Mason Dodson HORTON 1839 - aft 1880

a biography

Mason Dodson HORTON was born abt. 1839, probably in Rutherford County, Tennessee where resided his father and mother: Elijah HORTON b. 1808, prob. in Fauquier County, Virginia and Rachel Jane WADLEY, daughter of Samuel WADLEY and Susan BLEVINS. Mason died after 1880, probably in Hill County, Texas.

His second given name, DODSON, has unknown origins. Certainly it is a surname. It has not yet been determined how the Dodson connection occurs. Perhaps it is through the Wadley family. There was a large Dodson family in Williamson County, TN whose patriarch was Hightower DODSON.

Civil War:

M D HORTON served in Company F, 18th Regiment, Tennessee, Confederate. He enlisted 23 May 1861. This is surely Mason Dodson HORTON. This soldier was captured 16 Feb 1862 which was the last day of the Battle of Ft Donelson when Ft. Donelson was surrendered to Union General Grant. Ft Donelson is located in Stewart County, Tennessee and gave General Grant control of the Cumberland River. M D HORTON appears on the roll of prisoners of war at Springfield, Illinois. The roll is not dated.

M D HORTON appears again in muster rolls of 1863. He was captured again 10 Sep 1863. He had deserted between the 7th and 9th of September with his brother Harvey L HORTON, of Company C, on the retreat from the battle of Tullahoma. 1863 was a particularly wet year, and one of the confederate officers determined that the name Tullahoma originated from two Greek words "Tulla" meaning mud and "Homa" meaning more mud. Mason and his brother, Harvey, took the oath of allegiance and were released near Fosterville.

I believe that the M D HORTON captured in 1862 and the Moses D HORTON captured in 1863 are the same soldier serving in the Company F with the same enlistment date. His capture, with his brother Harvey, makes it clear that this was Mason Dodson HORTON.

Prisoners of war, who were "paroled", that is: released after swearing allegiance, were subject to summary execution if they broke their word, returned to armed service, and were captured again. There may have been a prisoner exchange in 1862 that would account for his release and return to service. Otherwise, Mason would have been very courageous to return to service after being paroled.

There are 11 civil war records on M D HORTON of Tennessee and 3 records under the name Moses D HORTON. The records are all combined at NARA under Moses D HORTON. It is unclear why the name Moses appears.

Another M D Horton of Texas listed was not our Mason. The soldier was age 32 when he enlisted in 1862 making his birth year abt 1823. That M D Horton enlisted as a private in Capt W H Gastons Company, 1st Texas Infantry, Confederate. That M D Horton received fifty dollars as a bounty for Kickapoo, Texas. He was killed at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.

After the Civil War in about 1868 or 1869, Mason Dodson HORTON married his first cousin (his mother’s sister’s child), Cealy Elizabeth Ann WADLEY. The given name Cealy is a corruption of Cecelia; Cealy was probably named for her aunt, another sister of Rachel WADLEY. This couple had the following children.

  • William Lee HORTON b. 1869 who married Salena Elizabeth BRADFORD
  • Florence Elizabeth HORTON b. abt 1873
  • Marietta "Mary Etta" HORTON b. 27 Nov 1875
  • Mattie L HORTON b. 1878
  • James Samuel HORTON b. abt. 1882
  • Addie Mae HORTON b. 23 Jul 1883 who married Thomas Henry Jefferson HARGRAVE


  • 1850 Rutherford County, TN Federal Census, M432_894; Page: 230; Image: 449., Location: Middleton
  • 1860 Rutherford County, TN Federal Census, District 14, Rutherford, Tennessee; Roll  M653_1271; Page: 77; Image: 156; . Middleton post office: listed as "M D Harton".
  • 1870 Fulton County, KY Federal Census, Census Place: District 5, Fulton, Kentucky; Roll: M593_462; Page: 275; Image: 551, 2007, No children in household.
  • 1880 Hill County, TX Federal Census, Precinct 2, Hill, Texas; Roll  1311;,
  • Civil War Records,

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