Our Only Son

10 01 2009

This moving tribute to Samuel J. Dick, “Our only son,” is in Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

Samuel J. Dick tombstone, Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Amy Crow, taken 2 April 2007; all rights reserved.

Samuel J. Dick tombstone, Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Amy Crow, taken 2 April 2007; all rights reserved.

“Our only Son / Saml. J. Dick / 1st. Lieut. 18th U.S.I. / born / Dec. 28, 1836 / killed / Dec. 28, 1864”

Samuel J. Dick was born in Pennsylvania. In 1860, 23-year-old Samuel was living in the 3rd Ward of Columbus with Joseph (age 56) and Martha (age 54) Dick. The only other person with that surname living in the household was 19-year-old Jennie.(1) Although it isn’t proof, my theory is that Joseph and Martha were Samuel’s parents.

Samuel enlisted in the 18th U.S. Infantry in 1861 and became a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1862. He was “engaged in battle at Murfreesboro’, action of Hoover’s Gap, and battle of Chickamauga. Mustering Officer of a Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, 1863 and 1864. Engaged at the siege of Chattanooga, Atlanta campaign, and in several Cavalry actions.(2) He died of disease in Nashville, Tennessee on December 28, 1864.(3)

Samuel’s mother applied for a pension based on her son’s service on 12 June 1865 (application 97401). The pension index card does not list a certificate number, likely indicated that her pension claim was denied.(4)

Sources:
1. Joseph Dick household, 1860 federal census (population), Columbus, Franklin Co., Ohio, p. 202, nos. 1163/1273. Image viewed on FamilySearch.org.
2. Guy V. Henry, Military Records of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, vol. II, (New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873), 79.
3. Thomas V. Van Horne, George Henry Thomas, and Edward Ruger, History of the Army of the Cumberland (Cincinnati, OH: R. Clarke, 1875), 437.
4. Samuel J. Dick, Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, National Archives publication T289. Image viewed on Footnote.com.

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2 responses

25 01 2011
Brian Allison

While doing research on Union troops buried in Nashville, I ran across this article from the Nashville Daily Press and Times: “SUICIDE – Lieut. Dick, of the 18th U.S. Infantry…committed suicide on Wednesday night last with a pistol. The occurrence took place on the public square, and he was afterwards removed to the City Hotel where he died in a short time. His body has been emblamed, and he is to be sent to his home in Columbus, Ohio.”
Thank you for posting this photograph of his tombstone. It helps to put a human face on a tragic story.

25 01 2011
Amy

Thank you for posting that information, sad though it is. We will probably never know what prompted him to do that. It is interesting that his tombstone says “Killed,” which implies that he died in battle or of battle wounds. One has to wonder if his parents either tried to hide that he took his own life or if they were mis-informed as to the nature of his death.

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