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Col W. O. Coleman

Birth
Death May 1909 (aged 72)
Burial Unknown, Specifically: Brownsville, Texas
Memorial ID 95969632 · View Source
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Coleman, W. O., Colonel-Text: p.212 Confederate Veteran Magazine, May 1909.-VALIANT COLEMAN, VETERAN OF TWO WARS. Col. W. O. Coleman, who was a distinguished Confederate soldier, is now living at Brownsville, Tex., at the ripe old age of seventy two. He went to Brownsville in 1905, and was the first land agent to open business in the historic city, and by application to business and energy has amassed a comfortable fortune. Colonel Coleman was born January 12, 1837, in New York City. His mother was one of the Virginia Maurys, a cousin of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury. When the Mexican War commenced, W. 0. Coleman was only in his tenth year, but this tender age did not prevent his aspirations to be a soldier. He ran away from home, going with a lot of Virginia troops from Norfolk, and joined General Scott's army. The lad hid in the hold of the vessel until well out to sea, and thus succeeded in getting to Vera Cruz. Upon arrival there he got with the 2d Mississippi Volunteers, and stayed with them until they entered the City of Mexico. He was in the battles of Puebla, Churubusco, and other important fights with the Mexicans. He was wounded in the leg at Churubusco. In 1853 he joined the Quitman filibustering expedition to Cuba, and after many thrilling experiences and enduring many hardships, such as working on a sugar plantation, he, with some other boys, was sent back to New Orleans. In 1855 he went to Kansas Territory, and was with Major Bell, of South Carolina, in many scouts, skirmishes, and encounters that occurred in that territory. He was in one of the fights against John Brown's forces, and at Wakarusha Creek saw one of John Brown's sons killed as he was leading a charge across the bridge. When the Civil War broke out he was a resident of Missouri. Upon Lyon and Sigel's invasion of the State he was the first to raise a company in defense thereof. This was in June, 1861. His company was in the battles of Dug Springs, Wilson Creek, Oak Hill, Drywood, and Lexington, Mo. In 1862 he raised the 4th Missouri Cavalry and became its colonel. In many hard fought battles in Missouri and Arkansas he was at the front. He led his regiment in the battles of South Fork, West Plains, Lick Settlement, Little Piney, Ramsey's Ferry, and Hartsville, Mo. In the beginning of 1863 he was put under arrest by Generals McBride and Holmes for refusing to move his regiment out of Missouri and the command was taken away from him. Then he raised a battalion of men and began a guerrilla war, and by his bold raids was a constant terror to the enemy. He also cooperated with Quantrell's forces during this year against Kansas troops. He also assisted in organizing Freeman's, Burbridge Campbell's, and Green's Regiments. Early in 1864 Colonel Coleman was relieved of the arrest under which he had been laboring by Gen. E. Kirby Smith, and was assigned to duty with General Sheilby. Under Kirby Smith's direction Colonel Coleman organized the 46th Arkansas Mounted Infantry and reorganized the old 4th Missouri Cavalry, and. was in. the battle near Lone Oak, Ark., in which his regiment captured Mitchell's Volunteer Regiment. Two days after this in a battle at Hazen, Ark., his regiment captured two hundred head of cavalry horses, and ran them through the Federal lines of two regiments of infantry and cavalry without the loss of a man. General Shelby then sent the Colonel to Missouri to organize more troops, which he did, and reported to General Price. Colonel Coleman and his command were in the battles of Iron Mountain, Potosi, Franklin, Jefferson City, and Glasgow all in Missouri. At Glasgow Colonel Coleman with his command captured the fort, which was well manned, before the other Confederate troops arrived. Then followed the battles of Independence, Westport, Merridazine, and Newtonia, all in Missouri, in which Colonel Coleman bore a conspicuous part. In 1865 he and his command still remained in Missouri and Arkansas, being part of Shelby's Division of Price's army, until the surrender came. Colonel Coleman boasts that he never did surrender, and he is proud of his record as a Confederate soldier. He has always a hearty handshake for the Union soldier whenever he meets him if he is a square, honest man. Colonel Coleman is a member of the celebrated Dick Dowling Camp at Houston, Tex. He lives a quiet but busy life at Brownsville, and is a substantial, trusted citizen. His experiences in detail would make a large book and read more like fiction than fact. Colonel Coleman has two daughters. The older is Mrs. George B. Poole, of Walnut Hills, Cincinnati. This daughter and her mother were taken prisoners in 1862 by the Federals, sent to Rolla, Mo., and guarded by four Federal soldiers night and day. The mother was allowed to go anywhere, but the infant daughter, six weeks old, was held in the hope that they would capture the father in his efforts to see the babe. Colonel Coleman at this time was capturing and destroying many of the enemy's wagon trains. After six weeks the mother and child were released. The second daughter, Miss Scottie May Coleman, lives at Cheneyville, La., with relatives. There is one incident we have omitted to relate. In 1861 the Federal army was camped near Fort Scott, Kans. Colonel Coleman with his command was sent on a scouting expedition, in which he and two men got ahead of their troops and found about two hundred head of mules belonging to the enemy,-(p.213 Confederate Veteran May 1909) camped near Fort Scott. They opened fire on the guards and stampeded the mules, and before the Federals could take any action they had the mules going straight for the Confederate camp, about twelve miles distant, where they succeeded in taking them. The Colonel could give the VETERAN many scenes and incidents of the war, thrilling experiences and adventures which have never been written, and it is hoped that he will find the leisure and inclination to do so.


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  • Created by: Paul V. Isbell
  • Added: 26 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95969632
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Col W. O. Coleman (12 Jan 1837–May 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95969632, ; Maintained by Paul V. Isbell (contributor 46854064) Unknown, who reports a Brownsville, Texas.