Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

So What Else in Your Online Biography Isn’t True, Mr. Scott?

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on March 20, 2016

Click to embiggen:







Tagged with:

The Klansman

Posted in African Americans, Memory by Andy Hall on July 14, 2013

DaffanLawrence Aylett Daffan (right, 1845-1907) is a collateral Confederate ancestor of mine, one of a few who left behind any detailed account of his wartime service. He led a remarkable life. His family moved to Texas from Conecuh County, Alabama in 1849. After his father died in July 1859, fourteen-year-old Lawrence went to work to help support his widowed mother, carrying the mails between Montgomery and Washington Counties, Texas, in 1859. Later, at the time of the 1860 U.S. Census, Lawrence was working as a wagoner. In the spring of 1862, shortly after his 17th birthday, he enlisted at Anderson, Texas in Company G of the Fourth Texas Infantry. He fought in the major engagements of his regiment, part of the famous Texas Brigade, including Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. It was in this last action that he received what he jokingly described as his only wartime injury, a very slight one, when a Minié ball struck his rifle and knocked him down. It was at Chickamauga, too that he witnessed the incident where John Bell Hood was wounded, that Daffan believed to be a case of friendly fire. Private Daffan was captured at Lenore Station in November 1863, during the Chattanooga Campaign, and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner at Rock Island, Illinois.

Returning to Texas in July 1865, Daffan soon found a job as a brakeman on the Houston & Texas Central Railroad. The postwar decades were boom times for the railroads in Texas, which expanded rapidly. Daffan moved his way up steadily through the company, successively serving as conductor, train master, station agent, and, from 1889, superintendent of the railroad’s Second Division.

In 1872, he married a local girl from Brenham, Mollie Day, and together they had six  children, four sons and two daughters. All of their children survived to adulthood, all of them had good educations, and the eldest, Katie, became a noted author in her own right. Although he had little formal schooling himself, Lawrence Daffan valued education highly, and reportedly was an avid reader, though mostly of conventional tastes — Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, and, of course, the Bible. He was active in a wide range of fraternal organizations, and especially dedicated to Confederate veterans’ activities, including the Hood’s Texas Brigade Association, an effort which earned him the honorific title of “Colonel,” which he carried proudly until his death.

Lawrence Daffan was seriously injured in a train derailment near Corsicana in September 1898, losing two fingers and being severely banged up. Though he recovered, his health was much more precarious after that. He stepped down as superintendent of the H&TC’s Second Division in 1904, to become General Agent for Transportation for the entire railroad, a position he held until his death. In January 1907, at the age of sixty-one, Daffan was suddenly taken ill at his office in Ennis. Carried to his home a few blocks away, he died there that evening. Obituaries were printed in newspapers across the state, and tributes, floral arrangements and formal resolutions from groups he belonged to were published in the paper. His funeral was one of the biggest events Ennis had seen. The H&TC ran special, free trains from Denison at the northern end of the line, and Houston at the southern, to Ennis to accommodate hundreds of mourners who came to town just to pay their last respects at the funeral.


Lawrence Daffan as Superintendent of the Second division of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, Ennis, Texas. c. 1900. This photo, and the one at top, are from Katie Daffan’s My Father as I Remember Him.


Daffan was, by all accounts, a respected and admired member of his community — multiple communities, in fact: civic, professional and veteran. He was a self-made man in the best, 19th-century sense of the term, starting out after the Civil War as a twenty-year-old veteran with little education and few prospects, worked his way up to the top levels of his profession. He provided for his widowed mother, his siblings and his own family, saw to his children’s education, and worked for the growth and betterment of his community. He was, in almost every respect, an exemplar of 19th century success through hard work and dedication to traditional values of home, family and church.

He was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.


Plagiarism is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on July 1, 2012

A couple of years ago, I worked up a long comment over at Kevin’s place about the prevalence of slave-holding in the Confederate states. I later took that initial comment and expanded it into a longer piece that was published both on this blog and as a guest post on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog at The Atlantic.

Gary Adams (right), self-styled “Chief Executive Officer” of the SHPG, has repeatedly lifted large segments of my posts on that subject and posted them, without attribution, to that Facebook group. (I know Gary saw my original comment of at Kevin’s, because he posted his own long comment in the same thread.) He’s done this at least twice previously. Today, he’s put up a nearly 800-word Facebook posting that’s lifted verbatim from this blog.

There’s not a single original word in it. About half of it is a long excerpt from Joe Glatthaar’s magnificent General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse, but neither of us is credited as the original authors. Indeed, Gary actually appended his own name at the bottom of the piece.

I realize that, in the grand scheme of the universe, this doesn’t matter for much of anything. And I’m glad Gary thinks enough of my work (and Glatthaar’s) to appropriate it and claim it as his own. But still, it grates, coming from someone who claims the role of “Chief Executive Officer” of a group that wraps itself in self-righteousness and uses words like “honor” and “truth” and “integrity” as cudgels against those with whom they disagree.

So what’s the correct response here, y’all?

Update, July 3: Gary responds with a heaping helping of word salad here. This is, if anything, even less comprehensible than his attempt at refuting Kevin’s published research on Silas Chandler. The main takeaways here seem to be that (1) neither Gary nor his friends are willing to acknowledge the original complaint, and (2) they really, really hate Corey Meyer.

Same as it ever was.

Image: “Me admiring Grant’s Bust” from Gary Adams’ Facebook page.

Tagged with: , ,