of the 48th Alabama Infantry, Company 'A', C.S.A.

Submitted by Mary Ann Copeland-Sitton

Alvin Oscar Dickson was born on May the 4th in 1839 at Sommerville, Georgia. His father, William S. Dickson, was a farmer with some firm standing within this community. His Aunt, a wealthy, young,recent widow owned a boarding house/Inn in the Dirt Town,Chattooga Co.,Georgia area. This is where Alvin spent his first months of life, surrounded by cousins & living with his parents. Soon the new family, along with older siblings, relocated to a more rural area of Georgia where other Dickson's were already established. The years of his early childhood & youth are a mystery. Alvin is next found in Alabama marrying Miss Missouri Alabama Alldredge in Blount County, Alabama on April 7th of 1860. The newlyweds lived in Brooksville, Alabama. Young Alvin was living in a difficult time. War & rumors of war were rampant. His father-in-law, Enoch Alldredge, 'raised a confederate Regiment in the Blount County area' & subsequently, Alvin volunteered. He officially enlisted into the 48th Alabama Infantry, Company 'A' on March 7th, 1862. On 22nd of August, 1862 his first child was born. A daughter, named Martha Idella. "Bam" & A.O. would prove to be devoted parents. They had a total of nine daughters & one son. The war experience was difficult. He was seriously wounded at Chickamunga & sent home to recuperate though it was not really known if he would actually survive his wounds. Healing was rapid & he did return to the battle to fight through till the final days & surrendered the last few remaining men in his Company, albeit reluctantly, at Appomattox, Virginia Courthouse."..He [Alvin O. Dickson] was promoted 1st Lieutenant to rank from June 10, 1863. When not absent himself, Dickson acted as senior company officer in the absence of Capt. Randolph Graves. Both were wounded at Chickamauga Ga., Sept. 19, 1863, Dickson not being able to return to duty until late 1864.." & "[actually]...Captain Graves was promoted captain on Apr. 23, 1863; at this time Dixon was still 2nd Lieut. of this company. In order [for Dickson] to become captain of this company, Graves would have to resign and have his resignation accepted, or some other action taken relieving him of command." Though Alvin did not actually receive a commission as Captain, it is notable that his headstone & his fellow soldiers call him by this title, apparently because he performed this function during Capt. Graves absence from duty until surrender.

Born May 4, 1839, Alvin Oscar Dickson was still living at Brooksville, Blount County Ala. in 1921. Members of this company, the "Jackson Boys" of Blount County, formed at Blountsville, Ala., and mustered at Warrenton, Ala., April 7, 1862. He returned to his family & home in Brooksville following surrender at Appomattox. The war had stolen the lives of countless friends, family & neighbors. Alvin himself,lost 3 brothers-in-law, Van Buren Alldredge, killed at Manassas; John Pace Alldredge, killed at Richmond; & Hiram W. Alldredge, died in battle,unknown location. Three brothers of his sad sweet wife, Bam. Alvin also gave his brother, Charles E. 'Charlie' Dickson, enlisted 1861; served the Confederacy in the 9th Georgia Infantry,Co.'B'; killed at Knoxville,TN 29 Nov 1863.

Following 1865, Alvin maintained his mercantile business while also managing essential farming with help of family members so as to feed them all during the difficult period of the reconstruction. Captain Dickson was a man held in high esteem in the local area. He never wavered from provision of supportive words or deeds when a fellow veteran was in need. He also served his community as a Justice of the Peace for many years. He assisted with the loving, educating & raising of many of his own grandchildren left without a parent due to the horrible typhoid & measles epidemics which ravaged the area during those years. Captain also shared his thoughts in kind letters sent to newspapers in Remembrance of Valiant soldiers & their notable efforts.[see Elias Latham-The Southern Journal, 1911] Blount County will miss his devoted citizenry as do his loving & respectful family members.

[Primary Sources: [1] Alabama & Ga census records; [2] marriage certificate of A. O. Dickson & Missouri Alabama Alldredge;[3] History of the 48th Alabama Infantry;[4] "Heritage of Blount Co., Alabama", book, c.1999 submitted bio by Lottie Hudson; [5] estate of Lewis C. Copeland,documents.[6] "Alldredge Book"by Memory Lester [7]A.Pitman.[8] collected military records from ADAH & CSMR. [9] DIckson family researchers,Thomas Weesner of Atlanta,Ga. & Marthalyn Dickson of Maine.[10] Land records@ B.L.M. [11] 'Confederate Pensioners of Blount Co.,Alabama' date: 24 July1918---

[2]"...A.O. Dickson participated in the following battles:Cedar Run; Fredricksburg; Suffox;Gettysburg;Port Royal; Chickamunga;where he was seriously wounded, Williamsburg Road, & Appomattox. [preceeding data from Alvins compiled service record from A.D.A.H. in Montgomery,Al.] In an interview with Lynn COPELAND... [Lymon aka 'Lyn' was younger brother of Dewey & Emmett L. COPELAND> sons of Lewis C. COPELAND & Sarah Jane"Sallie" Dickson COPELAND> paternal grandsons of Alvin O. Dickson],...A. O. Dickson's grandson, I was told that A. O. Dickson refused to surrender at Appomattox & had to be bodily removed from his horse, he then threw his sword to the ground & declared, "Sir, I refuse to surrender!...."---SOURCE: Book-" The Heritage of Blount County, Alabama"; Published by Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc. of Clanton, Alabama

..................................... [#3] Source: Biography of Captain A.O. Dickson From pages 175 - 176 in the book "The Heritage of Blount County, Alabama", printed 1999, Published by Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc.

'Captain Alvin Oscar Dickson' [BIOGRAPHY]

Alvin Oscar Dickson was the son of Martha Beadingfield (Bedingfield) and William Sanders Dickson and the grandson of Elisabeth Sanders and William Dickson.

William Dickson was born 21 November 1779 in the Ninety-Sixth District of South Carolina. William married 4 May 1806 in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Elisabeth Sanders, born 2 Sept 1789 and died 10 Dec 1838 in Chatooga County, Georgia, was buried in Bethel Presbyterian Church cemetery near Summerville, Georgia. William Dickson was buried in Decatur, Georgia. (Family Bible Record)

William Sanders Dickson was born 19 July 1813 and died 31 Aug 1864; after his father's death, at least part of the family moved with their mother to Chatooga County, Georgia According to Sarah H. McConnel, a relative, William Sanders was an eccentric but very fine character. (The family of David Dickson, a typescript in the Georgia Archives) William Sanders Dickson was enumerated in the 1840 Census of Chatooga County, Georgia as follows: one male 20-30; one female 20-30; one male under five. He also had three slaves.

According to family records of the Dickson family (in 1976 they were in the possession of Mary Ann Pesterfield, Summerville, Georgia) Alvin Oscar Dickson was born 4 May 1839 (CSA pension application). Alvin Dickson had one brother, Charles, known as "Charlie" and one sister called "Betty" (Elisabeth, I believe) William Sanders Dickson married again in 1860 to Elisabeth (surname unknown). On 7 April 1860 Alvin Oscar Dickson married Missouri Alabama "Bam" Alldredge, daughter of Parmelia (Amelia) Pace and Enoch Alldredge. [" Dickson, A.O. ; {married} Alldridge, Missouri A.; {on} 7 Apr 1860 "-Source: Robin Sterling's website @ http:/ see:Blount County, Alabama Marriages]
In the 1860 census A.O. Dickson was enumerated in the Village Springs area of Blount County, Alabama with his new wife. On 7 April 1862 A.O. Dickson enlisted at Warrenton, Marshall County, Alabama in the 48th Alabama Infantry, Company "A" under his father-in-law, Enoch Alldredge, who had five sons serving in the same unit. A.O. Dickson advanced rapidly in the 48th and became a captain before the end of the war. A.O. Dickson was not listed in the 1860 agriculture census of Blount County, Alabama but was listed in the 1870 census. At that time he owned 80 acres of lane (60 acres improved land and 20 acres unimproved) valued at $1,200.00 He had $25.00 worth of farm implements, one milk cow, four calves, one other cattle, one cattle slaughtered, valued at $350.00. He also had 20 bushels of wheat, 500 bushels of Indian corn, 30 bushels of oats, 15 bushels of Irish potatoes, 300 pounds butter and 5 bales of cotton. Besides farming, A.O. Dickson operated a dry-goods store at Brooksville, Alabama.

The 48th Regiment Alabama Infantry was organized at Auburn, Alabama on 22 May 1862 and contained 1,097 men. They were sent to Virginia and were attached to General Talliferro's Brigade of Jackson's Division. The unit was made up of 48th Alabama, 47th Alabama, and three Virginia Regiments.

The 48th first engagement was the battle at Cedar Run and they suffered great loss. Their next battle was at the second Manassas with further losses. They were at Harper's Ferry and Sharpsburg. They were then placed in the brigade of General Law, Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps. The Regiment participated in the battle of Fredricksburg and Suffox. The 48th was also at Gettysburg where it was fearfully punished. They engaged in the battle of Chickamunga, Spottsylvania, Petersburg, and Appomattox. (Brief Historical Sketches of Military Operations Raided in Alabama by Alabama State Department of Archives and History, 1966).In a report sent to Col. A.G. Talliferro, commander of the 3rd Brigade on 13 Aug 1862, by A.A. Hughes after the battle of Cedar Run; Hughes reported that the men behaved gallantly even though this battle was the first time they were under fire. (War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series I. Vol. 12, Part II).
On 13 Aug 1862, Major H.C. Wood sent a messenger from Gordonsville, Virginia to Col. A.G. Talliferro in which he stated that the 37th Virginia Infantry would have been able to maintain its position if the 48th and 47th Alabama Regiments had been able to maintain theirs (source, same as above).

A.O. Dickson participated in the following battles: Cedar Run, Fredricksburg, Suffox, Gettysburg, Fort Royal, Chickamunga, where he was seriously wounded; Williamsburg Road, and Appomattox. In an interview with Lynn COPELAND, A.O. Dickson's grandson, I was told that A.O. Dickson refused to surrender at Appomattox, and had to be bodily removed from his horse, he then threw his sword to the ground. In the battle of Chickamauga the 19th and 20th of Sept 1863, Gen. Bragg was compelled to evacuate Chattanooga, Tennessee and so he led troops southward, pretending to retreat. He was followed closely by a Federal Army under William S. Rosecrans. Near Chickamauga Creek in Northwestern Georgia, Bragg suddenly turned and began battle. The federal forces of 57,000 were outnumbered by Bragg's 71,000. On the second day of the battle there was a mix-up in orders and a division of Union Army was withdrawn from the right side and Confederate Gen. Longstreet's seized the opportunity to go forward. This confused the Union Army and they were driven back toward Chattanooga. Federal losses were over 16,000 and Confederate losses were about 17,800. The site of this battle has been made into a military park. Gettysburg was the decisive battle of the Civil War. This was a battle fought between Lee's Army of 70,000 men and General Meade's Army of the Potomac 100,000 men but only 93,500 troops took part. Lee's invasion of the North had begun on 3 June and on 1 Jul 1863 the two armies met at Gettysburg which lies between two ridges. Both Commanders brought their entire armies into action. Losses were heavy on both sides. One army would advance at one point and the other would push back the enemy at another point. The crucial battle came on the third day. The battle raged for about two hours. Lee's forces were running low on ammunition and he ordered Gen. Pickett to charge. This was one of the most daring attacks in military history. The Confederate forces held for a short time in hand to hand fighting before falling back. From this battle until the end the Southern cause declined. (Gettysburg, the Souvenir Guide to the Military Park by James A. Gross and Andre B. Collins)

In the fall of 1980, I had the opportunity to spend a full week in Gettysburg. I saw the movie "The Conflict" on a wrap-around screen which appeared very real and then at the Cyclorama the battle was portrayed on a huge layout using colored lights to show the position of the two armies on the three day battle. This experience really made me feel as if I had been there at the time of the battle.~by Lottie Painter Hudson; sources within article.

[#3] "...A.O. Dickson was the only remaining officer[of the 48th Alabama Infantry, Co."A"] As he was the Captain on duty he was present at Appomattox, Virginia to surrender the sad remnants of the 48th Alabama..."
,--- SOURCE: an excerpt from "The Alldredge Book", by Memory Alldredge. Located at the Blountsville, AL Library


Notes from Compiled Confederate Service Records; 1907 Blount County Confederate Census; Blount County Marriage Records; Blount County Cemetery Records (2002); 1850 and 1860 Blount County Federal Census; and Heritage of Blount County (1999 edition)

---------------------------SOURCE:Database: Alabama Census, 1810-90

[1] DICKSON, ALVAN State: AL Year: 1860 County: Blount County Record Type: Federal Population Schedule Township: Sub Division No. 1 Page: 885 Database: AL 1860 Federal Census Index ------------------------

[2] DICKSON, LIDDA [possibly, Lydia Dickson? the 2nd wife? of Wm. S. Dickson] State: AL Year: 1860 County: Blount County Record Type: Federal Population Schedule Township: Eastern Subdivision Page: 1014 Database: AL 1860 Federal Census Index[see Blount Co.,AL Orphans Court Records 1880]

-------------------------DATA, from the Alabama Department of Archives & History: Regarding the 48th Alabama Infantry, Co. "A": FORTY-EIGHTH ALABAMA INFANTRY REGIMENT

1. Sketches, including those by Brewer and Evans
2. Hand written sketch of unit by John Dykes Taylor, ordnance sergeant in Co. E
3. Hand written letter on history of unit by Alvin Oscar Dickson, lieutenant commanding Co. A
4. Directors' correspondence
5. Deceased soldier accounts

From the History of the 48th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment, CSA, by Sgt. John Dykes Taylor, Montgomery, 1902 "A.J. Alldredge, captain, was raised in Blount County, and mustered in on 7 Apr 1862, and continued during its existence an aggregate, officers and men, of 106. Of these there were killed in battle, 11; died of disease, 16; wounded 28; discharged for disability, 6; captured, 6; deserted, 7. The captain resigned 15 Jul 1862, and was succeeded by J.J. Alldredge, who was promoted lieutenant colonel and R. Graves succeeded to the captaincy of the company".