Monday, November 27, 2017

The Luck of Queenie Bennett Finally Ran Out

Rendering of Lt. George Dixon
Lieutenant George E. Dixon is part of one of the real love stories of history. The story begins when he was born in the early 1800's. Little is known of his early life, and due to this, there is no exact birth date.

Dixon was a native of Kentucky or South Carolina. Wikipedia states that "He was a steamboat engineer and had lived in New Orleans, Louisiana before moving to Mobile, Alabama." He was also a man of some wealth based on his tailored suit that he wore upon his death.
Queenie Bennett

Lt. George Dixon's Lucky Coin
While living in Alabama Dixon met the love of his life, Queenie Bennett. In an article on The Last Charleston Confederate called "True Love Never Dies" it states that Bennett "Came from a prosperous in Mobile, Alabama, and her father owned riverboats that ferried gamblers up and down the Mississippi."

Lt. Dixon was an engineer on one of her father's boats, and the fell in love at first site. As the Civil Wat began Dixon was in Mobile, Alabama and joined the 21st Alabama Infantry.

Before leaving to go to the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, Quennie gave him a $20 gold coin as his good luck charm. During the battle Dixon was shot and severely injured, however, the bullet hit the coin in his pocket, and saved both his leg and his life.

The Legend has it that, "He discovered the bullet had struck the coin directly in the center, bending the coin but saving his leg by absorbing much of the impact" (Wikipedia). From there on out, Lt. Dixon carried this coin with him, and along with the coin came his love for Queenie.

Concept of the H.L. Hunley
Lt. Dixon was set to go down into the history books although, he didn't know it. The Confederates created a submarine and it was named the H.L. Hunley, after its creator Horace Hunley.

The two test runs had ended in disaster, killing both crews including the creator of the sub himself Horace Hunley. Lt. Dixon was assigned a crew and was set to be the captain of the first attack by the sub.

The attack was set up for the night of February 17, 1864. Lt. Dixon at 7 other crew members stalked closer to the USS Housatonic, before setting of a torpedo charge strapped to the sub.

The result was as intended, the USS Housatonic was sunk, but not before it took the H.L. Hunley and its 8 man crew down with them. Lt. Dixon died carrying out a plan for the Confederacy and the luck of his fabled coin died with him.

H.L. Hunley after it returned to the surface
However the love that Queenie Bennet and Lt. George Dixon held was one for the ages, and it never faltered. Upon the rasing of the sub in the early 2000's the lucky gold coin was found near the body of Lt. Dixon.

With that, a love story was now seen as fact and not simply a legend. After the sub was excavated the 3rd and final sub crew was buried in Magnolia Cemetery on April 17th, 2004

Grave of Lt. George E. Dixon
To this day Lt. Dixon lays to rest in a plot with his fellow brothers. They all died on a mission for the Confederacy, and are buried in an unimpressive plot of simply gravestones with a Confederate symbol in front.

The love that Lt. Dixon and Queenie Bennett had was once for the ages, and people look back upon it and wish that they will find true love just like this two lovers.

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Final Video

Here is a video to help some up the semester, and give a little insight into what we saw on our travels.