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JONES, Charles Scott Dodge

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JONES, Charles Scott Dodge. (Sinsinawa, WI, Sept. 23, 1832--Independence, IA, Jan. 28, 1890). The first-born child of George Wallace JONES, Charles spent part of his childhood in Dubuque at the family estate, "Alta Vista." He attended the Western Military Institute in Kentucky and then studied law at Harvard. (1) He opened his first practice in Dubuque on the northwest corner of Sixth and Main in the late 1850s. When his father was defeated in his attempt to win a third term to the United States Senate, Charles accompanied him to Bogota, Columbia. He returned to the United States carrying dispatches for his father. (2)

Charles returned to Dubuque and resumed his legal career. His brother George R. G. JONES, had remained in Kentucky after graduating from the Western Military Institute, and at the start of the CIVIL WAR joined the Confederate Army. Apparently Charles also began recruiting soldiers for the Confederacy. A letter of introduction for his friend Daniel O'Connell QUIGLEY to the leader of a Confederate rifle company was found on the battlefield at Fort Henry by Franc WILKIE, a reporter. Wilkie mailed the letter to The New York Times which published it. (3) When the letter was reported in Dubuque, Charles Jones quickly fled Dubuque to ask Jefferson DAVIS for a commission in the Confederate Army. (4)

Bushrod Johnson, one of Jones' professors at Western Military Institute, wrote to the Confederate Secretary of War on March 24, 1863 that he recommended him for a position. On August 12, 1863 Confederate President Davis sent his own note stating:

      Secretary of War, for attention. Mr. Jones is 
      the worthy son of our friend George W. Jones 
      of Iowa. He has a brother in the army. JD  (5)

On September 7, 1863 Charles was appointed Captain in the Adjutant General's Department. On January 2, 1864 he was appointed Assistant Adj. General to Johnson. Four months later on April 2, 1864 he was appointed Assistant Inspector General to Johnson.

Jones was captured at Drury's Bluff on May 16, 1864. He was imprisoned at Point Lookout and then Fort Delaware where Junius Lackland HEMPSTEAD was also held. (6) Jones' malaria caused him to twice be admitted to the prison hospital. He was exchanged on March 4, 1865, and immediately began writing letters seeking another job in the Confederacy. The loss of Richmond on April 2, 1865 and the surrender of Confederate troops under General Robert E. Lee ended Jones' military life. (7)

Jones’s father-in-law sought clemency for him from President Andrew Johnson, noting that C.S.D. Jones was “seduced into the Rebel Army. He has returned a penitent man.” (8)

He returned to Dubuque but began to decline mentally and physically and entered the mental asylum at Independence. He is buried at MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY.



1. Connon, David. "Son of Iowa U.S. Senator Jones Fought for the Confederacy," Your Weekly Paper. Online: http://yourweeklypaper.com/blog/2011/05/03/son-of-iowa-u-s-senator-jones-fought-for-the-confederacy/

2. Ibid.

3. Seymour, Ron. "Capt. Charles Jones & Capt. George R. G. Jones Sons of Gen. George Jones," Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/Rebel_Jones.htm

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. "Captured," Dubuque Democratic Herald, May 26, 1864, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640526&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

7. Connon, David.

8. Seyour, Ron.