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Oran M. Roberts

Oran M. Roberts

Chapter 440

United Daughters of the Confederacy®


Houston, Harris County, Texas


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Days of Observance

According to Article XXXVIII of the General By-Laws, all bodies of the UDC are to observe annually, when possible, the following special days, as well as select days observed by our chapter:

January 14
Oran M. Roberts
Birthday of Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury

He was born on Tuesday, 14 Jan 1806 near Fredericksburg, VA and was the son of Richard Lancelot Maury and Diana Minor. The years of his youth were spent in Tennessee, but he looked forward to joining the navy, emulating his older brother, Captain John Minor Maury, who was a naval officer. In 1825, the Honorable Sam Houston, then a member of Congress for Tennessee, obtained for Matthew Fontaine Maury, a midshipman’s warrant in the U.S. Navy.

From 1825 to 1834, Maury made his first three extended voyages -- to Europe, around the world, and to the Pacific coast of South America. Upon his return in 1834, Maury married Ann Hull Herndon and settled in Fredericksburg.

In 1842, Maury was appointed superintendent of the Depot of Charts and Instruments of the Navy Dept. in Washington, DC. By the fall of 1853, Maury had become internationally recognized for his work. Maury's system of recording the oceanographic data of naval vessels and merchant marine ships was thereafter adopted world-wide. In 1855, he published The Physical Geography of the Sea, which is now credited as "the first textbook of modern oceanography."

On Saturday, 20 Apr 1861, three days after Virginia seceded from the Union, Maury resigned from the U.S. Navy. Several days later, he accepted the position of commander in the Confederate States Navy. Because of his international fame, he was sent to England as an spokesperson for the Confederate government and the Southern cause. During The War, Maury was successful in acquiring war vessels for the Confederacy and in the progress he made in harbor defense, experimenting with electrical mines.

In 1868, Maury returned to Lexington, VA to accept the position of professor of meteorology at Virginia Military Institute. He died on Saturday, 1 Feb 1873 and was temporarily buried in Lexington, Rockbridge Co., VA. Maury's body was then moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA where it remains today.
January 19
Robert E. Lee
Birthday of General Robert E. Lee

Robert Edward Lee was born on Monday, 19 Jan 1807, at the Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland Co., VA. He was the son of the Revolutionary general Henry Lee, known as "Light-Horse Harry" and Ann Carter.

In 1829, Lee graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, ranking second in a class of 46.

On Thursday, 30 June 1831, he married Mary Anne Randolph Custis. The couple moved into Arlington, the Custis House across the Potomac from Washington, DC, which would later become Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1852, he was assigned to the command of the Military Academy at West Point, where he remained for about 3-years. In 1855, he was appointed Lt.Col. of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and assigned to duty on the Texas frontier, where he remained until near the beginning of The War Between the States.

On Saturday, 20 April 1861, 3-days after the Virginia convention adopted an ordinance of secession, he resigned his commission in the U.S. Army, in obedience to his conviction that he was bound by the act of his state.

On Thursday, 13 March 1862, Lee was assigned to duty "under the direction of the president," and "charged with the conduct of military operations in the armies of the Confederacy." He continued to lead the Confederate States Army until Sunday, 9 April 1865 at the Appomattox Courthouse when The War was concluded.

After The War, Lee withdrew at once from public affairs. He became president of Washington College, at Lexington, VA (now Washington and Lee University), and passed the remainder of his life in earnest work as an educator of youth.

On Wednesday, 12 Oct 1870, Lee died in Lexington, VA and his remains were buried beneath the chapel at Washington College. In accordance with his request, no funeral oration was pronounced.
January 19
(Sunday nearest)
. Texas Confederate Heroes' Day
January 21
Stonewall Jackson
Birthday of General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on Wednesday, 21 Jan 1824 in Clarksburg, VA (now WV) and was the son of Jonathan and Julia Beckwith (Neale) Jackson. In July 1842, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduate 17th in the Class of 1846. He was sent to Mexico for duty and then continued his service in the U.S. Army in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.

In 1851, Jackson became professor of artillery tactics and natural philosophy at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. In Feb 1852, he resigned from the army. On Thursday, 4 Aug 1853, Jackson married Elinor Junkin, daughter of Dr. George and Julia (Miller) Junkin. She died in childbirth on Sunday, 22 Oct 1854 and their child, a son, was stillborn.

On Thursday, 16 July 1857, Jackson married for the second time to Mary Anna Morrison, daughter of Robert Hall and Mary (Graham) Morrison. She gave birth to a daughter, Mary Graham Jackson on Friday, 30 April 1858 and the baby died on Tuesday, 25 May 1858. On Friday, 23 Nov 1862, a second daughter, Julia Laura Jackson was born.

On Saturday, 27 April 1861, Gov. John Letcher ordered Col. Jackson to take command at Harper's Ferry, where he organized the troops that would soon comprise the famous "Stonewall Brigade" (2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th and 33rd Virginia Infantry Regiments; Rockbridge Artillery; all were from the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia).

It was during the First Battle of Bull Run, in July 1861, when Jackson received his nickname when Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee stated, "There is Jackson standing like a stonewall."

As the war continued, Jackson continually impressed his Confederate compatriots with his skill on the battlefield and in planning conferences. He distinguished himself in the Valley campaign, the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Fredericksburg.

On Saturday, 2 May 1863, in his last march of The War, Jackson was wounded by friendly fire when he was struck with three .57-caliber bullets. He was taken to a field hospital where his left arm was amputated. On Sunday, 10 May 1863, shortly after 3:00 pm, Stonewall Jackson in a delirium paused, smiled and spoke his last words, "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees." He was 39 years old when he died of pneumonia in an outbuilding on the Chandler Plantation in the rural community of Guiney's Station, VA.

His body was carried to Richmond, VA and then to Lexington, VA where it was buried in what is now known as the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, located on Main Street. Jackson's amputated arm was buried by the Rev. Beverly Tucker Lacy in his family burial plot at "Ellwood," the Lacy family estate (15-miles west of Fredericksburg) that was located about 1-mile from the field hospital where Jackson was initially treated.

His widow, Mary Anna Morrison Jackson never remarried. She was known as the "Widow of the Confederacy" and died on Wednesday, 24 March 1915 in Charlotte, NC. His daughter, Julia, was less than one year old when he died. In 1885, she married William E. Christian and she died of typhoid fever in 1889, at age 26. Her children were Julia Jackson Christian and Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian.

February 19 . Chapter Founders’ Day

Link to Chapter History
April 26
(Sunday nearest)
. Confederate Veteran’s Memorial Day
June 3
Jefferson Davis
Birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis
July 9
Oran M. Roberts
Birthday of Governor Oran Milo Roberts

Link to Biography
September 10 . Founders Day
United Daughters of the Confederacy
September 16
Franklin Buchanan
Birthday of Admiral Franklin Buchanan

Franklin Buchanan was born in Baltimore, MD, on 13 Sept 1800. In 1815, he became a U.S. Navy Midshipman, was promoted to Lieutenant in 1825, to Commander in 1841 and to Captain in 1855. Over the four and a half decades of his U.S. Navy service, Buchanan had extensive and worldwide sea duty. He commanded the sloops of war Vincennes and Germantown during the 1840s and the steam frigate Susquehanna in the Perry expedition to Japan during the 1850s. In 1845-47, he served as the first Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, followed by notable Mexican War service. In 1859-61, Captain Buchanan was the Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard.

In April 1862, believing that his native state would soon leave the Union, Buchanan resigned his commission. When Maryland did not secede, he tried to withdraw the resignation. Rebuffed by the Navy Dept., which dismissed him from the service in May, he joined the Confederate States Navy (CSN), receiving a Captain's commission in Sept 1861. After heading the CSN's Office of Orders and Detail, Buchanan was placed in command of the defenses of the James River, Virginia. He led the pioneer ironclad Virginia in her successful attack on the Federal warships Cumberland and Congress in Hampton Roads on 8 March 1862, but was wounded in the action and had to leave the ship before her battle with USS Monitor on the following day.

In Aug 1862, Buchanan was promoted to the rank of Admiral and sent to command Confederate Navy forces on Mobile Bay, AL. He oversaw the construction of the ironclad CSS Tennessee and was on board her during her gallant battle with Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut's Union fleet on 5 August 1864. Wounded and taken prisoner, Admiral Buchanan was not exchanged until Feb 1865. He was on convalescent leave until The War ended a few months later. Following the conflict, Buchanan lived in Maryland, then was a businessman in Mobile until 1870, when he again took up residence in Maryland. He died there on 11 May 1874.

Three U.S. Navy destroyers have been named in honor of Admiral Franklin Buchanan, including USS Buchanan (DD-131), USS Buchanan (DD-484) and USS Buchanan (DDG-14).

September 27
Oran M. Roberts
Birthday of Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes

Admiral Raphael Semmes was born on 27 Sept 1809, Charles Co., MD and was the son of Richard Thompson and Catherine (Middleton) Semmes. His siblings include a brother Samuel Semmes and another that died in infancy. His cousin was General Paul Jones Semmes, Confederate States Army, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

On 1 Apr 1826, Adm. Semmes he was appointed a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy. During the Mexican-American War, he commanded the brig USS Somers in the Gulf of Mexico. In Dec 1846, the ship was lost in a storm off of Veracruz, Mexico. In 1849, he settled in Mobile, AL, and wrote of his war experiences in Service Afloat and Ashore During the Mexican War.

In 1860, when Alabama seceded, Semmes resigned his commission to become a commander in the Confederate States Navy. During The War Between the States, he was Captain of the famous commerce raider CSS Alabama.

Between Aug 1862 and June 1864, the Alabama was responsible for 55 prizes captured and sunk -- more than any other Confederate cruiser. But as Semmes's actions made him a hero in the South, he became a hated "pirate" in the North, and stopping him became a paramount objective of U.S. Navy. To northerners Semmes appeared to relish his role as destroyer, and indeed he was relentless in his mission. For nearly 2-years he succeeded in evading his pursuers, even sinking the USS Hatteras, in a 13-minute battle off Galveston on 11 Jan 1863. In Feb 1865, he was promoted to Rear Admiral.

After The War, Semmes was briefly held as a prisoner. On 15 Dec 1865, he was arrested for treason, but was released on 7 Apr 1866. After his release, he worked as a professor of philosophy and literature at Louisiana State Seminary (now Louisiana State University), and also as a judge, and a newspaper editor. He returned to Mobile and resumed his legal career.

Semmes defended both his actions at sea and the political actions of the Southern states in his 1869 book Memoirs of Service Afloat During The War Between the States. The book was viewed as one of the most cogent, but bitter, defenses of the Lost Cause

On 30 Aug 1877, Semmes died and is buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery in Mobile, AL.

The township of Semmes, AL, was named after him. Two U.S. Navy ships have been named in his honor: USS Semmes (DD-189, decommission and later re-commissioned as a Coast Guard destroyer, later returned to the Navy, designated, AG-24) and the USS Semmes (DDG-18).

December 12
Oran M. Roberts
Birthday of General Stand Waitie
Brigadier General in the Confederate Army
Commander-in-Chief of Indian Forces
throughout the war

He was born in Rome, GA on 12 Dec 1806 and was three-fourths Cherokee and was the son of Oo-watie and Susanna Chariety Reese. He was educated at several Indian Mission Schools. As a young man, Watie edited the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper (after Sequoyah developed the 86-symbol Cherokee syllabary in 1821 for the Cherokee language). He was marred to four wives: Elizabeth Fields, Isabell Miller, Eleanor Looney and Sarah Caroline Bell.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Watie was an enthusiastic supporter of the southern cause. He formed a troop of Cherokee Rifles and assumed command and was appointed to the rank of Colonel. In 1862, he was named the principal chief of the Confederate Cherokees. During the war he led his troops into 18 battles and guided them into many more raids behind Union lines. His raids were so effective that it forced hundreds of Union troops to be tied to the West at a time they were desperately needed to fight in the East. In 1864, his regiment captured a Union steamboat and seized over a million dollars worth of supplies from Union forces. Later that year he was made a brigadier general, the only Native American to achieve that rank during the Civil War. He surrendered to Union forces on 23 June 1865, reportedly the last Confederate general to lay down his arms.

After the war, he farmed in Indian Territory and died at Hone Creek on 9 Sept 1871. He is buried in the Polson Cemetery, Delaware Co., OK.


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This webpage was created on 27 Aug 2007 and was last revised on 15 Aug 2008

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