Man of Mystery

Of George Dixon the soldier, we know little.  Of the man, next to nothing.  Yet, his legend has flourished over 137 years, and with the raising of the CSS H.L. Hunley in August of 2000, the mystery surrounding this great man continues to grow.

There is no denying the absolute daring and bravery of the crew of the Hunley, as they set out that night to undertake the sinking of the USS Housatonic.  To climb into that "peripatetic coffin" as it was described by General PGT Beauregaurd, where there was barely any room to move, and even less air, took an inner strength and sense of honor and duty, that would never be demanded today.  These gentlemen, about whom such little is known, undoubtedly knew that they were not likely to return from this mission.  Given the unsuccessful voyages of the previous two crews less than four months previous, imagine what it took to climb into the Hunley that night.   Still, the elation they must have felt and demonstrated after successfully completing the mission, must have been a sight to behold.  When they descended to the bottom of the harbor, how long did it take before they understood they would not be going home again?  Or did they mercifully, as it has been suggested, succumb to anoxia, or complete lack of oxygen, that would have rendered them unconscious through means of a deep sleep? 

In focusing on George Dixon, the creator of these pages in no way intends to slight or disrespect the other eight members of the crew, but rather hopes to honor them all by bringing at least one of them to "life" for their many, many admirers. That said, this site will endeavor to learn all that we can about the Lieutenant.   There are lots of unanswered questions.  Where was he raised?  Who were his parents?  Did he have siblings?  Was he perhaps an orphan? Where did he gain his knowledge as a mechanical engineer?  How did he meet Miss Queenie Bennett, the very young and beautiful belle from Mobile who gave him the Gold Piece that was to serve as the basis for the the greatest, and most romantic of the legends surrounding him?  What were the circumstances surrounding his wounding at the Battle of Shiloh?  This writer undertakes this challenge with full confidence that hundreds, if not thousands of others, are at least as curious and will follow, if not contribute to the unfolding of Lt. Dixon's story.  As more is learned about Lt. Dixon, and documents unearthed, these pages will be updated frequently.

 

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