Biographical Profile: Sgt. Robert D. Dawson, Company D, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 100th Regiment

Written by Clara Warner, Granddaughter of Sgt. Robert D. Dawson.

Robert D. Dawson was born January 20, 1841 on the old homestead near Fairview in Beaver County, Pa.  (the house that was built by his father is still standing and looks almost identical to the picture of the Maxwell Homestead.  According to records on file in the Department of Military Affairs Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he enrolled as a Private, Co. D., 100th Regiment Infantry at Darlington, Pennsylvania on August 30, 1861.  He was mustered into service at Camp Wilkins, Pa. on September 13, 1861 and reenlisted at Blains Cross Roads, Virginia on December 28, 1863. He was promoted to Sergeant on December 20, 1864.  He was wounded at Weldon Railroad August 19, 1864. On the morning of March 25th, 1865 the rebels made an attack on Ft Steadman and even though the attack failed for the rebels, at some point on that day he was taken prisoner and was confined in Libby Prison. He was held in prison for a short time and then returned to his unit prior to being mustered out of service on July 24th, 1865.

Narrative by the Author, granddaughter Clara Warner:   I have his diaries and over 55 letters written during the war by him starting with one written on the Ocean Queen off of Fortress Monroe on October 26, 1861 and the last one written from Mt Pleasant Hospital in Washington DC on October 8, 1864.  I believe he wrote many more letters but the ones that were kept were written to his younger sister Rebecca.  She died October 29, 1864 which may explain the lack of any further letters that were kept.  She also kept letters from other Civil War soldiers that wrote to her.  We also have many letters written by Robert Dawson after the war and right up to the month he died.  In 1983 I transcribed these letters into a book for my mother's 80th birthday.  I would describe the battles and places he was in and then insert the letter that pertained to that period. He was 62 years old when my mother was born and has five living grandchildren and nine great grandsons. 

Note by the Websmith, David L. Welch:  The websmith is proud to announce that there will be additional future contributions to the Roundheads website by Ms. Clara Warner regarding a portion of her grandfather Sgt. Dawson's letters and diaries.  Thank you Clara!   

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