded as Virginian and his mother’s as England.
Lew Lassiter appears in the 1910 Federal Census in Justice Precinct 3, Red River, Texas. He is a 63-year-old male retail merchant owning a grocery store in Bogota, Texas. He was born in about 1847 in Kentucky. His father and mother were born in Kentucky. He is married to Willie Lassiter and they appear to have six children living at home.
Lemuel Lassiter appears in the 1900 Federal Census in Justice Precinct 3, Red River, Texas. He is a 54-year-old male born in Kentucky about 1847. His father and mother were born in North Carolina. He is married to Willie M. Lassiter and they appear to have three children living at home.
L.W. Lassiter appears in the 1880 Federal Census in Precinct 2, Red River. He is a single age male of about 34 years of age teaching school. His father and mother were born in North Carolina.
I do not find a clue for Lemuel Lassiter in the 1870 census nor can I locate the John Anderson Roberts family in the 1870 census. Curious?
L.W. Lassiter, age about 14, appears in the 1860 Federal Census for Murray, Calloway County, KY in 1860. He is living in the household of Parmelia Elliott, age 39. There are Elliotts age 19 and 14 and another Lassiter age 18. There is also a Jno. B. Crabtree.
L.W. Lassiter, age about 4, appears in the 1850 Federal Census living in District 2 of Calloway County, KY. He is living in the home of a farmer named Little B. Lassiter, age about 25, whose father was born in North Carolina. There are three other Lassiters living in this household including Emily Lassiter, age 15. She and the other Lassiters in the household other than Little B. say their father was born in Kentucky. There appears to be no father or mother in this home.
It appears, from what little time I’ve looked, L.W. Lassiter became an orphan with the death of his father in 1849. Before his 16th birthday he’ll enlist in Company C of the Tennessee 33rd Infantry Regiment in Haywood County, TN. He rose to the rank of 1st Sergeant. His wife Willie Lassiter would file for and receive a pension for his service.
I share one more clue to uncover the life of L.W. Lassiter. His daughter (I believe her name is Ida Lassiter Hooker.) may have published her life memories in a book form. This could be a rich source of information though I’m not sure even she would have been able to uncover the fullness of this life.
Clues to follow John Baker Dickson
John Dickson was born in about 1827 in Tennessee. I wonder if he was related to any of the Dicksons in Williamson County, TN? He marries Emily Jane Lassiter in Stewart County, Tennessee in 1851. Stewart County is just across the Tennessee River from Calloway County where Emily was living in 1850 with Little B. Lassiter (see above). John and Emily Dickson will appear in the Red River County, Texas Federal Censuses for 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900. He believes his father was born in North Carolina. There is a rich and full story needing to be told but I’ll leave you with one more clue.
In March of 1862 John rode out of Clarksville, Texas into history. He was a member of the 27th Texas Calvary for the Confederate States of America. He left his family behind. He enlisted for twelve months and they would be memorable. His service began with battles and skirmishes across Mississippi including Corinth and Jackson. Nearing the end of his enlistment he was thrown into the battle of Thompson Station in Williamson County, TN on March 5, 1863 within miles of John Anderson Roberts’ birthplace and within 5 days of the end of his enlistment. He would witness over 3,000 combined casualties that one day. I’m not sure how close he came to dying that day, dismounted and fighting from the heights overlooking the Pike, but I know he saw much death and destruction. By now John had received two promotions to the rank of 3rd Sergeant. Sgt. Dickson’s unit fought into the summer including the battle and siege at Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. When the battle ended with the surrender of the Confederate forces on July 4, 1863, John was now four months overdue to go home.
The document on the left reports he was absent without leave in July and August. A note added later says he deserted on July 22, 1863.
There were other Dicksons (George, Joseph, William) who rode and marched out of Clarksville, Texas in 1861 and 1862. There may have been more than one John Dickson fighting out of Texas. Were they related? How? What became of them?
So little known. So little told.
Thanks for reading my ramblings. Okay, I have one more clue.