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Leander Dickey, Cpl.


Leander/Leunder Dickey was one of two aliases assumed by Joseph Leander McDowell when he enlisted with 3rd TN MTD INF REGT, USA; the other alias was James L. McDonald, an acquaintance of the subject who lived in Hanging Dog, Cherokee County, NC. Therefore, the soldier in question who actually enrolled twice with this regiment and served as corporal in Company G was Joseph Leander McDowell.


Joseph Leander McDowell, Cpl., Company G

b 8 Oct 1837 Macon CO, NC d 27 Jan 1916 per tombstone at Belltown Cem, now Cane Creek Bapt Church Cem, Monroe CO, TN
son of Eliza (McDowell) Sutton & Burton K. Dickey of Cherokee CO, NC
m ca 1862 to
Nancy Louise Gentry b ca 1841 NC
dau of William S. Gentry & Nancy Thompson of Cherokee CO, NC

residences - Murphy & Persimmon Creek, Cherokee CO, NC & Sink P. O., Monroe CO, TN (near Tellico Plains, TN)

Pension file papers reveal that he claimed service in Capt. Goldman Bryson's Volunteers by name of J. L. McDonald. He filed pension claim 27 Mar 1890 with Felix P. Axley, Murphy, NC as attorney. File contains several affidavits sworn to by the following: Levi Dockery, James Voyles, John L. "Black Fox" Stiles, David Murphy (a Cherokee Indian), Morgan P. Sneed, Capt. Enoch "Pete" Voyles (Capt. of CO G). Joseph Leander McDowell claimed he suffered an injury during his military service when he was thrown from a horse during the Choah fight with bushwhackers on 1 Nov 1864. This was a skirmish between Indians in Thomas' Confederate Legion and companies from 3rd TN MTD INF REGT near present site of Robbinsville in Graham CO, NC.

On 23 Dec 1893, entirely in his own handwriting, Joseph L. McDowell made a very detailed statement regarding his claim, explaining the use of his alias stating that his mother was Eliza McDowell (maiden name) and that his reputed father was Burton K. Dickey, a wealthy merchant of Murphy, NC., hence his use of the Dickey surname. Furthermore, he joined 4 May 1863 at Shallow Ford on Hiawassee River, six miles west of Murphy, but by mistake his name was listed as J. L. McDonald instead of McDowell. The next day Bryson's Company made an assault on Murphy, drawing out Rebels and capturing considerable arms, ammunition, and Confederates and that B Company was later organized the same day with Enoch Voyles being elected Captain and he, McDowell, an Orderly Sergeant.

He stated that Bryson's command was later mustered into service at Knoxville, TN on 29 Sept 1863. Some weeks later while on expedition into NC, Bryson's command was attacked at Evan's Mill on Beaver Dam Creek, NC by a large Rebel force under command of General J. C. Vaughn, resulting in Bryson's men being defeated, dispersed, and a number killed, including Bryson and Confederates.

Joseph McDowell further stated that he had been a school teacher and elected to minor public offices. Records of the Clerk of Superior Court and the Register of Deeds of Cherokee CO, NC show that he was a Justice of the Peace for many years and also foreman of the Grand Jury.

The Adjutant General of the Army stated that McDowell was never mustered into service of US as a member of CO G being unable to appear because of illness. Congressman James M. Moody, a representative of the Western District of NC, became interested in the case. It was then appealed, but no pension was granted.

McDowell had a son named Daniel Webster McDowell, who was called by his middle name. Local citizens vowed that Webster McDowell was murdered or bushwhacked as late as 1900. His tombstone still stands in the Old Hiawassee Cemetery among a few remaining tombstones not removed by TVA in constructing Hiwassee Dam. His stone is inscribed with birthdate 17 Feb 1879 and death date 19 Mar 1900.

Monroe CO, TN Will Book D p 260 records J. L. McDowell's will, probated 6 Mar 1916. It reads as follows: "I sign and will my land to A. W. McDowell at mine and Nancy L. McDowell's death." Witnesses include A. W. McDowell, son of J. L., J. W. Wear, and Jacob C. Best.

Joseph Leander McDowell's mother was interred in Old Persimmon Creek Baptist Cemetery, Cherokee CO, NC where her tombstone still stands and is inscribed as follows: Eliza, wife of John Sutton, born 4 June 1816 died 21 Jan 1888. McDowell himself was buried in Belltown Cemetery at Cane Creek in the old 20th C. D. of Monroe CO, TN and his tombstone is inscribed J. L. McDowell born 8 Oct 1837 and died 27 Jan 1916. This cemetery is now called Cane Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. His tombstone has a resting lamb sculpted on top as though intended for a child's grave. Relatives are buried nearby.

Stephen Ratledge, gr-gr-gr-nephew

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