Four men from the Isaac Leander Columbus Dowdy family served in Company H, 1st Alabama and Tennessee Calvary.

They were brothers: William Joseph (Joe) Dowdy, Wesley Jefferson (Jeff) Dowdy, Winfield Scott (Scott) Dowdy and brother-in-law Elijah Miller (Lige) Isbell.  Elijah Miller Isbell was married to William Joseph Dowdy’s twin sister, Eliza Jane Dowdy.

They all mustered in as privates for one year’s service at Stephenson, Alabama, during November 1863.  The unit mustered out June 16, 1864.


William Joseph Dowdy


William Joseph Dowdy was born October 18, 1842, in Lumpkin County, Georgia.  He joined Company H on November 1, 1863.

According to his widowed mother’s application for a pension “Declaration for Original Pension of a Mother” dated August 27, 1890.  It says in part ”... who died of him being taken from his home and killed by bushwhackers on the 12 day of February AD 1865 at Mainord Cove Ala.”

He was buried in the Larkinsville, Alabama area.  Later his body was moved to the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  His tombstone, section L, grave 9759, indicates that he was a lieutenant.  William Joseph never married.  It is not currently known if he joined another unit after mustering out of company H.  Family legend says he was on leave when killed.


Wesley Jefferson Dowdy was born January 19, 1845, in Lumpkin County, Georgia.  He joined Company H on November 22, 1863.  After mustering out of company H he served as a scout for R.S. Granger and was discharged at Decatur Alabama on April 30, 1865.  R.S. Granger’s unit is not currently known.  He married Elizabeth Jane Holcomb on December 22, 1867.  They had seven children.  She died August 14, 1900.  He married Sarah Elizabeth Murdock on September 2, 1901.  Jeff was a farmer and a Justice of the Peace in Marshall County, Alabama.

He is described as having fair complexion, blue eyes, 5’ – 8” tall with slight hair.

Jeff died April 2, 1926, and is buried at New Harmony Baptist Church, Dekalb County, Alabama.



Winfield Scott Dowdy was born June 9, 1847, in Lumpkin County, Georgia.  He joined Company H during November 1863.  He married Mary Elizabeth Frasier on June 18, 1868.  She died December 3, 1883.  He married Martha Ellen Samples June 4, 1885.  She died January 17, 1929.  Scott was the father of thirteen children, two of which became doctors.

Scott died June 10, 1943, and is buried at New Harmony Baptist Church, Dekalb County, Alabama.  He was a farmer and Baptist preacher.  Family legend says that he went early one cold Sunday morning to build a fire at the Shoal Creek Baptist Church.  He built the fire and returned home to eat breakfast.  When he returned after breakfast he found that the church had burned to the ground.


Elijah Miller Isbell was born February 27, 1840.  He joined Company H during November 1863.

He married Eliza Jane Dowdy January 2, 1862.  Eliza Jane Dowdy was the twin sister of William Joseph Dowdy.  She was born October 18, 1842, in Lumpkin County, Georgia.  Eliza Jane died June 20, 1933.

They had ten children.  One was a doctor and one was a lawyer.

Elijah Miller Isbell was ordained as a Deacon at Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in 1902.

He died June 1, 1920, and is buried at Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, Marshall County, Alabama.





How the Dowdy’s came to be on Sand Mountain, Alabama

Isaac Leander Columbus Dowdy was born in Georgia June 12, 1820.  His parents were Amos Dowdy and Effie Carlton.  His grandfather was Aaron Dowdy, a veteran of the War of 1812, who received a land grant for his military service.

Isaac L.C. Dowdy married Minerva (Manerva) Findley in Lumpkin County, Georgia on November 12, 1839.

They had nine children which included three sets of twins.  All their children were born in Lumpkin County, Georgia.  The children were: unnamed twins born and died October 11, 1840, Martin Lacy born and died November 21, 1841, twins Eliza Jane and William Joseph born October 18, 1842, Wesley Jefferson born January 19, 1845, twins Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott born June 9, 1847 and Isaac Leander Columbus (Jr.) born February 10, 1849.

Isaac Leander Columbus Dowdy died June 30, 1848.  He is buried at Siloam Baptist Church, Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia.


William Findley was born in South Carolina during 1783.  He married Hannah Price before 1807.

In 1827, William was among the fortunate ones who drew for parcels of land in the Georgia Land Lottery.  He and his family relocated to Lumpkin County, Georgia.

In October of 1837, he joined Captain Richard Bearden’s company of the 2nd Regiment of the 1st Brigade of the Georgia Mounted Volunteers to fight in the Indian Wars.

During 1850, he and his family relocated to Sand Mountain, Marshall County, Alabama to live on a parcel of land he had received for his military service.  They settled in the vicinity of what is now known as Asbury.

Included in the move to Sand Mountain were: daughter Minerva Dowdy, widow of Isaac Leander Columbus Dowdy and her six children; youngest daughter Lucy Ann Dowdy; Lucy Ann’s husband Jacob K. Dowdy, brother of Isaac L.C. Dowdy, and their daughters Hannah and Susan.


Many of the families on Sand Mountain that supported the Union had to leave their homes during the Civil War.  The Dowdys moved to the Larkinsville, Alabama area which is north of the Tennessee River in Jackson County.

They returned to their homes on Sand Mountain after the war was over.


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