The family history of Captain Turpin Dickson
Magee, the commander of Company B of the 46th Mississippi Infantry
Regiment, was important to the development and history of
Covington County, Mississippi and the adjacent counties. Magee was, of
course, the organizer and first Captain of Company B of the 6th
Mississippi Infantry Battalion and, later, having been promoted to Major
on March 1, 1864, he commanded the 46th Mississippi Infantry
Regiment. His ancestral roots are steeped in the history of the United
States and the State of Mississippi.
Magee was the grandson of Philip Magee, who
is believed to have been born about 1770 in North Carolina (although a
Daughters of the American Revolution publication places his birth as
early as 1760.) Despite the possible confusion in birth dates, Philip
Magee clearly served in the North Caroling Militia during the American
Revolution based on the records. He received a small pension for his
In 1787 he married Miss Mary Butler.
Together they had at least six and possibly as many as seven children.
The first four children, Elizabeth (born 1790), John (born 1791), Robert
(born 1793) and Solomon (born 1795) were born in North Carolina. A fifth
child, Catherine (born 1797) was born in South Carolina. Then, back in
North Carolina, child number six, Bersheba (born 1800), was born.
In 1802, now living in the Mississippi
territory, a seventh child joined the family. It is not clear in the
research whether this last addition to the family is a child of the
union of Philip and Mary or a near relative.
It is clear, however, that at least six (and
most likely all) or Philip and Mary's children that were married, were
married in Mississippi. Their second son (third child) Robert (called
"Robin"), became the patriarch of the Magee family in Mississippi and a
well-known, prominent figure in the history of Covington County,
Mississippi and surrounding counties.
Robert Magee had been born in North
Carolina, on February 14, 1793. On November 11, 1813, he married Miss
Margaret (Peggy) Graves in Marion County, Mississippi. Robert Magee was
an influential gentleman of considerable wealth and vast land holdings.
His properties extended from near (what is now) the small town of
Sanatorium, Simpson County, Mississippi (so named because of the
Mississippi State Tuberculosis Sanatorium which had been located there
in 1918 and was in operation well into the 1950s) about 36 miles
southeast of Jackson, Mississippi on US Route 49, south to below the
current location of US Route 84, which connects between Collins,
Mississippi and Prentiss, Mississippi. His holdings were estimated to be
well in excess of 25,000 acres.
The small town of Magee, Simpson County,
Mississippi is named for Robert Solomon Magee. Robert Solomon
Magee was the son of Solomon Magee, one of Robert Magee's
brothers. Robert Solomon Magee was the first postmaster of Magee,
Mississippi. The Magee family, later built a grist mill there,
on the Little Goodwater Creek, in 1840. The town was incorporated as a
village in 1910 and the historic grist mill is located inside the city
Robert Magee was reported to have owned more
than a hundred slaves, which in the cultural/social environment of the
time were used to work his vast plantation, cattle and land holding as
well as tend to the needs of his family. He was indeed a generous
provider for his family, even after they had married and left home. He
is said to have presented a gift of a matched set of horses and a young
slave boy to each of his married children on each Christmas day. When
the family arose on Christmas morning, they would find the boy astride
one of the horses, waiting on the front lawn for his new family to
The children of Robert and Margaret Magee
are Mary Ann Magee (1815-1899), Sarah Ann Magee (1816-1901), Elizabeth
Caroline Magee (1817-1843), Amanda Eleanor Magee (1820-1897), Turpin
Dickson Magee (1824-1879, Commander, Company B, 46th Mississippi
Infantry Regiment), Lauren Reuben Magee (1825-1905, Private, Company B,
4th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment), Jehu Graves Magee (1828-1883, Company
B, 4th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment), Emanuel Jackson Magee (1830-1889,
served in the Confederate Army, unit unknown), Hugh Rufus Magee
(1833-1900, Company B, 46th Mississippi Infantry Regiment and Company B,
4th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment), Warren Graves Magee (1836-1864,
Captain, 39th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, died as a prisoner of war
at Hammond Army Hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland), Margaret Jane
Magee (1839-1880), and Martha Louisa Magee (1842-1854).
Initially 12 children were recorded but
additional information indicates that there may have been three other
children, Susannah Graves Magee (1833-unknown but after 1854), Ann Eliza
Magee (1819-unknown but reported to have "died young"), and Leroy G.
(Graves?) Magee (1822-unknown also reported to have "died young".)
As is clear from the information provided
above, the family (parents and siblings) were deeply involved in the
culture of the old south and dedicated, through their service, to the
preservation of their heritage. Not only were the siblings of T. D.
Magee committed to the cause but many of the grandchildren of Robert
Magee served also.
Turpin Dickson Magee married Matilda
Caroline White on January 11, 1944. The couple had five children: Robert
J. Magee (1844-1888, Lieutenant, Company B, 4th Mississippi Cavalry
Regiment), Josephine White Magee (1847-unknown), Harriet Jane Magee
(1848-unknown), Walter William Magee (1851-1913) and Ella Dickson Magee
In February of 1862, T. D. Magee raised
Company B, the Covington Rebels, in and around Williamsburg,
Mississippi. He was elected Captain of the company. On the morning of
March 25, 1862, he marched the company to the railroad at Brandon,
Mississippi where they were embarked for the long trip to Meridian and
their initial assignment to the soon to be formed 6th Mississippi
Infantry Battalion. For more information of this journey, please see the
article The 6th Mississippi Battalion located here:
The 6th Mississippi Infantry Battalion.
T. D. Dickson remained Captain when Company
B and the other elements of the 6th Mississippi Infantry Battalion were
reorganized, along with several other company sized units into the 46th
Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He was later, on March 1, 1864, promoted to a Field and
Staff (Headquarters Company) position with the rank of Major. He fought
with his company at Vicksburg, across Mississippi, in Alabama and in the
Georgia Campaign. When Colonel William H. Clark was killed at Atlanta,
MAJ Magee was promoted to Command of the Regiment, leading it through
the Battle of Franklin. he was wounded there and may have been captured
in December of 1864 (however, the research is not clear in this regard.)
In any event, it is certain that he was not
killed nor did he die of the wound received as some sources have
reported. He passed away March 13, 1879 and is buried in the Old Magee
Cemetery on the Jaynesville Road. His wife, Caroline, who died on March
28, 1881, was initially buried on the family property. However, when the highway
was widen in 1999, the grave marker and remains were moved and placed
beside CPT Magee in the cemetery.
Eventually, between the war years 1861
through 1865, 34 Magees would serve among the various Mississippi
Infantry and Cavalry regiments.
Other Magees who served included T. D.
Magee's cousins, George Washington Magee (1838 - 1907), Thomas Jefferson
Magee (1839 - 1915), William Ira Magee (1841 - 1919), and Tobias Magee
(1834 - 1904). These cousins were sons of the brother of the
father of T. D. Magee, or T. D. Magee's uncle, Tobias Magee.
Tobias Magee moved to Mississippi with Philip Magee. He first
appears in the 1820 census information.
These Magee cousins, George Washington Magee
(G. W. Magee), Thomas Jefferson Magee (T. J. Magee), William Ira Magee
(W. I. Magee) and Tobias Magee all served in Company B of the 46th
Mississippi Infantry Regiment along with their cousins.
Yet another Magee cousin, Whitting H. Magee,
served with Company A of the 22nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment. A
valuable document from the past, CPL W. H. Magee's obituary has been
found and I posted here:
Whitting H. Magee Obituatry.