Watson of Maryland USA

Looking for Watson descendants from Chaptico, St Marys County, Maryland USA

Regarding Roderick Dhu Watson Sr. 1834 — 1901

with 3 comments

This is part of a letter from James O. Hall (one of the authors of “Come Retribution” relating to Roderick Dhu Watson (born 1834). The letter was written to General Tidwell who worked for the Mitre Corporation and collaborated on the book with Mr. Hall. I met these two men in the summer of 1990 at Mr. Halls home in McLean, VA.

Deed Book JHC1 / Page 352 / Charles County / 17 February 1860

Roderick D. Watson of St. Mary’s County had married Mary Z. Posey, daughter of Izaih Posey (sic) of Charles County. She inherited an undivided portion of “Thomas’s Purchase” and “Warren’s Discovery”. They sold it to F. Mathews Lancaster (390 acres) for $2600. The deed was executed in St. Mary’s County.

1. No will filed in St. Mary’s County for R.D. Watson or Mary Z. Watson. No  Administration either. Trustee sale? No record of his sale of land!

2. No Roderick Watson will in Charles County. I did not check administration then. Suspect a trustee sale of all land but did not check court records, a long and often pointless exercise.

The enclosed is from the Turner-Baker Papers (Turner’s Part). Obviously it refers to Roderick D Watson. The B is an error. It could not as of March 18, 1864, be the father Roderick G. Watson, as he apparently died about 1862. Per Thomas Jones. 

“Watson went to Virginia, he says, about “two years since” and engaged in business – not serving the Confederates”. Note that McPhail arrested him on a tip and then, and only then, did Watson spin out the story that he came over to take the amnesty oath. Of course this is pure hogwash. He took the oath but continued activities for the Rebels, as shown by the letter to Surratt. McPhail was not really convinced, apparently, but Watson got off the hook and turned up in New York a year later. (These events took place in Baltimore, Maryland).

M-598, Real 85 / Prisoner of War / Fort Lafayette, Page 41, General List of Prisoners

Name: R.D.Watson

When Confined: May 8, 1864

When Released: October 10, 1864

Remarks: By order of General Dix


R.D. Watson

RG Entry 393, entry 1394, Volume 8

(1) page 126

Head Quarter Department of the East

New York City

September 20th, 1864


Burke, Marten Col., Commander Fort Lafeyette

You will please allow R.D.Watson, a prisoner in Fort Lafeyette, to receive such an amount of clothing as shall make him comfortable.

By Command of Major General Dix



(2) page 129

Head Quarters Department of the East, New York, 21st September 1864

Demill, R. Esp


Major General Pack, commanding in temporary absence of General Dix, directs me say that your letter of the 14th inst., relative to R.D. Watson, has been sent to these Head Quarters by the Rev. Morgan Dix and has been referred to Col. Hoffman, Commissary fo Prisoners, Washington, DC, who alone can act in this matter.


Your Obedient Servant

E.W. Hooper

Captain A.D.C.



Per General Tidwell. Watson was a ‘Cut Out’. Look this up. 


“A case officer, who may have diplomatic status (i.e., official cover or non-official cover) supports and directs the human collector. Cutouts are couriers who do not know the agent or case officer, but transfer messages.”

I just finished reading Dark Union by Guttridge and Neff. They have a Robert D Watson from Missouri writing the letter from NYC to John H. Surratt and being at meetings in Montreal concerning a financial speculation involving meat for cotton. Also mentions that this Watson was interviewed in the 1870s but the book does not include a transcript.


Glennwood Cemetery, Washington, DC


Written by watson1693

July 14, 2008 at 4:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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    February 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    • Yes. Major Roderick Green Watson was Roderick Dhu Watson’s father. Roderick Dhu had a place over in Great Mills St Mary’s Co Maryland at the beginning of the War.

      Are you related?


      February 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    • Hello Sorry it’s taken so long to see that you had a question regarding the Watson’s.

      Same family. Roderick Dhu was the oldest son of (Major) Roderick Green Watson. ((I’m not sure where the military rank comes from but perhaps he was in the County Militia))

      It was a big family (at least by today’s standards). Roderick Green bought the place in the 1850 about ten years before he died. Prior to ghat they lived over in Hill Top which I think is near Port Tobacco (west of). He had a fishery at Goose Bay and apparently a schooner which went between Port Tobacco, King George Co VA & Baltimore.

      Roderick Dhu married Mary Z Posey and lived over in Great Mills. Not sure if that was a farm or a house in town. I don’t think he ever lived at Clifton.

      I visited Clifton thirty years ago as a kid with my father. It was pretty over grown. The summer kitchen might still have been standing and covered with vines. I believe a hunting club owns the property.

      David Watson


      May 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm

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