The Last Confederate Veteran of Richland Parish – David Corbin Ker (1847-1940)

The following was printed in the Opelousas Herald in 1938. D.C. Ker – Confederate Reunion Fri, Feb 11, 1938 – 5 · The Opelousas Herald (Opelousas, Louisiana) · Newspapers.com

Mangham, La. – David Corbin Ker (obituary at bottom), of Mangham, Richland Parish’s only living Confederate veteran (in 1938), has announced that he is not going to the joint convention of the Union veterans and the Confederates at Gettysburg because they wont let the Southerners carry their flag.

“My wife don’t want me to go, she thinks I’ll get in another fight with them d—Yankees, and maybe I would, Mr. Ker said.”

David C .Ker

Mr. Ker will be 91 years old on July 30, said he is “just a boy” compared to the other Confederates who attend the annual conventions. He was only 14 when he joined the army on February 2, 1862, in Virginia where he was attending school at Buckner and Temple school in Fredericksburg. Still active, with a complexion as pink as a school girls, Mr. Ker does not ask anybody to do anything for him although an aged helper in Mangham does most of his heavy work.

His greatest yen is for flying and at the last Confederate convention held in Shreveport, he went out to an airport and chartered a plane to ride around over the city. Running around over Shreveport and “into everything” as his wife says, his crowd left him in Shreveport and not to be outdone he went to the airport, bought a ticket and beat them to Monroe by several minutes.

Mr. Ker was under Stonewall Jackson in the early part of the war and then with Robert E. Lee.

But David Corbin Ker wasn’t the only soldier in the family, a family of “fighting Texans,” for his father and two grandfathers were in the War of 1812. His grandfather, the first David Corbin Ker, was surgeon-general in the War of 1812, his Grandfather McQueen was a major in the same war. His father was a major in the Battle of New Orleans and held that rank until be resigned from the army. Entering the War Between the States in 1862, he was made a colonel and assigned to staff duty, later being named commandant for the Petersburg department where he remained until the close of the war.

“All through the war I tried to get with the Bloody Texans, where I belonged, but couldn’t make it. I would have rather been with them because they knew how to fight and didn’t mind it. Oh, I got a few scratches during the war. Maybe some people would call them wounds, but a fightin’ Texan wouldn’t,” Mr. Ker said.

David Corbin Ker

Mr. Ker, with Mrs. Ker, came to Richland parish in December, 1914, because he had a daughter at Mangham, and also because he had acquired some property in that vicinity.

Mrs. Ker (nee Goode) looks after her husband with great care and is always after him about, straightening his collar, putting his hat on just at the right angle. When asked is she was 88 years of age, she replied “No, I’m just 85.” Yet she moves around with more ease than many youngsters of 60 or 65.

Although Mr. Ker has received numerous letters offering to pay all expenses, and expenses for a companion, he doesn’t believe there should be any joint convention. He reasons that there are arguments enough in their own annual gatherings without inviting trouble. Even younger men would have a hard time under such a strain, he believes and he says he will not change his opinion.

Interestingly, It Seems Mr. Ker Did Make The Trip…


Obituary of David Corbin Ker -The Richland Beacon-News 
Rayville, Louisiana.
07 Sep 1940, Sat  •  Page 5

Confederate Soldier Dies

David Corbin Ker, aged 93 years, a Confederate soldier and retired miner and rancher, of Mangham, died Wednesday night in a Monroe hospital. As far as we know Mr. Ker is the last Confederate to reside in Richland parish. His passing removes our lone guard of that grand body of old soldiers of the Lost Cause.

Mr. Ker had been residing with his daughter, Mrs. E. D. Baker, of Mangham, since 1914. The survivors are his widow, Mrs. Ada Ker, of Mangham; a daughter, Mrs. E. D. Baker, of Mangham; and the following grandchildren: D. C. Ker, West, Texas; H.A. Ker, Hermit, Tex.; Anne Ker, of Long Beach, Calif.; and W. C. Baker, of Mangham.

Funeral services were held at the Mangham Methodist church yesterday (Friday) at 1 p. m., with Rev. H. E. McClain officiating. Interment was in the Gwin cemetery of Mangham.

Funeral arrangements were in charge of Mulhearn’s Funeral Home.

The active pallbearers were: F. A. Childress, Barney Mulhern, T. B. Gregory, W. T. Montgomery, Dan McKay and A. C. Branson. Mr. Ker was of the old school of the South, and served in the Confederate Army, and saw some of the hottest fighting in Virginia during that memorable struggle. He was near when General “Stonewall’ Jackson was killed, and gave interesting first hand information of this tragedy to the Southern Cause. His stories of the Civil War were related with a rare gift for correctness of detail and narrative power. He was a fine conversationalist and his company was eagerly sought. He was a man of probity and honor, and enjoyed the love and affection of everyone who knew him. He was the upstanding Southern gentleman to the end.

The Beacon-News joins in offering sympathy and condolence to the members of the bereaved family.

Confederate Soldier Dies Sat, Sep 7, 1940 – 5 · The Richland Beacon-News (Rayville, Louisiana) · Newspapers.com

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