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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2009 10:30 pm
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Colonel Coffee

Joined: Sat Sep 12th, 2009
Posts: 6

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Col. John T. Coffee and his family joined Brig. Gen. Jo Shelby and left for Texas. Col. Coffee burned seven court houses in Missouri during his raids and one if them contained the titles to his land and those of his clients. He was an attorney in Polk County Missouri and formerly in the U.S. Army. He returned his regiment's  U.S. cavalry equipment to Lt. J.E.B. Stuart at Fort Levenworth Kansas at the beginning of the Civil War. 

Gen. Shelby and his Confederates left SW Missouri and came to north Texas, through Sherman, in  Grayson Co.,  Bonham in Fannin Co., and at Bonham, the Shelby Expedition took the Bonham - Jefferson Road. When Shelby's Expedition to Mexico arrived in Jefferson, all his able bodied men were given 1,500 Texas Enfield rifles, powder and ball from the Jefferson Armory before it was burned.  At Jefferson, the Shelby Expedition was joined by many political refugees and Confederate soldiers including Col. James C. Monroe's 1st/6th  Arkansas Cavalry, with my great grandfather, Pvt. Peyton Green Whaley in that regiment.  Monroe's 1st/6th Arkansas Cavalry reached the Taos Ferry on the Trinity River, about 25 miles NE of Corsicana, Texas. There  Col. Monroe's men  voted to turn back and return to their homes in Arkansas. However, Col. Monroe,  left his regiment and continued to Mexico with the Shelby Expedition. Monroe settled in San Luis Potosi Mexico and was killed three years later while attempting to break up a knife fight between two Mexicans. Monroe is buried somewhere in the Mexican hills.

As the Shelby Expedition passed through Waco Texas,Col. Coffee left his family with a relative and  went to Brownsville Texas after conferring with John Wesley Snyder in Georgetown, Texas. Snyder was a prosperous stockman and supplier of cattle and horses to the Confederacy. Snyder asked  Coffee to be his agent in Matamoros Mexico, across the Rio Grande  from Brownsville, Texas. Coffee was to be the agent for  cattle and cotton sales to European markets from Mexican ports in an attempt to continued the war under Emperor Maximillian of Mexico.   In the late fall of 1865, Coffee arrived in Brownsville  and he found the area to be in a complete state of anarchy.

In the  summer of 1866, after hearing of the  proposed amnesty to Confederates,  Coffee returned to Texas and surrendered to Brevet Gen. George A. Custer at the "Deaf and Dumb Academy" on the University of Texas campus at Austin, Texas. Col. Coffee returned to Waco and got his family and settled in Georgetown Texas,  in a home previously owned by the Snyder Brothers. John Wesley Snyder married John T. Coffee's daughter, Catherine Jane Coffee. In Georgetown, Col. Coffee remarried the fourth time to Mrs. Eunice Allen Vontress. Her former husband was State Judge and Capt. Edward A. Vontrees, Co. A, Maj. Charles Leroy Morgan's Cavalry Battalion, Gen. Richard Taylor's Division., C.S.A. Capt. Vontress was killed by a bolt of lightning in Louisiana during the Red River Campaign.

Col. John Trousdale Coffee was my great grandfather Joshua David Coffee's cousin. My great grandfather was in Lt. Col. Peter C. Hardeman's 1st Texas Cavalry Battalion - Arizona Brigade, C.S.A.  Joshua Coffee was detailed to picket duty at Colbert's Ferry on the Red River, north of Sherman Texas  and never saw any action.

 Col. John T. Coffee was the son of Joshua and Jane "Jenny" (Trousdale) Coffee. Col. Coffee's mother,  Jane  "Jenny" (Trousdale) Coffee was the daughter of Gov. William Trousdale of Tennessee. Gov. Trousdale was known as the "Warhorse of Sumner County" for his service in the Mexican-American War under Gen Zacary Taylor. Col. John T. Coffee's older brother, Benjamin Franklin Coffee, was in Col. Trousdale's 2nd Tennessee Dragoons and was the first American soldier killed at the battle of Monterrey, Mexico on September 26, 1846,. That date was the day before the battle of Monterrey offically began. Benjamin Franklin Coffee was killed by indirect artillery fire from the  Mexican "Saint Patrick's Brigade" or better known to American army as "The Irish Brigade of Catholic- American Traitors." 

Last edited on Fri Sep 18th, 2009 11:02 pm by Colonel Coffee

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