Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Dexter Legate

Dexter Henry Legate

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • John F Miller Post #31 Seattle, King Co. WA

Unit History

  • 52nd Illinois Infantry B

See full unit history

Dexter Legate
Full Unit History

Organized: 11/1861 Geneva Kane County, IL
Mustered In: 11/19/1861 Geneva Kane County, IL
Mustered Out: 7/5/1865 Louisville, KY

Regimental History


The 52nd Illinois was a three year infantry regiment. Its period of service was spent in the western theater of the American Civil War (ACW).

First action for the 52nd came at Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing, TN (4/6 - 7/1862). There, it lost one hundred seventy men killed, wounded or missing. The regiment then moved to the siege of Corinth, MS (4/29 - 6/10). When that place was attacked in October (10/3 - 4) the unit suffered the loss of and additional seventy killed and wounded.

In April, 1863 the 52nd met the enemy at Town Creek, AL. During skirmishes (4/27 and 28) Union forces gained possession of a nearby railroad bridge, effected a crossing and drove back the Rebels for three miles.

On 1/9/1864 three quarters of the regiment re-enlisted thereby veteranizing the 52nd. Thirty day home furloughs followed.

Returning to the field, the 52nd joined the Federal movements to seize Atlanta, GA. During that campaign the regiment participated in the battles of Snake Creek Gap ( 5/8-13/1864), Resaca (5/13 - 15  ), Lay's Ferry, Rome Cross-roads,  Dallas (5/26 - 6/1  ), Kennesaw Mountain (6/27  ), Nickajack Creek (7/6/1864), Decatur (10/26-29/1864 ), before Atlanta (7/22  ) and Jonesboro (8/31 - 9/1 ). It ended the year by marching to Savannah and the sea.

1865 found the 52nd slogging northward through the Carolinas. It was present at the battle of Bentonville, NC (3/19 - 21) and arrived at Goldsboro on March 24th.

The regiment then marched to Washington, D.C. There, it participated in the Grand Review.

Final muster came at Louisville, KY on 7/5/1865. After that the regiment then returned to Illinois for final payoff and discharge.


Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 2; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 0; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded:  59; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 119.

Soldier History

Residence:  Lamoille Bureau County, IL   Age: 27.4 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/17/1861   Rank:  Pvt.
Mustered In: 10/25/1861
Mustered Out: 7/6/1865 Louisville, KY
Discharged: Lamoille Bureau County, IL
Highest Rank:  Cprl.
Rank At Discharge: Cprl.

Family History



NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Dexter Legate was created in April, 2022 near the end of the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
________________________________________________________________________________________________Dexter Henry Legate was born on 4/24/1834. His place of birth was in Charlemont Franklin County, MA.

Parents of Dexter were Thomas Legate (b. 7/8/1799 Charlemont Franklin County, MA - d. 2/12/1880 Charlemont Franklin County, MA) and Almira (nee Darling b. 1807 Rowe Franklin County, MA - d. 4/18/1844 Charlemont Franklin County, MA) Legate. The Legates were a farming family. 

As best as can be determined, Thomas and Almira produced six children before the latter's death on 4/18/1844).* Dexter was fifth-born of the six. His older siblings were Elson B. Legate (b. 1/17/1828 Charlemont Franklin County, MA), Matilda Ann Legate (b. 9/1/1829 Charlemont Franklin County, MA), Amanda Clarinda Legate (b. 5/17/1830 Franklin County, MA) and Frederick W. Legate (b. 1/18/1842). Younger than Dexter was Royal Legate (b. 1836, 1837 or'38).

Dexter remained on the family farm until September, 1861 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His unit was the 52nd Illinois Infantry. When Dexter Legate became Private Dexter Legate we gain a glimpse of farmer Legate the physical man.  He was 5'7 3/4" tall, had a light complexion and light hair.

Without accessing his military service records, all that can be said about Dexter's period of enlistment is that he survived the initial period and, in late 1863/early'64, re-enlisted. For re-enlisting he earned a thirty day furlough home.

Based on the limited documentation available, while at home on furlough Dexter married. His bride was Mary C. McKenzie (b. 1/11/1843 Canada). When, where and how the two had met are unknowns.

Returning to active military duty Private or - at some point - Corporal Legate again survived the trials and tribulations of wartime military service. As far as can be told he returned to Franklin County, IL and, with his new wife, resumed farming.

During their years together Dexter and Mary produced five children. They were: Elthia "Ellen"A.  Legate (b.5/30/1866 IL), Frank D. Legate (b. 1868 IL), Frederick Darling Legate (b.9/1870), Lorena Legate (b. 1872 IL - d. 1879 NB) and Maude (b. 8/1880 NB). Three of the five were living at the down of the twentieth century.

As denoted by the birth/death states of the Legate children, sometime after 1872 and prior to or during 1879 the Legates quitted Illinois in favor of Nebraska. What drew the family there and exactly when they arrived are unknowns.

In 1870 Dexter had been farming in Hamilton Lee County, IL. A decade later, in 1880 he was tilling the soil in Lincoln (Precinct) Clay County, NB. The June, 1890 Veterans Census of ACW vets found Dexter still residing in Clay County, but with his residential/voting precinct  then delineated as the community of Eldorado.


By 1900 the Legates were in Seattle King County, WA. Again, what had drawn the family to the Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest and when they arrived here are unknowns. At the dawn of the twentieth century Dexter noted his occupation as "real estate."


Dexter H. Legate died on 8/30/1905 in Seattle King County, WA. All that is known about his passing is that it was caused by some form of heart disease. Burial was/is in the Seattle Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery located near the north end of that city's Capitol Hill.


At some undetermined point in time following Dexter's death Mary removed from Seattle to Chicago Cook County, IL. She died there on 7/11/1929. Her earthly remains were returned to Seattle for burial in the G.A.R. Cemetery with Dexter.
________________________________________________________________________________________________* On 10/7/1858 Thomas remarried to Sophronia Alvira White (b. 1828). Their union did not produce children.

POSTED: 5/6/2022



Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Seattle

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