Dalby man fought in civil war

Brad­ford served with High­landers in US

Dalby Herald - - NEWS - With Ray Humphrys

MANY don’t re­alise that buried in Dalby is a man who was a sol­dier who fought in the Amer­i­can Civil War.

He was Solomon Brad­ford who lived a dan­ger­ous and colour­ful life in var­i­ous parts of the world un­til he set­tled in Aus­tralia.

He was born in Glas­gow, Scot­land in about 1837 and saw ser­vice in the Crimean War fought in the 1850s.

He served with the Bri­tish High­landers and, it seems, came home un­scathed.

Fol­low­ing the ac­ci­den­tal deaths of his par­ents in a train crash, he mi­grated with his un­cle to the USA.

Once again war loomed and Solomon en­listed on May 13, 1861 at New York City.

He was 24 and mus­tered in to serve three years. Again he joined the 79th Cameron High­landers.

The reg­i­ment fought at First Bull Run where they had the mis­for­tune to have their com­man­der Colonel James Cameron killed.

Af­ter some un­rest the reg­i­ment was taken over by Isaac Stephens and went on to suc­cess at the Sec­ond Bull Run. Stephens was later killed in ac­tion. They took part in the Bat­tle of An­ti­etam, de­scribed as the blood­i­est day in Amer­i­can his­tory.

They had bet­ter hy­giene on the bat­tle­field and fewer health problems.

How­ever Solomon Bradfield did spend three months in hos­pi­tal.

He was a man who hated slav­ery.

One story handed down through the fam­ily was an ex­pe­ri­ence he had dur­ing the war. At one place they came across the re­mains of a large barn.

It was the cus­tom to chain all the slaves to the cen­tre pole of the barn at night and they slept on the hay.

In that case the barn had been fired and, as no one had freed them, they all burnt to death.

The war came to a close and the 79th was mus­tered out in May 1863 and Solomon was a free man.

By the next year he mar­ried Elizabeth Kilpatrick who had been born in North­ern Ire­land.

In 1865 their daugh­ter was born and the next year they de­cided to set sail for Aus­tralia.

Aboard a ship called the “Mayflower” they sailed to Lon­don and then aboard an­other ship con­tin­ued on to Aus­tralia.

It seems Elizabeth’s broth­ers had the con­tract of build­ing the Dalby Post Of­fice and that brought the cou­ple to this area.

Af­ter liv­ing in New York, Elizabeth thought Dalby seemed like the end of the earth.

When the job was fin­ished the fam­ily moved out to Hal­li­ford Sta­tion where their

❝ex­pe­ri­enced The High­landers were soldiers, con­trast­ing to some ex­tent with many other Yan­kee soldiers, who were of­ten farm lads with no ex­pe­ri­ence.

sec­ond child was born.

Com­ing back to Dalby, Solomon be­gan work­ing at Hig­gan and Camp­bell’s cor­dial works. Af­ter six months he bought the works from them.

He also branched into land out along the Ce­cil Plains road and ac­quired a fair num­ber of cat­tle.

He es­tab­lished his home in Scar­let Street.

In 1882, Elizabeth died leav­ing a fairly young fam­ily and two years later Solomon also died.

Their eldest daugh­ter Margaret mar­ried into the Hall fam­ily and her de­scen­dants may be still liv­ing in Dalby.

Solomon Brad­ford, a sol­dier of two wars, has a large head­stone on his grave in the Dalby Mon­u­men­tal Ceme­tery.

He, his wife and three of his chil­dren’s names are in­scribed on the stone.


Solomon and Elizabeth Brad­ford and their daugh­ter Margaret in this very early pho­to­graph, which may have been taken be­fore they ar­rived in Aus­tralia.

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