Taylor Co Historical-Genealogical Society
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Back issues of The Taylor Tracer available by contacting Mr. John Adams
P.O. Box 5059
Warner Robins, GA 31099
$1.50/each or $2.00/each for mailed copies
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Butler History 1919 Butler Photos| Reynolds Photos| Churches Photos | Homes Photos| Mauk Photos | Mills Photos
Thomas Oliver Gassett was born March 19, 1919 in Taylor Co., Ga son of William Grady Gassett and Beulah L. (Bickley) Gassett. Tom was the 3rd child of Grady & Beulah Gassett and the 2nd. son. Tom was sent overseas to England and on December 23, 1944 he was assigned to Co. "C", 3rd. Platoon, 4th Squad, 50th Armored Infantry Battalion His unit fought in the "Battle of The Bulge" and on January 2, 1945 a mortar shell exploded in the rear of the track that Co. C, 50th AIB was riding in to withdraw from the fierce battle and took the life of Pvt. Thomas O. Gassett and all those riding with him except two.
His parents would be notified on January 17, 1945. He was buried there until the war was over. Pvt. Thomas Oliver Gassettís remains were sent home for re-interment in December 1948.
The following appeared in THE BUTLER HERALD.
Pvt. Thomas Gassett
Buried Near Butler Friday Afternoon.
The body of Pvt. Thomas O. Gassett, who was killed in Belgium, January 2, 1945, was returned here for re-interment last Friday.
Born March, 1919, Pvt. Gassett was 25 years old at the time of his death. Funeral services were held at 3 p. m. at Shiloh Church near Butler, and burial was in Davistonís Cemetery. Chaplain J. W. M. Stipe of Ft. Benning officiated, and members of the V. F. W. served as pallbearers. He is survived by his parents, Mr. And Mrs. W. G. Gassett; three brothers, Murray C. and William H. Gassett, Howard, Ga., and Roy Heulen Gassett, Ft. Lewis Washington; three sisters, Mrs. Roscoe Alligood, Hahira; Mrs. Nathan Henderson, Thomaston, and Miss Betty Gassett, Butler.
Private Julian Thomas Beeland born July 19, 1922 son of James Thomas and Sarah Ludie (Parker) Beeland. Julian was born in the Central District of Taylor County, Georgia and attended school at Central School.
Julian T. Beeland was drafted in to the Army from Taylor Co., Ga. His mother visited him at Joplin, Mo. Prior to his being shipped over seas. She had to take a bus and the trip was very hard on her. Florine (Beeland) Adams, has several letters written by Julian Beeland from India. He served in the 164th Signal Photo Company in the China-Burma-India Theater, on the Burma Road.
The 1942 war plans called for a signal photographic company for each field Army. There were four: the 161st, 162d, 163d, and 164th Signal Companies. They were divided into teams of one lieutenant and six enlisted men, including still and motion photographers, drivers and one clerk. By mid-1943, the original companies had been increased with the addition of the 165th and 196th Signal Companies. It still was not enough. The number of campaigns multiplied, and so did the need for photographers and technicians. Expanded responsibilities meant the force grew to supply the services. Julian T. Beeland served as a driver.
The 164th Signal Photo Corp, was responsible for covering the photographic history of China, Burma, and India (known as the C.B.I.), and was headquartered in New Delhi, India. At best, personnel had to be spread very thinly over that vast area. Their photos trace the Marauders' journey from northern India on the march into the combat zone, cutting through dense bamboo and engaging in vicious skirmishes with Japanese troops. As soldiers were wounded, tiny planes would fly in and land anywhere the pilots could find, including in rice paddy fields or on sandbars in rivers to evacuate them.
Nearly three thousand men signed up for the "dangerous and hazardous mission," eager to test themselves, to see the enemy up close. Dubbed "Merrill's Marauders" for their commander, General Frank D. Merrill, the unit trekked 500 miles in five months to capture the crucial airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, in May 1944. Their exploits were made famous in the 1962 film Merrill's Marauders.
But there are no glossy Hollywood overtones in the raw images captured by war photographers from the 164th Signal Photo Company Unit. They show the persistence of the soldiers, some already hard-bitten veterans of other campaigns, who slogged through disease and hunger to complete their mission. The Marauders won six major battles and 32 minor engagements but never left a dead or wounded man to the enemy.
T/SGT. JAMES JACKSON DICKERSON
Born: July 7, 1919
Son of Levi Leonard Dickerson & Mary Moore Dickerson
He served in the 3rd. Battalion, Headquarters Co., 422nd. Infantry, 106th Infantry Division. He was captured at the Battle of The Bulge and was among prisoners-of-war liberated from German POW camps near the warís end in 1945.
James Jackson Dickerson was born July 7, 1919 at Junction City, Harts District, Talbot Co., Ga. The 1920 Census of Talbot Co., Ga., list Jackson J. Dickerson age 6 months. He is in the house with his parents, Levi L. Dickerson age 36 & Mary B. Dickerson age. 26. The Dickersonís also had 5 other sons listed in their household: Franklin, age 10; William L., age 8; Joseph, age 6; Etherage, age 5; and Hugh R., age 3. Levi L. Dickerson was listed as a laborer in coffin factory.
Levi L. Dickerson moved to the Panhandle District of Taylor Co., Ga., and was listed in the 1930 Census of that District. Levi Dickerson was listed as age 48 & Mary Dickerson was listed as age 41. In their household were 6 boys: Levi, age 19; Joseph, age 17; Ethridge, age 15; Robert, age 12; James, age 11; and Leonard, age 6. Franklin Dickerson was not listed in their household. Franklin Dickerson age 20 was listed with wife, Edith, age 19 & son Harold was also listed in the Panhandle District of Taylor Co., Ga.
Levi L. Dickerson was born February 23, 1883 and married Mary B. Moore January 24, 1909 in Taylor Co., Ga. Levi died October 23, 1937. Mary B. (Moore) Dickerson was born August 14, 1889 daughter of Stephen Hilliard Moore & Victoria A. (Wainwright) Moore. Mary died December 15, 1974 and they are buried in Wainwright Cemetery, Taylor Co., Ga.
The information on T/Sgt James Jackson Dickerson was provided to the TRACER by Betty G. Garrard & Cecil Holmes. James J. Dickerson and Cecil Holmes are long time friends and belong to the Masonic Lodge #31 in Zebulon, Ga.
It is an interesting, yet sad story James Jackson Dickerson tells as he talks of the 4 months he spent as a POW in WWII during the Battle Of The Bulge. It will touch your heart as nothing else has. His diary from prison can be read in the March, 2004 issue of TAYLOR COUNTY TRACER.
James Jackson Dickerson was born in Junction City, Ga., and moved to the Fickling Mill area of Taylor Co., Ga when he was 4 or 5 years old. James attended the schools of Taylor County up to the 9th grade when his family moved to Upson Co., Ga. James graduated from R. E. Lee Institute in 1939. He worked on construction jobs, the Martha Mill, and Thomaston Mill. He met Susie Cook in 1937.
James enlisted into the Army December, 1939 and before he could be processed, he was drafted. He took his basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., 121st Infantry, 30th Division, company K.
James Dickerson married Susie Cook September 15, 1941 while he was home on leave. Susie C. Dickerson died January 17, 1994 and James married Nellie Carroll on October 18, 1997.
Albert Lee Edmonson's ancestor that served in the Confederate Army was James Harrison Mitchell, his great-grandfather. James Harrison Mitchell enlisted as a Private May 7, 1862 in Company I, 55th Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He died of disease at Greenville, Tennessee December 13, 1862.
Albert Lee Edmonson's grandfather, William C. Edmonson, enlisted as a private October 17, 1861 in Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry. 9th Infantry Regiment [also called 5th (Hunt's) Regiment] was organized at Russellville, Kentucky. It became part of the Orphan Brigade or Louisville Legion. The 9th served under Generals Hanson, Helm, and J.H. Lewis. It fought at Murfreesboro, was active in and around Jackson, saw action at Chickamauga, then participated in the Atlanta Campaign. During the fall of 1864 it was mounted and took part in the defense of Savannah and the campaign of the Carolinas. William C. Edmonson was wounded at Wounded at Chickamauga, Ga September 20, 1863 and at Pine Mountain, Ga on June 10, 1864.
THE BUTLER HERALD, Butler, Taylor County, Georgia Thursday, July 22, 1945
BRONZE STAR MEDAL AWARDED
During His Time Overseas he Has Served in France, Belgium, Germany and Austria
Prachatice, Czechoslovakia, June 6-T-5 Albert L. Edmonson was awarded the bronze star medal this week for meritorious service in connection with military operation against an enemy of the United States, in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, and Austria. Edmonson has been a driver for the Division Surgeon of the 26th Inf. Div. for over ten months. During this time he has covered many hazardous miles over difficult roads and conditions.
Edmonson is a native of Butler, and has many relatives and friends in this vicinity. His wife, the former Mildred Rutherford of Butler and daughter Gloria Lee make their home at Thomaston. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Edmonson, made their home in Daviston district and were well known in Taylor county.
Edmonson who is noted for his honest smile, joined the 26th Inf. Div. (which is better known as the Yankee Division) at Nancy, France. This was when they first entered combat and until this time he has traveled many miles over foreign soil and he remarked that he has not seen anything as good as the "ole country" around Butler. Many of his trips were over hazardous roads and at times was forced to drive near the front lines but thanks to God has come out of it all without a scratch. Edmonson tries to go to church regularly but sometimes conditions do not permit. He also stated that he cannot wait to get home to see his eight month old daughter who was born since he has been overseas. Whenever he has any spare time he looks for souvenirs that he will be able to bring or send back to the Empire State of the South.
Edmonson believes that receiving mail and newspapers is the greatest morale builder that the Army has. "Each week I look forward to receiving the Butler Herald and all of the news about all of my old friends of that county. I enjoy reading the news even if it is a little old," Edmonson says, "and my vote of thanks goes to the Herald for their efforts in getting me the papers weekly."
Edmonson is now entitled to wear the Notorious Service Unit Badge awarded the 114th Medical Battalion and he has four bronze battle stars to his credit for the different battles in Europe. In all he has 74 points toward getting out and hopes that the critical score will be lowered