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Maj George Duffey
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Birth: Apr. 6, 1820
Alexandria City
Virginia, USA
Death: Jul. 10, 1896
Alexandria City
Virginia, USA

Son of George Hurd Duffey and Rosina Lotz Ehlers Duffey. Wed to Sarah Catherine Steele on July 1, 1845 in Washington D.C. George Duffey was a watchmaker and silversmith who became Commissioner of Revenue for Alexandria.

In 1850 George Duffey was the captain of the Mechanical Artillery, a volunteer militia unit. The Mechanical Artillery along with the Alexandria Rifleman and the Mount Vernon Guards were loosely organized as the 175th Regiment. In 1857 Captain Duffey was elected as major. Major Duffey gathered members of his unit, now known as the Alexandria Artillery, and was in attendance guarding the jail with two of their guns when John Brown was hanged after his uprising at Harper's Ferry.

As war broke out across the land he entered the Confederate army and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

During the war he succeeded in keeping the town records of Alexandria intact, including the surveyor's map of the town made by George Washington when he laid it out in 1748 by burrying them on the grounds of Wise's Tavern.

Undoubtedly what George Duffey is most noted for is the pair of spurs he made from silver for General Robert E. Lee. The day after the 2nd Battle of Manassas, Lee's prized horse, Traveller was startled by a volley and threw him. Lee broke some of the bones in his right hand disabling him to such an extent that he was compelled to ride in an ambulance for the bulk of the Maryland campaign. When the army returned to Virginia Lee sent for Major George Duffey and asked for a loan of a pair of spurs as he had lost his own. Major Duffey lent him some and told him he would have a pair made for him. George gathered the material he could find in garrison and fashioned a pair of spurs from silver for General Lee. When the spurs were presented to the general several English gementlemen, visitors to the Army of Northern Virginia were in attendance and seemed very deeply interested in the unique beauty of the gift. When asked if they had been imported General Lee responded, "Ah! gentlemen, you think we are poor rebels and barbarians. You make a mistake. They were not only made in the Confederacy, but here on this field, with the rough tools we use in repairing artilery and small arms."

The spurs have been described as made of pure silver, broad, flat, and sloping to the center. The heels formed to represent the head and neck of a swan, evidenced artistic workmanship and skill in design. They were arranged for the use of either of four sets of rowels, the teeth of which ranged respectively, five, eight, sixteen, and thirty-two--each set being of different colored metal: gold, straw, pale blue, and dark blue. By means of a small screw the general was enabled to use either set at pleasure, without inconvenience. The straps were of the finest buff leather, with mountings and buckles of solid silver. A mahogany box, lined with fine blue velvet, containing a small screw-driver, manufactured for it, completed this outfit.

The spurs belong to and can be seen at Lee Chapel at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. They were worn by General Robert E. Lee at the surrender at Appomatox.

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  George Hurd Duffey (1801 - 1852)
  Rosina Elizabeth Lotz Duffey (1799 - 1897)
 
 Spouse:
  Sarah Catherine Steele Duffey (1828 - 1890)
 
 Children:
  Benjamin Barton Duffey (1846 - 1910)*
  Mary Rosalie Duffey (1847 - 1873)*
  George Nelson Duffey (1850 - 1889)*
  Kate W Duffey (1852 - 1930)*
  Charles Wills Duffey (1854 - 1932)*
  Ann Elizabeth Duffey (1856 - 1861)*
  Sarah Lane Duffey Padgett (1858 - 1939)*
  Ella Louise Duffey Palmer (1866 - 1923)*
  Eva Mary Duffey Rouse (1868 - 1919)*
  Annie R Duffey (1872 - 1899)*
 
 Siblings:
  George Duffey (1820 - 1896)
  Kate Duffey Wills (1822 - 1901)*
  Rosina E Duffey Dowell (1824 - 1868)*
  Annie Sophia Duffey Hall (1835 - 1899)*
  Elizabeth Duffey Sipple (1838 - 1923)*
  Edward Samuel Duffey (1841 - 1926)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Methodist Protestant Cemetery
Alexandria
Alexandria City
Virginia, USA
 
Created by: George Seitz
Record added: Apr 17, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26081184
Maj George Duffey
Added by: Deb Gore
 
Maj George Duffey
Added by: George Seitz
 
Maj George Duffey
Added by: Deb Gore
 
 
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As shown in the photos posted here, Major George Duffey is commemorated by two stones at the Methodist-Protestant Cemetery. The obelisk is located in the center of the Duffey family plots. It bears the names of several family members, including Major Du...(Read more)
- Deb Gore
 Added: Jul. 19, 2014
What a Wonderful Memorial about this Gallant Soldier, Man. Thank You so much for the History Lesson. Deo Vindice, Rest In Peace.
- Dixie Home Georgia
 Added: Apr. 4, 2014

- George Seitz
 Added: Apr. 4, 2014
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