James Bell Dozier
Civilian Scout. For actions at Holliday Creek, TX, along the Little Wichita River.
October 05, 1870
Accredited to Texas, James Bell Dozier, also spelled Dosher, was born May 2, 1820, in Warren County, TN. The family moved several times as westward expansion opened up new areas. While the family lived near Crab Apple Lake in Illinois, Dozier and his brothers learned from a Delaware Indian friend to hunt, fish, and track game.
In 1847, Dosher travelled to Texas to volunteer for the Mexican War. He arrived in San Antonio and enlisted in the Texas Rangers on October 22, 1847, serving under Captain J.J. Cureton in the area between Corpus Christi and the San Saba River. Discharged from the Rangers in 1949, Dosher returned to Missouri and married but, because of hostilities between Texans and Native American tribes, re-enlisted in the Rangers in Jack County, TX, with Captain M.D. Tackett's Company.
During the Civil War, Dozier served in the Jack City Rangers, providing settlement protection before the unit was absorbed into the Confederate Army as the 46th Texas Cavalry.
After the war, Dozier became a trusted civilian guide at Fort Richardson, thanks to an intimate knowledge of the North Texas plains gained during his time as a Ranger.
On October 5, 1870, Dozier and another scout tracked a band of the Keechi tribe to Bluff Creek, where soldiers attacked. From his hillside position, Dozier fired down on the Keechi, wounding Chief Keesh-Kosh. Noticing that U.S. soldiers below were exposed to direct fire from a band of Keechi on a hillside, Dozier mounted his horse and attacked alone. Dozier suffered serious injuries when his horse was shot out from under him, but Rafferty credited much of the campaign's success to Dozier's courage. On November 19, 1870, Dozier received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Bluff Creek.
Dozier continued working as an Army scout out of Fort Richardson and as a guide and surveyor for the Mattix Surveying Company. He rejoined the Texas Rangers in 1874, and, on July 12, 1874, participated in the second Battle of Lost Valley in Jack County. Dozier died in 1901 and is buried in the Bottoms Family Cemetery in Jack County.
James Dozier was one of eight civilians awarded the Medal of Honor. His award was revoked in the review of 1916-17 because of his civilian status, along with those of four other civilian scouts. In June 1989, all five of these awards were restored.
Citation: Gallantry in action and on the march.