Dandridge Claiborne Freeman

Date of Birth

Nov. 3, 1827

Date of Death

July 15, 1895

Letters Authored


Letters Received


Dandridge Claiborne Freeman was born 196 years ago.
128 years ago, Dandridge Claiborne Freeman passed away at the age of 67.

Letters Authored in Collection

Letters Received in Collection

Date Author Title
Sept. 8, 1851 Helen Mary Freeman Cousin chatter


The letter was written 24 June 1855 from Dandridge Claiborne Freeman, Jr. to his wife whom he had married the year before. Mr. Freeman is on a business trip and is staying with a pioneering family in rural Kentucky. The content of the letter is about how he misses his family.

The task of producing a continuous narrative about D. C Freeman, Jr. has proven difficult despite the fact that he was from an affluent family, a Confederate officer in the Civil War, and lived at least for a short time amongst the politically powerful. Nonetheless, the search for Dandridge Claiborne Freeman Junior has uncovered some intriguing facts; he was enumerated in the 1860 Census as a neighbor of Sam Houston, the Governor of Texas, and Eber Worthington Cave, Texas secretary of state, but it is not known whether he played any role in the government; he was a Colonel in the Confederacy [1] although of what regiment we do not know; and he was murdered while riding a train in 1895 but of the circumstances we are unsure. (See image 1 for the 1860 Census that shows D. C. Freeman and Governor Houston as neighbors).

What is known is that he was born in Franklin County, Kentucky on 3 November 1827 to Dandridge Claiborne Freeman, Sr. and Martha Fox. His grandfather, George Dandridge Freeman, was one of the early pioneers to this region, migrating from Virginia sometime before 1804, the year he built a cabin on the Salt River. Dandridge Freeman, Sr. was at one time the sheriff of Franklin County, Kentucky. [2] He was also a rather wealthy farmer, owning at least twenty-eight slaves as recorded in the 1860 Census. D. C. Freeman, Jr. was an attorney, graduating from Georgetown College in 1849. [3] It is not known exactly how many siblings he had, but there were at least two brothers and perhaps three, who also participated in the Civil War, George R. Freeman, Terrah Marshal Freeman, and George Thomas Freeman. The following excerpt is from “The Handbook of Texas Online:”

“George R. Freeman, Confederate officer and lawyer, son of Dandridge Claiborne and Martha (Fox) Freeman, was born on June 25, 1830, near Frankfort, Kentucky. He may have attended Georgetown College in Kentucky before joining his grandfather in Texas in the 1840s.* During the Civil War he served as captain of Company D, Twenty-third Texas Cavalry. He was captain of the Treasury Guards, a group of about thirty former Confederate soldiers, at the time of the Treasury Robbery incident. On the night of June 11, 1865, his command was attacked by a band of robbers who made off with some $17,000 in specie, though Freeman and his men were later recognized by the legislature for their work in defending the remainder of the assets in the treasury.” [4]

* The 1850 Census does in fact have a G. R. Freeman, 20, enumerated as living in the household of a S. F. Gans, a physician in Scott County, Kentucky, the location of Georgetown College. The household also has several other 18 year olds with different surnames whose occupations are given as student, but it is unknown if this is in fact George R. Freeman. He was, however, missing from Dandridge Freeman, Sr.'s household in Franklin County in this Census.

The following excerpt was taken from the book, “History of the Orphan Brigade:” [5]

“Terrha M. Freeman, Scott County, fought at Donelson, and was captured there, but escaped from Camp Morton, and joined Morgan. He was appointed first lieutenant and adjutant of the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry.” According to the Civil War Data Base he also had service in the Kentucky 2nd Cavary. Additionally, he is mentioned in “Bluegrass Confederate: The Headquarters Diary of Edward O. Guerrant,” several times.

Terrah Freeman attended the University of Virginia and was one of the founders of the Omicron Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. The following excerpts are taken from “The Archives, The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta: Phi Gamma Delta in the Civil War: Confederate”:

“Terah Major Freeman; Bethel 1858; Virginia 1861 (Schools attended). Assistant inspector general and major. (Unfinished Catalogue) Under General John Morgan w/ Morgan's Raiders, then captain under Col. Henry Giltner. Captain, 4th Kentucky Cavalry. Later promoted to major. Captured twice; escaped. Shot once in neck. Captured Frankfurt, Ky. Noted in Gen. Adam R. Johnson's "The Partisan Rangers". (Obit, PGD magazine, Mar. 1927, p. 551)CWSSS says private, Co. B, 2nd Kentucky Mounted Infantry, and adjutant, 4th Kentucky Cavalry.” [6]

“Omicron, in the mysterious immutability of history, consequently becomes Omicron rather than Zeta or Eta and her formal life begins with the establishment of the chapter in January of 1858.
Terah Major Freeman, 1861; Charles Gachet, 1859; John Thomas Jones, 1861, and Thaddeus Clement Watts, 1861, together with Major Dowell Sterrett, 1861, who had been initiated at the Mu Chapter at Howard College in Alabama, as Legate, were the brothers who brought the new chapter into an existence that was shortly to be exposed to the perils of war and reconstruction, to undergo the ordeals of varying fortune, but which was destined always to possess a vitality needing but a touch of aid at its lowest ebb to spring upward with amazing strength....Brothers Freeman and Gachet resigned from the university in 1859, as the aftermath of a duel in which Gachet, seconded by Freeman, successfully defended his honor. Gachet served as captain of Gachet's Company of Alabama Cavalry. Sterrett was also a captain, while Freeman rose to the rank of assistant inspector-general under the Stars and Bars.” [7] **

**(This article is online and includes a picture of Terrah Freeman. See web address [7] below)

The third son, “Charles Thomas Freeman,” is referred to in a couple of genealogical data bases as Captain Freeman.

From the 1850 Census, we may speculate that there were probably other siblings as well, since the D. C. Freeman, Sr. household contained two children other than Terrah and Charles: Richard Freeman, 19, and Elizabeth E. Freeman, 9. Additionally, a church document from 1845, documents a monthly contribution from the Freeman family as follows:

“D. C. Freeman $5.00, Mrs. Martha Freeman, $5.00, D. C. Freeman, Jr., $1.50, Miss Mary J. Freeman, $1.00, G. R. Freeman, $.50, Newton Freeman, $.10, C. T. Freeman, $.10, Terah Freeman, $.10, and Miss E. E. Freeman, $.10.“ [8]

We know that Dandridge Claiborne Freeman, Jr. married Mary Ann Giltner 18 January 1854 and that they had at least three children: John Newton Freeman (b. Sept, day unknown, 1854), Elizabeth C. Freeman (b. abt. 1857), and Rosa C. Freeman (b. abt. Feb. 1860). We know that Dandridge was an attorney, farmer, and most of all, a land speculator. We can surmise from the letter and from letters archived at the University of Texas that the Freeman family lived in Kentucky until the summer of 1860 and then moved to Austin, Texas. All are residing together in Austin, Travis County, Texas (neighbor to Sam Houston) in August 1860, but thereafter little is known of their whereabouts. In one of the letters at the University of Texas written 13 July 1863, Dandridge writes to Mary Ann of his intent to settle the family in New Orleans, as he is not satisfied with the climate of Texas and the lack of refinement of the inhabitants. Since there are letters written by Dandridge in Texas to Mary Ann in Kentucky from the spring of 1860 right through 27 July 1860, we would assume that May Ann and the children joined him in late July or early August, the month the Census was taken. In the July 27th letter, he writes of a growing fear in Austin and in cities to the north of a Negro insurrection and points out that he is in fact at the Capitol, corroborating his proximity to Governor Houston and he also mentions his brother:

“We have had various alarms of fire within a few days past, and there is much apprehension of an outbreak of the Negroes. Several towns in the northern part of the State have been fired. Dalles was burned up almost completely & some confessions were extorted from the Negroes as to plots of insurrection & murder, etc. etc. This and several attempts here and elsewhere to burn towns, have excited a feeling of uneasiness among the people. Last night I was wakened by a confused noise & found a fire burning downtown and the town in an uproar of excitement such however as the feeling of apprehension that in our part of the town–that is–the Capitol out toward Harney's place and Croziers; not a man stirred for an hour. In the meantime we saw the vast fire raging, the bells were ringing, the fire roaring, pistols firing and confusion entire neighing downtown. G. R. & wife had gone to Sequine & I was the only white person at his place & could not leave.”[9]

Additionally, one of the letters at the University of Texas which was written 13 July 1860, mentions the “Stemmons suit”, which is likely a reference to the same Stemmons in the letter of this archive.

Research has revealed little about Dandridge Freeman, Jr. during the 1860's and 70's and we still haven't found him, his Mother, or his children in the 1870 Census. His father, died in 1866 and it is believed that Mary Ann died in 1863. What was interesting was what we found on a website about D. C. and G. R.'s land speculating. The following excerpt is from a website about the Ferguson Ranch in Texas:

“Perhaps the most historically interesting portion of the current ranch is a small lot that was granted as a part of a 28 acre parcel to two lawyers ( G.R. and D. C. Freeman). These gentlemen successfully pursued a bounty claim on behalf of the heirs of Joseph Washington (1808-1836) who died defending the Alamo. They were successful in getting the state of Texas to part with a total of 4200 acres, apparently in various locations. By prior agreement with the heirs, the Freemen brothers were given half of the 4200 acres. Part of the lawyer's portion of the grant was was a 28 acre parcel. The lawyers promptly sold the 28 acres to Mollie Rucker, wife of Peter G. Rucker. Today 6 acres of the original 28 acres are located on the extreme northwest corner of the Fergus Ranch.” [10]

The last thing that research has revealed about Dandridge Freeman's life is that he was murdered. The following excerpt was taken from an article in the Cameron Herald, a newspaper published in Milam County, Texas on14 November 1895:

“Sheriff Bickett was served with a capias from the 1st Dist. Court of Travis Co. for Dan McCray, charged with the murder of D. C. Freeman. Sheriff Bickett filed a petition with Dist. Judge Talliaferro of Milam Co. McCray is in the Milam Co. jail awaiting trial under change of venue from Bell Co. for the same offense as charged in Travis Co.”[11]
The following excerpt is from an article from the Cameron Herald on 27 November 1895:
“The jury in the Dan McCray murder case returned a verdict of not guilty. Dist. Attorney Scott was assisted in the prosecution by Hon. T. S. Henderson and Mr. Logan of Marlin. The defendant was represented by Judge Spencer Ford, Ex-Congressman Antony, R. Lyles, W. W. Chambers, Mr. Hair and Mr. Pendleton. The Defendant, killed Col. Freeman on a train between Temple and Holland.” [9]

Dandridge Claiborne Freeman, Jr., is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas. Also buried there are the following: Mrs. Mary E Freeman, (Dec 16, 1917), Capt. T. M. Freeman (1839 — 1927), Lettie Freeman (age 40 years, February 28, 1904), John H. Freeman (1877-1966), Mary F. Freeman (1835 — 1932), Capt. G. R. Freeman (June 25 1830 - December 14 1910), and Louisa Freeman (1857 — 1938). [12]

Parents: Dandridge C. Freeman, Sr, (b. 15 Jan 1794, d. 10 Jan 1866) and Martha Fox (abt. 1795, d. 1864). Records indicate that Dandridge and Martha were cousins.

Wife: Mary E. Giltner (b. abt. 1830). Marriage took place 18 Jan 1854.

Second wife: Apparently, Mary Ann Giltner Freeman died abt. 1863 and Dandridge remarried Mary Elizabeth Robinson (b. 1840; marriage date unknown). Her parents were Dr. Alexander I. Robinson and Amanda Fitzallen Talbot.[13]

Children: John W. Freeman, (b. Sept 1854 in Bourbon County, Ky.), Elizabeth (Lizzie) Freeman, (abt. 1857 in Texas), and Rosa Freeman (1860, abt. February in Texas).

Dandridge C. Freeman (Sr.), 56, is enumerated in the Census in District 1, Franklin, Kentucky. Living in his household are: Martha Freeman, 50, Richard Freeman, 19, Charles T. Freeman, 13, Sarah M. Freeman, 11, (most likely should have been Terah this “Sarah” is noted as male and would have been Terrah's age), Elizabeth E. Freeman, 9, Martha S. Freeman, 2, Henry Gerhart, 22, noted as a school master, Robert L. Thurman, 35, noted as a Baptist minister, Mary J. Thurman, 24, Broking T. Taylor, 27, noted as a Baptist minister. It should also be noted that there are slave schedules for Franklin, Kentucky which document numerous slaves as belonging to D. C. Freeman.

C. Freeman, Jr, 32, is enumerated as living in Austin, Travis County, Texas. Living in his household are: M. A. Freeman, 28, noted as wife, J. W. Freeman, 5, male, L. Freeman,11, female, and R. Freeman, 6 months, female. It is to be noted that Mr. Freeman's neighbors are Sam Houston, Governor, and E. W. Cave, Secretary of State.

Dan C. Freeman, 66, is enumerated as living in District 1, Franklin, Kentucky. Enumerated in his household are: Martha Freeman, 60, Thos. Freeman, 23, Terah Freeman, 21, noted as a male and a lawyer, Elizabeth Freeman, 19, and Cora Freeman, 20.

Quite unsuccessful at finding any of the Freeman family living anywhere. It is known that Dandridge C. Freeman, Sr. died in 1866. It has been noted that Mary Ann (Giltner) Freeman probably died in 1863.

Dandridge C. Freeman, 51, occupation farmer, is enumerated as living in District 103, Milam, Texas with his wife, Mary E. Freeman ( Note that this is not Mary A. Giltner but his second wife, Mary E. Robinson). Also listed are Sam Rice, 24, farm hand and Leah Henry, 25, cook, Ella Henry, 7, James Henry, and Amanda Robinson, 71, noted as Mother-in-law and a visitor.

**We would like to thank Tom Glass of Houston, Texas, a descendant of Dandridge Claiborne Freeman for his help. His contact during the early stages of our search for his g.g.grandfather provided confirmation for some of our early hunches and helped guide some of our subsequent research.

[1] Davis, William C. (editor) and Swentor, Meredith L., “Bluegrass Confederate: The Headquarters Diary of Edward O. Guerrant,” Louisiana Sate University Press, April 2005.

[2] “Anderson County, Ky.”, Turner Publishing Company. http://content.ancestry.com/Browse/BookView.aspx?dbid=29855&iid=dvm_LocHist013588-00138-0

[3] http://library.georgetowncollege.edu/special_collections/Alumni%201829%20through%201917.htm

[4] http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/FF/ffr9.html

[5] Thompson, Ed Porter, “History of the Orphan Brigade,” Reprinted by: Janaway Publishing, Santa Maria, California, 2004.

[6] The Archives, The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta; Phi Gamma Delta in the Civil War: Confederate.

[7] McKeldin, James R., “Omicron Chapter Rounds Out Century”; Reprinted from the “Phi Gamma Delta” , Volume 80, Number 4, March 1958, p235 -241.


[9] University of Texas at Arlington University Libraries Special Collections
Collection: Plummer Papers Location: GA10 Caption: 1830-36.

[10] http://texashillcountry-land.com/History.htm

[11] “Cameron Herald Newspaper”, Milam, Co., Texas.

[12] http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/tx/travis/cemeteries/oakwood3.txt

[13] Lewis Family of Warner Hall “The William and Mary Quarterly”, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Apr., 1901), pp. 259-265. (article consists of 7 pages)