Alexander Dodson, Co. F, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves

Alexander Dodson, aged 93

Berwick’s oldest resident and oldest Civil War Veteran in this section, passed away at his home on Susquehanna Avenue this morning at 11 O’clock after an illness for several months. Mr.Dodson was born at Nuremburg, Luzerne County, on September 9,1835, and spent the greater part of his life in that section. For many years after his discharge from the Union Army he was engaged in conduction a general store at Sweet Valley and Hunlock Creek to Berwick Twenty-four years ago.He was the son of Joseph B. and Martha Park Dodson. He is survived by his wife and two children by a former wife, Mrs.D.S. Rittenhouse, of Hunlock Creek and Mrs. J.A. Bear of Honesdale. Two sister and two brothers also survive;Mrs Addie Matthews, and Mrs.Mary Wolf, of Muhlenburg; Fred Dodson, of Prescott, Arizona; and Jonathan Dodson of Jonestown. Six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren also survive.

Mr. Dodson was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church and was active in all church affairs until old age prevented it. He was also a member of Captain Jackson Post G.A.R., of Berwick. Six months of the time he served with the Union Army from the Civil beginning of the Civil War to the close were spent in the notorious Libby Prison as a prisoner of the Confederates. Mr. Dodson, then served as a private with the Company F, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves, was captured while taken part in an engagement on the Richmond Peninsula. Prior to that time, he had taken part in the sledge of Fredericksburg. After serving from some time in the prison, he was allowed to go with a number of his fellow prisoners to Savage Island (Savage Station) where they were to care for wounded Union prisoners. Some time later, thought an exchange of prisoners, Mr.Dodson was restored to his company at Arlington Hill, Virginia. After rejoining his company, he took part in the battles of Gaines Mills,Fredericksburg, the Wilderness. He was under Grant, and fought his last battle at Bethesda Church. At Fredericksburg, Mr.Dodson was struck in the Hip by an enemy bullet that carries to his grave. In 1865, he was honorable discharge with his company from the Union Services at Bethsaide Courthouse in Virginia.

A military funeral will be conducted by the Sons of Veterans on Monday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock. Dr. R.S. Oyler, paster of the First Methodist Church will conduct short services at the home after witch the body will be taken to Hunlock Creek for further services. Interment will be made at the Sorbertown Cemetery. Friends who desire to view the body may do so on Sunday evening between the hours of 6 and 9 o’clock. At the request of Mr.Dodson flowers will be omitted.

ALEXANDER DODSON, merchant, P.O. Hunlock Creek, was born, September 9, 1835, reared and educated at the common school in Union (now Hunlock) township. He is a son of Joseph B. and Martha (Park) Dodson.

He lived at home with his parents until he reached his majority, when he went to Michigan, and there spent three years at various occupations; in 1860 he returned home, where he spent one year working at undertaking. In June, 1861, he was mustered into the United States service as private in Company F, Seventh Pennsylvania Reserves for the term of three years, in the army of the Potomac. He participated in the battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines’ Mills, being made prisoner of war at the latter place June 26, 1862. Here he was confined three months, when he was released on parole and sent to Washington. He returned to his command in November, 1862, and participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, where he received a flesh wound, which has proved to be a source of great annoyance to him, disabling him for life; yet wounded, and suffering as he was, her served out his time like a true soldier. His last battle was fought under Grant at Bethseda Church. His time expired, and he received an honorable discharge. After his return to citizenship, he took up his chosen occupation again, that of cabinet making, which he followed for a number of years. On February 15, 1866, he was married to Miss Rachel, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Davenport, residents of Hunlock township, who bore him four children, two of whom are living: Mary E. and Cora.

Mary E. married D. Rittenhouse. Mrs. Rachel (Davenport) Dodson was born in Union township, June 21, 1845. Mr. Dodson removed to his present place of residence in 1876, on a farm of eighteen acres, on which he built a fine house, barn and storehouse. About this date he embarked in the mercantile business, at which he has proved successful. He has a general line of goods and a fine assortment. He also deals in lumber to some extent. Previous to 1876 he was employed to oversee the lumber manufacture of Hiram Croop, for two and one half years. Mr. Dodson is a useful and trustworthy man in his township; he has been elected to the offices of town treasurer, treasurer of school board, and township clerk. He and his aged wife are members in good standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which body he is trustee, class leader and superintendent of Sunday-school, in fact he is a pillar in the church, on which it rests many burdens. He is also treasurer of the building committee for the erection of a new Methodist Episcopal Church at this place, which is now nearly completed. Politically the Dodson’s are Republicans.1

  1. History of Luzerne County, Pa., by H.C. Bradsby, 1893.