Wednesday, March 20, 2013

IN LAWS OR OUT LAWS, we report you decide…

Ulysses S. Grants father in law was Colonel Frederick Dent, an unreconstructed Confederate, a St. Louis businessman and slaveholder who, when his daughter Julia went to the Executive Mansion early in 1869 relocated there as well.

When his daughter received guests, he sat in a chair just behind her, offering anyone within earshot unsolicited advice. Political and business figures alike got a dose of the Colonel's mind as they waited to meet with President Grant whose own father was constantly at odds with the Colonel Dent. 

Gen. Philip St. George Cooke was the father of Flora Cooke Stuart the Wife of General Jeb Stuart the legendary Confederate Cavalry commander. For the Peninsula Campaign, he was selected by McClellan to command the Cavalry Reserve.

When Confederate forces evacuated Yorktown, Cooke was sent along with Major General George Stoneman in pursuit and his cavalry was roughed up in an assault ordered by Stoneman against Fort Magruder.

After the Peninsula Campaign Cooke left active field service. One reason was the embarrassment he suffered when his son-in-law Jeb, whom he was pursuing, humiliated the Union cavalry by completely encircling the Army of the Potomac in his celebrated raid. 

Stuart, was so insenced that his father in law stayed with the Union, he renamed his and Flora's months'-old son, Philip St. George Cooke Stuart, after himself, James Ewell Brown Stuart Jr. Jeb was mortally wounded in 1864 at Yellow Tavern.

Cooke died in 1895, at the age of 84; Miss Flora, after Jeb's death, donned mourning garb and wore it for the remaining fifty-nine years of her life, dying in 1923.

Robert Smith Todd, Lincoln’s father in law was a banker and his family were slaveholders; Mary Todd Lincoln was raised in comfort and refinement. Five of Lincoln’s brothers in law served in the Confederate army and one, General Benjamin Hardin Helm (Husband of Mary Todd Lincoln’s half sister) was killed at Chickamauga…  

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