I have never heard from Minton1 or much about him. Is he in Norfolk?2
Sunday Feb. 10
My dear Papa3–
Your letter of the 5th came Friday and I appreciate your writing to me as I realize that is requires some effort for you to write. I have been getting on all right so far with the new battery. This battery is from Lenoir4 and of course is made up mostly of boys in that immediate vicinity. I find that they are not of good stock as the New Bern boys but they make better soldiers as they are obedient and interested in their work. They have been well-trained, too. But most of my time during the past two weeks has been taken up on the “smoke-bomb” range. This range was constructed to give the officers practice in observing where their shots from their batteries burst. Bursts on the target. Then some other officer tries his hand. I had the range built and have been staying down at the targets but next week I hope to be able to send some other officer down there and try my hand at giving the data and observing the shells burst from the observation-station. The smoke-balls are set off at the targets by an apparatus consisting of a long pole with a metal cup connected at the top of the pole. The cup is partly filled with powder and is set off by the men pulling the string that explodes the cap on the cup. However, I have nothing to do with firing these things. I merely designate where the 4 men stand. The range is about 800 yds. long connected by telephone. The officers are at one end and the targets at the other. The officers take it by turns to practice. He gives the firing data [first] as if he was giving commands to an actual battery of 4 guns. Then this data is telephoned to me at the range and I have my men to set off 4 smoke-balls to represent where the 4 shells had burst. The officer observes these bursts thru his glasses and telephones to me the changes that would be necessary to bring the bursts on the targets. Then I have the men send up the smoke balls as per the changes. It sometimes takes 10 or 12 changes to bring the. . .To fire them each time.
I think Brownie5 feels better satisfied now. I saw him last night and he appears in very good spirits. We are really having spring-like weather and it looks good to see the sun shining again. We need no fires now and we drill without overcoats.
I have heard nothing from my new commission, and it might be serval weeks yet before I actually get it.
I hope this excellent weather is extending to Edenton6 and will make you feel better. My subscription to the Edenton paper7 has apparently run out. Won’t you have them send it for 3 more months? With love to you all.
Minton Hughes Dixon, Jr., “Minton” (1893-1960)
Younger brother of Richard Dillard Dixon. Attended UNC-Chapel Hill from 1910 to 1911. Worked as a salesman for his father from 1911 to 1916. Moved to Plymouth, North Carolina in 1916 and opened a wholesale grocer with his younger brother, George Brownrigg Dixon. Called up by the draft, Dixon enlisted in the US Navy in Norfolk, Virginia on December 13, 1917. He became the Chief Storekeeper at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Mine Plant Barracks, Portsmouth, Virginia. He continued in this role after a transfer to the Naval Training Camp in Pelham Bay Park, New York. Never left the United States during his military service. After his discharge on January 5, 1919, Dixon returned to Edenton, where he worked as an office manager for a cotton and peanut commodities broker. Upon his father’s death in 1923, Dixon assumed control of the family mercantile business.
Nighttime view of Granby Street, Norfolk, 1910. Museum of the Albemarle.
Minton Hughes Dixon, Sr., “Papa” or “Judge” (1849-1923)
Father of Richard Dillard, George Brownrigg, MacDonald, Mary Elizabeth, and Elizabeth MacDonald Dixon. Prominent merchant in Edenton, North Carolina. Served as a Justice of the Peace, Recorder’s Court Judge, and city councilman. Married Sallie Dillard (1860-1910) in 1886.
This battery is from Lenoir4
Lenoir, North Carolina. A majority of the men in Battery E, 113th Field Artillery came from Lenoir and other parts of surrounding Caldwell County. While Battery A, Dixon’s previous posting, came from coastal Eastern North Carolina, Battery E originated in the mountainous western part of the state.
George Brownrigg Dixon, “Brownie” (1896-1953)
Younger brother of Richard Dillard Dixon. Attended UNC-Chapel Hill from 1914 to 1916, where he belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Went into the wholesale grocery business with his older brother, Minton Hughes Jr., in Plymouth, North Carolina from 1916 to 1917. Enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard on May 25, 1917. Due to his college experience, selected for officer’s training on December 27, 1917. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 119th Infantry, Dixon resigned for mysterious reasons on March 27, 1918. About two months later, he reenlisted, this time in the Marine Corps. After completing basic training at Parris Island, served at the New York Marine Corps Barracks in New York City. Reached the rank of corporal. Never left the United States during his military service. After his discharge from the Marines in February 1919, moved to Suffolk, Virginia to work as a manager for Winborne & Company, a wholesale grocer. Later became a salesman for the local peanut growers’ association in Norfolk, Virginia. Ultimately returned to Suffolk, where he worked as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Benthall Machine Company, a firm that manufactured peanut harvesters, until his death.
View of Church Street, Edenton, circa 1900. Museum of the Albemarle
the Edenton paper7
Albemarle Observer; newspaper published in Edenton, North Carolina from 1910 to 1926. Printed weekly on Fridays. Circulation: 825.