Research James M. Dodson -- Quantrill's Raiders?

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agarbers

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I am researching a not so well lawman from Prescott, AT. At his death, obituaries stated he had grown up with Frank and Jesse James and joined Quantrill with them. One obituary went so far as to claim he was a leader or officer under Quantrill. I can't find anything to back this up in the online records of Quantrill's men.

I have a copy of a letter written by AT Senator Homer Woods at approximately 80 years of age, in which he states almost the same thing, but he adds that Dodson carried a "Colt 45" with an extremely short barrel. The pistol was allegedly given to Dodson's sister by Jesse James, to carry in her dress pocket for protection.

In my research, I have found hundreds of James Dodson that fought on both sides in the Civil War and even a few James M. Dodson, but none that came from Missouri and fought with Quantrill.

Any suggestions on where to search?
 

archieclement

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Am reminded Frank James said "I've met or heard of 10,000 men who claimed to be with Quantrill or his lieutenants during the war, when the truth is there were never more then 350 to 400 men from one end of the war to the other"

If you count his lieutenants think Frank fudged the number low, but think the point that many claimed to be, that weren't is valid
 
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Story

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I am researching a not so well lawman from Prescott, AT. At his death, obituaries stated he had grown up with Frank and Jesse James and joined Quantrill with them. One obituary went so far as to claim he was a leader or officer under Quantrill. I can't find anything to back this up in the online records of Quantrill's men.

Any suggestions on where to search?
Not knowing where you are at the moment, sometimes it helps to restate the obvious at the beginning of the search (BTDT).

So, he's buried here https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28422754/james-m-dodson
A discussion about his revolver

Know biographies of Quantrill's Raiders via FOLD3
and the extant roster https://www.fold3.com/browse/20/hBaYfGtTcLDUYKI8p

Moving on from there, try FOLD3's Consolidated Military Service Records for CSA Missouri and then get "Army stupid" - search for J M Dodson and expand to misspellings like J M Dobson.
Like this guy
IMAGE

Dobson, James


In my research, I have found hundreds of James Dodson that fought on both sides in the Civil War and even a few James M. Dodson, but none that came from Missouri and fought with Quantrill.
Depending on when and where he was after his alleged time with Quantrill, he might not have wanted to be found by Federal authorities - particularly if he never bothered to sign a parole or Oath. Know what I mean?
 
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archieclement

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Hes not listed as with Q in Cavaliers of the Brush roster which drew from
Branded as Rebels by Joanne Eakin and Don Hale
Encyclopedia of Quantrills Men by Rose Mary Lankford
Quantrill and his CW guerrillas by Carl Breihan

Havent seen him referenced by the partisan ranger site nor Carolyn Bartels either.
 

Borderruffian

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Many who rode with Anderson , Clements, Thrailkel, Livingston, Cobb, either one of the Todds or Dave Pool ( distant cousin of mine) later in life claimed to have ridden with Q simply because he was the noted leader up until about 64 when it came apart in Texas. The Ranks of the Missouri Partisan bands were never stable , men coming and going and coming again. Some time the bands consolidated , often under a central leader, think Lawrence Raid and divided again.
Jesse is often said to have given pistols away, but if all the pistols rumored to be his were his you could probably fill Lake of Ozarks with them, provence is lacking in most cases.
 

agarbers

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Am reminded Frank James said "I've met or heard of 10,000 men who claimed to be with Quantrill or his lieutenants during the war, when the truth is there were never more then 350 to 400 men from one end of the war to the other"

If you count his lieutenants think Frank fudged the number low, but think the point that many claimed to be, that weren't is valid
Can you tell me where you read that at? I might want to use it in the article.
 

agarbers

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Many who rode with Anderson , Clements, Thrailkel, Livingston, Cobb, either one of the Todds or Dave Pool ( distant cousin of mine) later in life claimed to have ridden with Q simply because he was the noted leader up until about 64 when it came apart in Texas. The Ranks of the Missouri Partisan bands were never stable , men coming and going and coming again. Some time the bands consolidated , often under a central leader, think Lawrence Raid and divided again.
Jesse is often said to have given pistols away, but if all the pistols rumored to be his were his you could probably fill Lake of Ozarks with them, provence is lacking in most cases.
I have a hard time believing the information about his pistol. The person writing about it was looking back almost 60 years and his description doesn't seem to fit. Homer Woods claimed it was a Colt .45. Dodson went west in 1870, a couple of years before the US Army requested that Colt develop a .45 caliber revolver. Since there wasn't an easy way (train) for Dodson to travel back and forth from Arizona to Missouri until around 1882 I assume the revolver would have been from before the 1870 time period. From everything I have read, there wasn't a .45 caliber Colt prior to 1873. Everything was .44 caliber. I assume 60 years dimmed Woods' memory and any Colt was a Colt .45. Woods was a senator and was being groomed to be governor so he has credibility. The whole story is cool but falls apart when looked at hard. I have found a great deal about Dodson in the Prescott papers of the day when he was a law officer. I can't find a thing to back up the tales told about him after his death.
 

archieclement

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I have a hard time believing the information about his pistol. The person writing about it was looking back almost 60 years and his description doesn't seem to fit. Homer Woods claimed it was a Colt .45. Dodson went west in 1870, a couple of years before the US Army requested that Colt develop a .45 caliber revolver. Since there wasn't an easy way (train) for Dodson to travel back and forth from Arizona to Missouri until around 1882 I assume the revolver would have been from before the 1870 time period. From everything I have read, there wasn't a .45 caliber Colt prior to 1873. Everything was .44 caliber. I assume 60 years dimmed Woods' memory and any Colt was a Colt .45. Woods was a senator and was being groomed to be governor so he has credibility. The whole story is cool but falls apart when looked at hard. I have found a great deal about Dodson in the Prescott papers of the day when he was a law officer. I can't find a thing to back up the tales told about him after his death.
someone posted it here as well, had forgotten that


 

Story

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From everything I have read, there wasn't a .45 caliber Colt prior to 1873. Everything was .44 caliber.
Cozmo addresses that in post 12 of your thread, noting that Jesse James died in April 1882. That would have allowed at least eight years for this childhood friend of James' to have crossed paths with him and deliver a SAA.

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nb. This method is known as a "Mexican carry".
I also just noticed that the trigger guard is resting on the inner strap button of his suspenders, which would (when combined with the friction created by his belt) keep the Colt from sliding down inside his pants.
 
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agarbers

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Cozmo addresses that in post 12 of your thread, noting that Jesse James died in April 1882. That would have allowed at least eight years for this childhood friend of James' to have crossed paths with him and deliver a SAA.

View attachment 325278View attachment 325279

nb. This method is known as a "Mexican carry".
I also just noticed that the trigger guard is resting on the inner strap button of his suspenders, which would (when combined with the friction created by his belt) keep the Colt from sliding down inside his pants.
Yes, I read this discussion. The problem is Homer Woods said that the barrel was only about 1.5" long. Some felt that there was no way that Dodson was going to carry a short barrel pistol in his pants as shown without it falling out. I feel the photo was most likely staged and not just a candid shot as he happened to walk by the newspaper office, so the pistol would have easily stayed in place for the few seconds it took to take the photo.
One writer claims Dodson had multiple firearms stashed around town for quick access so the James pistol may have been just one of many he used so the pistol shown may not even be the James pistol.
Before 1882 or so, the railroad wasn't close so it would have taken a great deal of time for Dodson to go home and back. During his long time as a lawman, the local newspaper tracked every trip he made and how long he was gone. I didn't find any mention of him going east. However, his nephew did come visit once Prescott had train service so there is a possibility Dodson was given the pistol then. I don't have my data in front of me but I think that happened after Jesse James was dead. But, the newspaper of the day was very much a gossip page, and it seems like a pistol owned by Jesse James being in town would have been news. In all reality, the newspaper told who was having a good potato crop, who was feeling ill, who had a sister visiting, etc. So having a pistol arrive that had been a gift from Jesse James would have easily made the third page, which was local news.
There are many stories that are possible, but just don't have primary source evidence to back it up. But, I'm not done digging and that's the best part. I am moving to Prescott about the first of the year and will have access to more newspapers from the time so maybe they will be able to fill in some of the pieces.
 
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