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Dorsey, Stephen Wallace


Age: 19, credited to Benson, VT
Unit(s): 1st OH LARTY
Service: enl 8/21 or 8/23/61, comn 1LT, Btry E 1st OH LARTY, 10/7 or 11/7/61, pr CAPT 4/13/64, m/o 6/14/65, Cleveland, OH

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 02/28/1842, Benson, VT
Death: 03/20/1916

Burial: Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, CO
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Jason Roberts
Findagrave Memorial #: 7363219


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Unknown
Portrait?: Findagrave
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: Died in Los Angeles, CA; see also The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture


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Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, CO

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.

Stephen W. Dorsey

Dorsey, Stephen W., was born at Benson, Feb. 28, 1842; received an academical education; removed, when a boy, to Oberlin, Ohio, was one of the first volunteers in the Union army, in which he served at Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River, Chattanooga, and Mission Ridge in 1864, and was transferred to the Army of the Potomac and took part in the battles of the Wilderness and of Cold Harbor, serving until the close of the war; returning to Ohio he resumed business with the Sandusky Tool Co., was soon chosen its president, and on the same day he was elected without his knowledge, president of the Arkansas Central Railway Co. Removing to Arkansas he was chosen chairman of the Republican county and state committee, was offered a seat in Congress by the Republicans of the first district, but declined and was elected almost unanimously United States senator from Arkansas, as a Republican, and took his seat March 4, 1873.

Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part III, p. 52.


DORSEY, HON. STEPHEN WALLACE, Engineer, Los Angeles, California, and London, England, was born at Benson, Vermont, February 28, 1844, the son of John W. and Marie H. Dorsey. He married Laura Bigelow, daughter of John P. Bigelow of Washington, D. C., and London, England, in the latter city, in 1901. He is of French antecedents and a member of a distinguished New England family.

Senator Dorsey spent his boyhood on the farm of his father, attending the public schools of the district meantime, and in 1858 went to Oberlin, Ohio, where he became a student in Oberlin College.

On April 19, 1861, he responded to the call of President Lincoln and enlisted in the Union Army as a private for what was then thought to be three months' service. At the end of that period he reenlisted (August 1, 1861) in the First Ohio Light Artillery. He served from then until the end of the war, was in more than twenty important battles, was wounded four times and received numerous promotions for gallantry in action. He was first promoted to the rank of Corporal, then, in quick succession, to Sergeant, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Captain and Major, and in 1865, when he was only twenty-one years of age, attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was actively engaged in the battles of Phillippi, Rich Mountain, Carrick's Ford, Fort Donelson, Shlloh, Perrysville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. In all of these engagements he was a member of the corps of General George H. Thomas, but in January, 1864, was transferred to the Army of the Potomac, going east with Generals Grant and Sheridan. With them he took part in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. In August, 1864, he went with the Sixth Corps to the defense of Washington and was in battles immediately adjoining the national capital, including Winchester, Cedar Creek and all other engagements during the Sheridan campaign of that year. In January, 1865, he returned with his command to Petersburg and engaged in the battles leading to the capture of Petersburg, of Sailor Creek, and, finally, of Appomattox.

During the war Senator Dorsey became a friend of Thomas A. Scott, then an Assistant Secretary of War (later President of the Pennsylvania Railroad system), whose duties included the control of the transportation of troops and supplies. By his association in this work, Senator Dorsey saw the possibilities of a railroad career, and at the conclusion of the war became, through Mr. Scott, actively identified with the railroad business in the Southwest, assisting in the reorganization and construction of lines which had been demoralized during the years of hostility. Following this he took an active part in the incorporation and construction, as Chief Engineer, of various railroads in the South, including the Texas & Pacific, Little Rock & Fort Smith and the Arkansas Central.

In order to devote his time fully to his work, Senator Dorsey made his home in Arkansas and, while actively engaged in his railroad enterprises, became an important factor in the politics of that section. As a strong supporter of the Republican party, he was soon recognized as one of its leaders and in 1868 was elected delegate to the Republican National Convention which nominated General U. S. Grant, his old commander, for the Presidency of

the United States. He also attended the National Conventions of 1872, 1876, 1880 and 1884 and served as a member of the Republican National Committee during those years. In 1872 he was Assistant Secretary of the Committee, in 1876 was Vice Chairman and in 1880 was Chairman, having charge of the campaign which resulted in the election of President Garfield.

Though not a candidate for office, he was elected United States Senator in 1875, in opposition to Thomas M. Bowen, the "Carpet Bag Candidate." Senator Dorsey received practically the entire Democratic vote In addition to the solid Republican vote, receiving one hundred and four votes in the Legislature out of a total of one hundred and nineteen.

Senator Dorsey immediately became a conspicuous figure in the Senate. On the first day of his service he was appointed a member of the important Appropriation Committee, Chairman of the District of Columbia Committee and a member of the Railroad Committee, which positions he occupied during his entire service.

In 1881, as a result of a bitter contest between the Blaine wing of the Republican party and the Conkling-Grant wing, which Senator Dorsey advocated, the Blaine faction attacked him, charging him with frauds in the mail service. A trial lasting nearly a year followed, and the prosecution gathered more than 12,000 letters which Senator Dorsey had written, in the hope of finding evidence of a compromising nature, but failed. The United States judge sitting in the case stated in his charge to the jury that there was no cause of action and no evidence that Senator Dorsey was in any way connected with any fraud or conspiracy. He was acquitted without the jurors leaving their seats.

Since that time Senator Dorsey has taken no active part in public affairs, devoting himself entirely to his private interests.

For many years Senator Dorsey has been active in mining affairs. Some time prior to 1873 he had become interested in the business, and In that year acquired an interest, with the late Senator Chaffee of Colorado, in mines of Central City, Colorado. They operated together for several years, and in 1878 became interested in mines at Leadville, Colorado, where they met with great success. Senator Dorsey also was interested at this time in the Silver Cliff and Aspen mines, the latter a notable silver property. In 1891, at the time of the Cripple Creek discoveries, he acquired properties there which he retained for many years afterwards.

In addition to his Colorado successes. Senator Dorsey early became interested in mining in the Southwest. He has been for many years interested in properties in Arizona, Southern California and Sonora, Mexico, his Arizona holdings including an interest in the Gold Roads Extension Company and in the copper district of Clifton.

The Senator has been extremely active in all of the properties with which he was connected, and from Los Angeles, where he has made his home since 1898, he has directed his different companies.

Senator Dorsey is a member of the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Archaeological Society, the Society of Engineers and Metallurgy, the International Club, and the Phillis Court Club (Henley), all of London, England; the Army & Navy Club of New York, and the Military Order of Loyal Legion; the California Club, the Los Angele3 Country Club and the San Gabriel Valley Country Club, the latter three of Los Angeles, California.

Press Reference Library, Western Edition. Notables of the West, (International News Service, New York, 1915), pp. 408-409

Contributed by Tom Ledoux.

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