Albert A. Dorsey

I am often asked if we have any Civil War soldiers buried at the cemetery and I have never been sure, but now I think that we do have one.

I have known for a long time that there was an Albert A. Dorsey from Howard Co., who enlisted as a private in Co. F., the Second Maryland Cavalry – a Confederate unit. He enlisted in Big Springs, VA on July 27, 1864 and was paroled in Harpers Ferry, VA from Co. E. 2ndMD Cavalry on April 24, 1865.

Recently while looking again at this man, who Greg Dorsey, one of our “friends” knew as Uncle Bud, I found some additional information. In 1890 the census takers were instructed to list veterans and on a list of men from this area, I found Albert A. Dorsey from “Porters, Carroll County”. Then on careful inspection of the document, I noticed that there was a line through his name and with a magnifying glass I could faintly see “conf.” There were only a few other documents available on fold3 and what I found indicated that Albert was held as a prisoner until his parole. There is no date on this document and no indication where he was captured or where he was held prisoner. I only know that the Second Maryland Cav. were involved in a number of conflicts where prisoners were taken.

On April 24, 1865, just 15 days after Lee’s surrender, Albert signed an oath before the Provost Marshall in Harpers Ferry. Greg Dorsey feels 90% sure that the signature is that of Albert A. Dorsey, his ancestor. He remembers seeing it on other documents in the family collection.

Mr. Dorsey was 18 years old when he enlisted and one can easily imagine him riding off to Virginia, the state of his mother’s (Mary Custis Thomas Dorsey) birth, to defend the Confederate causes. Perhaps he even visited some of his Virginia cousins on the way.

He came home at age 19, worked on the farm and the railroad, lived at home with his family and never married. He served as a Carroll County sheriff during the late 1890s. He died September 23, 1919 after a trip to Havre de Grace to attend the races. He had oysters in Baltimore and became violently ill.  His death was attributed to Ptomaine poisoning.

Ann Parry Horvath