The Maltby Brothers' Civil War
On December 11, 1863, a US brigadier general and a Confederate artillery captain met on board the packet steamer Diligent on the Mississippi River below Vicksburg. The Confederate officer had not come on board on official business; he was a paroled prisoner of war. The brigadier general was his older brother, who had learned of the younger man’s capture three weeks earlier at Confederate Fort Semmes, on the Texas coast, and had arranged to have him brought from New Orleans to Vicksburg to be given medical care at the Federal garrison.
The American Civil War has rightly been called a war of brothers; Henry, Jasper, and William Maltby were three such brothers. The scene recounted above was between Jasper and William, who had not seen each other in several years since Jasper had left their birth home in Ohio, but who met frequently over the months following their reunion, their familial bond overriding their political allegiances.
The three brothers’ lives cover the critical years of Civil War and Reconstruction, a time when Jasper devotedly served the Union cause, while Henry and William became outspoken secessionists, operating Confederate newspapers in Corpus Christi, Matamoros, and Brownsville, eventually as a thorn in the side of Reconstruction officials. Despite their own Southern sympathies, the two Confederates cherished their Yankee brother, whose bravery at Fort Donelson and Vicksburg took a heavy toll on his health and eventually cost him his life. Both Rebels named a son in honor of their hero brother.
Combining detailed research in William Maltby’s personal papers with contemporary accounts, military and court records, and the editorials of the two who became newspapermen, veteran scholar and educator Norman Delaney has created a vibrant story of how war can affect a family and a community.
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Chapter 1 The Reunion
Chapter 2 Maltbys Circus
Chapter 3 Filibustering
Chapter 4 The Ranchero
Chapter 5 The Bonnie Blue Flag
Chapter 11 A Bitter Peace
Chapter 12 Military Rule
Chapter 13 That Journal on the Rio Grande
Chapter 14 Yellow Fever
Chapter 15 True to Texas
Advertiser Aransas Pass army battery Bayview Cemetery Benjamin Neal brigadier brother Capt Captain captured circus city’s civilians claimed Colonel commanding Confederate Corpus Christi Caller Corpus Christi Caller-Times Cortina Daily Ranchero Brownsville Daily Ranchero Matamoros Davis death Despite earlier enemy federal filibuster fire flag Ford Galena Galveston guns Henry Berry Henry Maltby Henry’s Houston Ibid Illinois Infantry issue James Jasper John Salmon Ford July June Kinney’s Kittredge later letters Lieutenant Lovenskiold Maltby Family Papers Maltby’s Maria von Blücher Mary Grace Matamoros Maximilian mayor Merriman Mexican Mexico Mustang Island Neal’s newspaper Nicaragua Noakes Nueces County Nueces Valley officers Orleans Pass Cavallo Post Aransas prisoners Private published Ranchero Corpus Christi Ranchero editors rebel Record Regiment reported Republican residents Retama Central Library secession Semmes slaves soldiers Somers Kinney South Texas Thompson Union Unionists Vicksburg William Maltby yellow fever