W ith the Confederate Cavalry in the W est:
The Civil War Experiences of
Isaac Dunbar Affleck
RALPH A. WOOSTER*
IN THE SPRING OF 1862, A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD PRIVATE FROM WASH-
ington County, Texas, arrived in Corinth, Mississippi, to join Com-
pany B of Terry's Texas Rangers. The Rangers, officially designated as
the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment, had just taken part in the bloody
battle of Shiloh and were in the process of treating their wounded, re-
pairing their equipment, and preparing for new campaigns.' This young
private, Isaac Dunbar Affleck, was only one of many teenagers being
recruited in the South as the second year of the Civil War began.
Young Affleck, known to friends and family as "Dunnie," was born
in Mississippi and spent his childhood years at Ingleside Plantation near
Natchez, where his father, Thomas Affieck, grew cotton and operated
the largest nursery in the lower South. The elder Affleck, a native of
Scotland, had moved to Mississippi from Cincinnati in 1842, married a
Mississippi widow who was a member of the prominent Dunbar family
and a niece of Jane Long, the "Mother of Texas." By the 185os Affleck
had become a staunch defender of slavery and the plantation system.
He was chiefly known, however, as an agricultural publicist, advocate
of scientific agriculture, and publisher of the widely circulated Affleck's
Southern Rural Almanac and Plantation and Garden Calendar.2
The senior Affleck moved his family from Mississippi to Texas in
*Ralph A. Wooster, a past president of TSHA, and dean of faculties and graduate
studies at Lamar University, is the author of several works on the South, including Polih-
ticians, Planters, and Plain Folk (1975). He wishes to thank Robert W. Williams, Jr., of
the University of North Carolina, and Thomas I). Afleck, Jr., of Galveston, for their as-
sistance in the preparation of this article.
iThe Rangers were named for their first commander, wealthy Brazoria County sugar
planter Benjamin F. Terry. Although 'Terry was killed while leading an attack at Wood-
sonville, Kentucky, in December, 1861, the Rangers continued to carry his name. For ac-
counts of the Rangers see L. B. Giles, Teiry's Texas Rangers (Austin, 1911); C. C. Jeffries,
Terry's Rangers (New York, 1961); J. K. P. Blackburn, "Reminiscences of the Terry Ran-
gers," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXII (July-Oct., 1918), 38-77, 143-179; and
Lester N. Fitzhugh, "Terry's Texas Rangers, 8th Texas Cavalry, CSA," An Address Before
the Houston Civil War Round Table, March 21, 1958 (pamphlet; Houston, 1958).
2For the elder Affleck's early career see Robert W. Williams, "Thomas Affleck: Mission-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed August 22, 2014.