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Lewis Dorsey


A man named “Lewis Dorsey” owned a plot in Ellsworth Cemetery.

Mr. Lewis B. Dorsey was born about 1830 near Westminster, Maryland. We are unsure whether he was enslaved or born free. He worked as a teamster, likely driving a team of horses. Private Simon P. Wilson, who is also buried at Ellsworth, testified in support of Private Dorsey’s pension application.

Mr. Lewis B. Dorsey enlisted (or maybe he was drafted) in the USCT on June 25, 1864 in Frederick, Maryland. Private Dorsey served in Company D of the 28th Regiment.  He was treated at the City Point hospital in Virginia in July of 1864, and later in Texas and New Orleans.  He was discharged on the 23th of October in 1865. Like many of his fellow Veterans, he suffered from disease and disability as a result of his service.

In October of 1888, he first filed for a pension. Private Lewis B. Dorsey was deemed eligible and received $12 every month for compensation of his disability. As his condition worsened, he applied for an increase. Unfortunately, he died before receiving that increase. Ironically, he was apparently at the Post Office, asking for the paperwork, when he had a heart attack in April of 1893.

And now for the complication. Another man, also named Lewis Dorsey, enlisted in the 39th USCT from Frederick, Maryland. This Mr. Dorsey had been enslaved by Mr. David Jones in Frederick, Maryland, and manumitted for the purpose of serving in the US Army. Private Dorsey transferred to the US Navy, and no further records for him have been found. The biography on Find a Grave for Mr. Lewis Dorsey at Ellsworth states that it is this man buried there. However, there are no other records seem to confirm or deny this. The information on this page (birth/death dates) are for Lewis B. Dorsey.

Because we cannot yet confirm through contemporary records that either Veteran is buried at Ellsworth Cemetery, we are unable to apply for a VA headstone. Therefore, the grave(s) remain unmarked.

Saint Mary's Beacon, Leonard Town, Maryland 20 Apr 1893

Wreath laid in honor of Private Lewis Dorsey

American Sentinel, 22 April 1843

Descriptive Roll for Lewis B. Dorsey, 28th USCT

Descriptive Roll for Lewis Dorsey, 39th USCT

Affidavit of Private Simon Wilson, in pension record of Lewis B. Dorsey

Democratic Advocate, 22 April 1893

1890 Census, showing Lewis B. Dorsey, 28th USCT, living near Westminster, Maryland