Of the 15 Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Pike County one is buried just outside of Winslow near the Charity Farm alongside a forgotten road bed. Nestled right against the edge of the spoil banks and a strip mine pit is the small overgrown Dedman Cemetery, spared by the coal mines in the early 1900s. Amongst the wild blackberry brambles and century old devils darn needles lies Samuel Dedman, the patriarch of the Dedman family in Pike County, buried here on what was once his land.
The first time I visited this cemetery I was maybe 11 years old. We lived near it and my brothers and I followed all of the paths winding through the woods. I was captivated by old cemeteries even then. I spent hours there, wondering who they were, how they had lived & died, and studying their monuments as if they would tell me their secrets. Only five graves are visibly marked.
Samuel Dedman was born March 17, 1748 in Louisa County, Virginia to Samuel Dedman Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Dixon. He had siblings: John, Richmond, Sarah, Mary, Nancy, Susan, Nathan, Bartlett and Dixon. In 1749, his father purchased a farm in Louisa County, Virginia. In 1769, he sold it and moved the family to Albemarle County, Virginia where he bought 200 acres of land in the Ragged Mountains from William T. Lewis, a mile below the Reservoir south of Charlottesville, Virginia, and not far from Moses Clack, Sr. Samuel Dedman was a signer of the Albemarle Declaration of Independence written by his neighbor, Thomas Jefferson. (Whether Samuel or his father is unknown) His father died in 1800. Samuel and his siblings had all moved west by 1828. His father’s will mentions land, Negroes, money and tobacco, denoting some wealth. A fine punch bowl and a small distillery on the farm were also worthy of mention.
Samuel married Mary Fields, daughter of John Fields. In the Will of John Field 1789: Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Dedman & her husband Samuel Dedman three negroes named Fan Young, Phillis & Winney to them & their heirs forever. Samuel and Mary had children: Sarah Fields Dedman, Elijah Dixon Dedman, William Dedman, Polly Dedman, and Mary Dedman.
The Dedman’s were soldiers. There are stories of four Dedman brothers serving in the Revolutionary War. The Dedman’s in Pike County provided many sons to the Civil War. Descendents have served in each of the more recent wars. In 1777 at the age of 29, Samuel enlisted for a term of 3 years at Albemarle Virginia in the Company commanded by Capt. John Marks of the 14th Virginia Regiment commanded by Col. Charles Lewis of the Virginia Line. He was a non commissioned officer and a Sergeant, in the Continental Line.
By 1788, he was in Fayette County, Kentucky on the Kentucky Census. He was a Baptist and a ruling elder at Clear Creek Baptist Church in 1788. In 1793 he and Mary were dismissed from Bryan’s Station Baptist Church in Fayette County, Kentucky. He is also found in Montgomery and Shelby Counties in Kentucky. He had moved to his home Pike County by 1819, when he applied for his Revolutionary War Pension. He is listed on the Pike County census of 1820, along with sons William and Elijah. By 1830, his son William had opened a millinery shop in Petersburg and Elijah had moved on. Mary died in 1820 and Samuel died in 1834. Samuel’s grave is marked by the DAR, but I remember when I was a child he had an old stone. Maybe it is buried there.
Also buried in the cemetery is John Ellsworth Dedman, son of William, grandson of Samuel. John E. was born Dec. 2, 1807 and died at 47 years of age Jan. 5, 1855, leaving his widow, Cynthia Traylor Dedman to raise 8 children alone. Their neighbor, George Dean who also died later in the year of 1855, was responsible for willing the proceeds of the Winslow Charity Farm to compensate widows who met certain conditions. Perhaps Cynthia was one of the reasons for the trust.
Amanda M.O. Dedman, who died in 1849 at the age of 22, is a mystery. Whose daughter was she or who was she married to? Would the O stand for Oliver, maybe someone Oliver Perry was named for?
Little Viola Dedman, who died at the age of two, was the daughter of Thomas and granddaughter of John Ellsworth Dedman. She was born in 1859 and died March 27, 1861. She was aged 1 yr. 6 mo. 1 da. Dau. of T. & S. Dedman. If I remember correctly there was a lamb carved into this tombstone.
Oliver Perry Dedman, son of John Ellsworth, has a civil war marker on his grave. It has deteriorated to the point you can hardly read it. Oliver Perry served the Union with the 24th Regiment, Indiana Infantry. He enlisted as a Private and mustered out as a Corporal. He was born in 1843 and his death is unknown.
In Samuel’s Pension application of 1819, many details of his life emerge. His Pension is #S 35887. He was awarded $8.00 per month. He served in the battles of Brandywine, German Town and Monmouth. They moved horses from Petersburgh to Albemarle. He had lost his discharge papers, but friends and others he served with vouched for him. Some years ago, his situation was prosperous, but he found himself in reduced circumstances later in life. He entered two quarters of land at Vincennes and had paid the first installments on it. He had a usable stock of hogs and little other property, and he owed $1800.00 which was more than his property was worth. He was in his 70th year and due to bodily injuries could not earn a substance from labor. His wife, Mary, 7 years older than him, had been blind for fourteen years. She could knit a little, but could do nothing to support the family. They lived with their son and one orphaned grandson, Elijah Jerrell, son of their daughter Sarah Fields Dedman and Walter Jerrell. His personal property consisted of: one old mare, one cow, ten grown hogs, twenty nine pigs, six sows, seven shoats, large pots, small pot, one skillet, one tea kettle, cupboard, one four square poplar table, one axe, and one hoe. He was a farmer. He lost a valuable drove of cattle to a fatal distemper known as the Bloody Murmur after having gotten them to market.
My stepgrandfather, John C. Evans, was a descendent of Samuel Dedman. Rowena Dedman Evans was his grandmother, married to Andrew Leonard Evans. Her line was through Samuel Fields Dedman, William Dedman , and then Samuel Dedman .