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⋆B★G⋆ Shelby, Joseph O.

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gentlemanrob

Brigadier General
Forum Host
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Location
NE Georgia - SC
Joseph Orville Shelby

Shelby.jpg
Born:
December 12, 1830

Birthplace: Lexington Kentucky

Father: Orville Shelby 1803 – 1835

Mother: Anna Maria Boswell 1808 – 1892
(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)​

Wife: Elizabeth M. Shelby 1841 – 1928
(Buried: Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City Missouri)​

Children:

Joseph Boswell Shelby 1864 – 1940​
(Buried: Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City Missouri)​
John Morgan Shelby 1878 – 1951​
(Buried: Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City Missouri)​

Education:
Shelby 3.jpg


Attended Transylvania University​

Occupation before War:

Rope Manufacturer in Lexington Kentucky​
Steam Boating Businessman on the Missouri River​
Owner of a Hemp Plantation in Missouri​
Led a company on the pro slavery Side during bleeding Kansas​

Civil War Career:
Shelby 2.jpg


1861: Captain of a Cavalry Company​
1862 – 1863: Colonel of Confederate Army Cavalry​
1863: Leader of Shelby's Great Raid in Missouri and back to Arkansas​
1863 – 1865: Brigadier General of Confederate Army Cavalry​
Distinguished himself during Sterling Price's Missouri Raid​
1865: Unofficially a Major General of Confederate Army Cavalry​

Occupation after War:

1865: Rode South to Mexico with a 1,000 men not surrendering​
1865 – 1867: Lived in Veracruz Mexico​
1867 – 1893: Farmer in Missouri​
1893 – 1897: United States Marshal Western District of Missouri
Shelby 1.jpg

Died: February 13, 1897

Place of Death: Adrian Missouri

Age at time of Death: 66 years old

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Burial Place: Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City Missouri
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
In one of the descpritions of Him I came across this sentence..."From September 22 until November3 the stocky colonel slashed his way across Missouri". Stocky? His pictures don't reveal this about him, was He a Stocky person?
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
In one of the descpritions of Him I came across this sentence..."From September 22 until November3 the stocky colonel slashed his way across Missouri". Stocky? His pictures don't reveal this about him, was He a Stocky person?
That's a good question and I don't have an answer. I agree he doesn't look stocky in the famous wartime photo portrait, but he had been living in the saddle for several weeks when that was made in Boonville, Missouri.
 
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Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
There is a story of how He took the battle flag , wrapped it around a rock and then threw it into the Rio Grande. Saying something like this flag will never surrender or something like that. Is there any truth to that legend?
 

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
This bio states that Shelby was an "unofficial major general". Was He a a Kirby Smith appointee? Or was He just a brigadier who temporarily led a division?
 
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Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
He wore a black plume in his hat, was that his imitation of Stuart? Or was that something cavalry commanders did so their men could see them?
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
I'm half way the bio on Joe Shelby: "Undefeated Rebel." I agree Shelby hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves. My ancestor (picture dated 1912), Col Milton Walker Sims, went to Mexico after the Civil War with Shelby and others. John Wayne made a really poor movie about them called the "Undefeateds," but the movie that better reflects them is the "Outlaw Josey Wales." Sims was an attorney/planter, so I'm sure he was more articulate than Josey Wales. But he shared his toughness having escaped execution among other things. An article in the Bryan, TX newspaper says that Col Sims kissed Queen Carlotta's hand. He went to Cuba next before getting his pardon from Johnson. Attached is a picture of him during the Civil War.
 

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Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
There is a story of how He took the battle flag , wrapped it around a rock and then threw it into the Rio Grande. Saying something like this flag will never surrender or something like that. Is there any truth to that legend?
The more generally known version is that his brigade buried their battle flag in the Rio Grand. I've never seen the story about him wrapping the flag around a rock. Where did you see that? I'd really like a reference. I'm not questioning your veracity, but I am questioning the veracity of the person who told you that story.
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
This bio states that Shelby was an "unofficial major general". Was He a a Kirby Smith appointee? Or was He just a brigadier who temporarily led a division?
I cannot comment on this question with any accuracy or authority. I have read several assertions that he was either a Smith appointee or that his promotion was resting (along side Black Bob McCulloch's) on Jeff Davis's desk the day the Yankees took Richmond. I don't know the answer and I'd be surprised if anyone else knows. However, if someone DOES know the definitive explanation, I want to read it right here!
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
He wore a black plume in his hat, was that his imitation of Stuart? Or was that something cavalry commanders did so their men could see them?
I doubt that J.O. Shelby imitated anyone. I imagine plumes in hats were a sort of "dashing" cavalry kind of decoration. (Plumes and ribbons in hats were big among Missouri guerrillas, too. See the famous teenaged Jesse James photo where he sports a plume in his hat.) However, I will once again state freely that I don't know the answer to your question, and I doubt that many of our readers can comment with any authority, either. So many of these things are just oral tradition, or described in newspaper reports, or...in the case of Shelby...so much comes down to us from the bombastic pen of John Newman Edwards.
 
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Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
I'm half way the bio on Joe Shelby: "Undefeated Rebel." I agree Shelby hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves. My ancestor (picture dated 1912), Col Milton Walker Sims, went to Mexico after the Civil War with Shelby and others. John Wayne made a really poor movie about them called the "Undefeateds," but the movie that better reflects them is the "Outlaw Josey Wales." Sims was an attorney/planter, so I'm sure he was more articulate than Josey Wales. But he shared his toughness having escaped execution among other things. An article in the Bryan, TX newspaper says that Col Sims kissed Queen Carlotta's hand. He went to Cuba next before getting his pardon from Johnson. Attached is a picture of him during the Civil War.
Shelby is still honored as a great hero by many people in central Missouri where I live. I expect he is honored even more so a bit farther west of my town. I think it is cool beyond words that you have an ancestor who rode with Shelby. I imagine your ancestor came to my town (Boonville, Missouri) on the two occasions where Shelby captured the town. Of course, their colony in Mexico was a doomed to failure from the start, but that doesn't diminish the sense of devotion those guys had to each other and to their general.
 

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
The more generally known version is that his brigade buried their battle flag in the Rio Grand. I've never seen the story about him wrapping the flag around a rock. Where did you see that? I'd really like a reference. I'm not questioning your veracity, but I am questioning the veracity of the person who told you that story.
There is a story online by Ruben Ochoa about Maverick County., Texas . It is on the Texas State Historical Association's websight, Handbook of Texas Online. In the article Ochoa states ...."To the sound of drum and bugle he wrapped the flag around the plume of his hat, weighted it with a stone from the river bank, and lowered it into the river''. There is a painting in Eagle Pass City Hall ( county seat ) depicting this event. It sounds like Shelby also left his plume in the river.
 

SWMODave

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Thread Medic
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Southwest Missouri
The more generally known version is that his brigade buried their battle flag in the Rio Grand. I've never seen the story about him wrapping the flag around a rock. Where did you see that? I'd really like a reference. I'm not questioning your veracity, but I am questioning the veracity of the person who told you that story.
If you have ever read General Jo Shelby Undefeated Rebel by Daniel O'Flaherty (page 8) or Jo Shelby's Iron Brigade by Deryl Sellmeyer (page 285), a rock or rocks is mentioned as the means to get the flag to sink into the water.

Also Polloco, according to Colonel Slayback, Shelby sank his plume with the flag, meaning it possibly carried some sort of military symbolism.
 
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Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
If you have ever read General Jo Shelby Undefeated Rebel by Daniel O'Flaherty (page 8) or Jo Shelby's Iron Brigade by Deryl Sellmeyer (page 285), a rock or rocks is mentioned as the means to get the flag to sink into the water.

Also Polloco, according to Colonel Slayback, Shelby sank his plume with the flag, meaning it possibly carried some sort of military symbolism.
Thank You, so it probably is more than a legend.
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Another painting--shown on the cover of the 1993 re-issue of "Shelby and His Men" depicts the General placing his plume in the flag as it is lowered into the river. In any event, my hesitance about the first description of the event was not so much that the flag was weighted with a rock, but that he wrapped it around a rock and "threw it into the Rio Grand." I don't doubt they weighted the flag. In his adopted home town of Waverly, Missouri, there's a bronze equestrian statue of Shelby. It's not a particularly good piece. In fact, it looks to me like the contract was given to the low bidder. But it does depict his hat plume.

shelby 2.jpg
 
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SWMODave

First Sergeant
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Thread Medic
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Location
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A July sun, in torrid clime, gleamed on exile band, who in suits of gray
Stood in mute array
On the banks of the Rio Grande.
They were dusty and faint with their long, drear ride,
And they paused when they came to the river side;
For its wavelets divide
With their glowing tide

Their own dear land of youth, hope, pride
And comrades graves, who in vain had died,
From the stranger's home, in a land untried.
Above them waved the Confederate Flag, with its fatal cross of stars,
That had always been
In the battle's din
Like a pennon of potent Mars.
And there curved from the crest of their leader a plume
That the brave had followed in joy and gloom That was ever in sight
In the hottest fight
A flaunting dare for a soldier's tomb,
For the marksman's aim and the cannons boom,
But it bore a charm from the band of doom.

Forth stepped that leader then and said to the faithful few around:
"This tattered rag
Is the only flag
That floats on Dixie ground;
And this plume that I tear from the hat I wear
Of all my spoils is my only share; And brave men! I swear
That no foe shall dare
To lay his hand on our standard there. It's folds were braided by fingers fair,
"Tis the emblem now of their deep despair.
It's cause is lost. And the men it led on many a glorious field In disputing tread
Of invaders dread, Have been forced at last to yield
But this banner and plume have not been to blame, No exulting eye shall behold
their shame;
And-----these relics so dear
In the waters here,
Before we cross, shall burial claim;
And while you mountains may bear name
They shall stand as monuments of our fame."

Tears stood in eyes that looked on death in every awful form
Without dismay;
But the scene that day
Was sublimer than mountain storm!
'Tis easy to touch the veteran's heart
With finger of nature, but not of art,
While the noble of soul
Lose self control,
When called on with flag, home and country to part,
Base bosoms are ever to callous to start
With feelings that generous natures can smart.
They buried then that flag and plume in the river's rushing tide,
Ere that fallent few
Of the tried and true
Had been scattered far and wide.
And that group of Missouri's valiant throng,
Who had fought for the weak against the strong-
Who had charged and bled where Shelby led-
Were the last who held above the wave
The glorious flag of the vanquished brave,
No more to rise from it's watery grave!

By Colonel Alonzo W. Slayback (source)
at what would some would call the Graveyard of the Confederacy
 
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