My name is Mitchell Wise. I live and have spent most of my life in Ohio, particularly Tuscarawas County, in the Village of Newcomerstown. I am 43 years old. My great-great grandfather, William T. Wise was a private in the 32nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Division. William T. had a difficult military career. He was taken prisoner of war in 1862, had his gun explode in his face in 1863, and was shot in the left leg just above the left knee at the seige of Atlanta in 1864. After returning from the war in 1865, William T.'s trouble may have only just begun.While working for the railroad in 1875, a small sliver of iron from a rail he was cutting lodged in his left eye. This eye would be removed within the next few years leaving him with only the sight of his right eye which was affected by the gun exploding in 1863. William T. , the father of five children, still worked for the railroad though his eyesight made it very difficult.He was drawing a pension of $6.00 per month from the army for the gun shot wound, but needing more he tried (without success) to get addition pension money for his right eye. A special examiner was sent to the area to obtain depositions from family, friends, neighbors, employers, and doctors as to the condition of William T. before he went into the Army and his condition upon returning. From these handwritten depositions we have learned a tremendous amount about William T.'s life before, during, and after the Civil War. William T. gave his deposition February 16th,1892. In it he states:
"After my discharge, I was at home for two months but did no work. In September '65 I went to Eddyville, Wapello County, Iowa and drove team for Phillip Dotts (or Dutts), a coal dealer and farmer to the march of 1867. I boarded with Dotts (Dutts). I knew Hiram (Shoben?), farmer, Ira Brown, laborer, Samuel (Crow?), laborer, and others which names I cannot give. I had the (billions?) fever soon after I went there and a doctor from Eddyville treated me for it, I can't give his name, I was at Dotts' at the time. I came home in the spring of 1867 and ...."
Annie M. Wise, William T.'s older sister also added this information in her deposition:
"I think he (William T.) stopped at Eddyville, Iowa with our uncle George Wise, now dead. Don't know how long he was there, nor can I tell whether he was at work then.Thomas Dotts, our uncle lives at Eddyville."
William T.'s brother, Samuel I. Wise also fought in the Civil War and after he returned home in 1865 to Ohio, he married Sarah Norris and began his family. Samuel died in 1928 in Missouri and his obituary contained this Iowa connection:
" moved his family of five children and his first wife, Sarah Norris (from Ohio) to a farm near Ottumwa, Iowa in 1881"
Samuel and his family left Iowa five years later and moved to Caldwell County, Missouri and later he was living in Cameron when he died. Samuel and Sarah were married in 1872 so when they left Iowa in 1886 their oldest child was probably not yet thirteen years old so I suspect all of his children left Iowa with him. Checking the road atlas, I discovered Ottumwa and Eddyville are only separated by 20 miles of Iowa farm land. Another twist to this story is a man named Elias Kendall, William T. and Samuel's Mother's brother, their uncle.The 1860 Ohio census for Tuscarawas County, Jefferson Township, has a 41 year old laborer named Elias Kendall boarding on a farm owned by Thomas Dotts. Mr. Dotts, age 56, also has an 18 year old son named Thomas B. Dotts. We know William T.returned to Ohio and Samuel went on to Missouri. The George Wise mentioned may have returned to Ohio with William T. or he may have been living there before William arrived and stayed there when he left. There is a George Wise(my grt-grt-grt-grt grandfather) buried in Bethel Cemetery, Salem Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio along side three of William T. and Samuel's siblings, but he died in 1875 at the age of 84. If this is the same George Wise that was in Iowa, he would have been in his late 70's while doing this traveling. My best guess is the George Wise that was in Iowa is William T.'s father's brother, (his uncle) and the George Wise buried in Ohio is William T.'s grandfather. The Dotts family on the other hand could be related to William T.'s mother's side of the family. At this point that is unclear. But is is very clear that the Wise family in Ohio has an "Iowa Connection".
This is all the info I have on the Dotts family. Any input from you would be appreciated.