According to Mary Ann's obituary published in Big Stone Gap, Virginia in 1925, Spencer made the choice during the Civil War to remain loyal to the Union, saying that he would not take up arms against the flag he fought under. It was further asserted that he was taken as a prisoner of war and interned in the infamous Andersonville prison.
I visited Andersonville about fourteen years ago and found that there was no record of a Spencer Lawson, although there were other Lawsons from Hawkins County who had been held there. Subsequently I obtained records from the National Archives which I have reproduced here in part. These documents indicate that Lawson was indeed held as a prisoner of war, and following a series of hospitalizations he died in Annapolis, Maryland 1n 1865.
Mrs. Lawson later filed for benefits as a military widow. I have many pages of documents and affadavits that were generated during the processing of her claim. She finally collected a pension based on Spencer's service during the Mexican War.
The final document on this post is the drop report upon the death of the beneficiary in 1925. It indicates that she was drawing a pension of $30.00 (thirty dollars) per month at the time of her demise.
Spencer B. Lawson 1825-1865 RIP
Mary Ann Johnson Lawson 1830-1925 RIP