william otis colson

from a 1910 photo received from Ben Colson June 10, 2002

Willaim was born February 5, 1837. On February 6, 1859 when he was 22, he married Louisa Cole Wilson, in Alachua County, Florida. They had the following children:

i. Claude William (1860-1924)
ii. Martha Mina (1866-1957)
iii. Lemuel Wilson (1869-1953)
iv. Solomon Warren (1872-1939)
v. Mike (1875-1942)

William died in Chattahoochee, Gadsden County, Florida on January 8, 1924 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Levy County, Florida; he was 86.

Colson coat of arms

Conversation with Z. W. Colson from Betty Tierney    

William lived west of Gainesville Florida.  The Seminoles made a cattle raid (before the Civil War).  The men got together against the Indians.  William was only a boy but he was such a good shot they took him with them.  When he came to a river, William began to cross where a tree had fallen. He was halfway across when gunfire began. He dropped into the water and swam underwater toward the opposite shore (because it was closer). The Indians stood on the very log he was lying under. He thought his breath sounded like a locomotive. When the Indians left he went underwater back to his own shore.

He fought in the Civil War in 2nd Regiment Cavalry joining from Alachua County, Florida

William was mustered into the Confederate Army. He wasn't a soldier so he was rated as a scout. He was mounted on his own farm horse.

There were rumors of yankees coming up a certain riverbed. William was sent alone to find them.

He was just about to go home after exploring various branches of the river. The reins were over the horse's neck. Suddenly there was a yankee sentry standing in front of him. William thought it would be a disgrace to be captured so he decided he would rather be shot. He started to dismount, then suddenly pulled the reins with a snap, He and the horse took off. The sentry didn't shoot until he was in the underbrush.

"That yankee was a gentleman and a sportsman, He didn't fire until I could get undercover."