Richard Goodridge Woodson

Richard Goodridge Woodson was born on September 6, 1833, in Prince Edward County, Virginia, to Charles Friend Woodson and Ann Thomas Wilson. His father was a planter who owned at least 22 slaves. In 1841, the family moved to St. Charles, Missouri. Woodson attended Wyman’s High School in St. Louis before graduating from the State University of Missouri in 1853. He enrolled at the University of Virginia later that year to study law. He withdrew from UVA on May 18, 1855, and earned admission to the Missouri bar in 1856.

Woodson remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War, and he became a major in the 10th Missouri State Militia Cavalry on May 5, 1862. The regiment, however, failed to recruit the minimum number of soldiers, and in February 1863 it reorganized as the 3rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry. The new regiment fought against Confederate General John S. Marmaduke in the spring of 1863, and helped capture General M. Jeff Thompson at Pocahontas, Arkansas, that August. On December 23, 1863, Confederate guerillas captured an entire company of Woodson’s regiment at Centreville, Missouri. Although the remainder of the regiment eventually rescued the prisoners, the incident was deeply embarrassing for Woodson and he received a dishonorable discharge on February 27, 1864.

After the war, Woodson worked as a farmer in Dardenne, Missouri. He married Grace Lee in Wentzville on July, 5, 1868, and they had at least eight children: Gertrude, born around 1869; Alice, born around 1870; Charles, born around 1872; Tarlton, born in February of 1874; Nanny, born in October of 1876; Grace, born May of 1881; Freda, born in January of 1884; and George, born in August of 1889. A ninth child is mentioned in Grace's obituary, but his or her name and birthdate is unknown. Woodson remained in Dardenne for the rest of his life. He died of unknown causes on March 8, 1911. After his death, his widow applied for a pension, but the government denied her application because of Woodson’s dishonorable discharge. She died in Dardenne on February 22, 1936.


Rejection of Widow's Pension for Grace L. Woodson, April 29, 1913

Name:Woodson, Richard Goodridge
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
  • UVA (Union)
3rd Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry (2nd Organization)F&S
Branch of service:Army
Commission1862-05-05Louisiana, MOaccepted
Muster In1862-05-08
Muster Out1864-02-27Dishonorably Discharged
Residence at UVA:Charles County, MD
UVA Begin Year:1854
UVA End Year:1855
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Major
Rank Out:Colonel
Highest rank achieved:Colonel
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Woodson, Richard Goodridgenoneapplication-invalid
Woodson, Richard Goodridgenoneapplication-minor
Woodson, Richard Goodridgenoneapplication-parent
Woodson, Richard Goodridge1001010application-widow
Birth date:1833-09-06
Birth date certainty:Certain
Birth place:Prince Edward County, VA
Death date:1911-03-08
Death place:Dardenne, MO
Causes of death:
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Gertrude
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Alice
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Charles
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Tarlton
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Nanny
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Grace
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, Freda
Woodson, Richard Goodridgeparent ofWoodson, George
Woodson, Grace L.wife ofWoodson, Richard Goodridge

Compiled Service Records for Charles G. Woodson, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Pension records for Charles G. Woodson, RG 15, National Archives and Records Administration; United States Census, 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910, accessed through; UVA Student Catalogue, Jefferson's University: Early Life; Colonel Richard Goodridge Woodson Papers (1862-1865), State Historical Society of Missouri; Francis Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (1903).