Battle Flag of General Rufus Barringer's North Carolina Cavalry Brigade
Photo courtesy North Carolina Division
of Archives and History
There is a lot of information about General Barringer's life I uncovered writing my biography of him. Some things may not be generally known:
1. During his UNC days as a college student, he led the fight against the establishment of fraternities. He was a member of the Dialectic Society (debating club).
2. His social life escapades while at UNC are fascinating. He didn't want his son, Paul, attending UNC because of all the drinking and partying, so he sent him to UVA--oops!
3. During his legislative days, he was ambushed and almost killed in the streets of Charlotte. His attempted assassin was arrested, spent about two days in jail, and paid a fine.
4. His affair with slave Roxanna Coleman during his legislative days produced two mulatto children. One, Warren Clay Coleman, went on to become a man of substantial wealth and influence.
5. His relations with his "brother-in-law," D. H. Hill, though cordial before and during the war, became hostile after the war due to Reconstruction politics. Barringer had a warm relationship with another brother-in-law, "Stonewall" Jackson.
6. Barringer had a pugnacious side to his otherwise pleasant and scholarly demeanor. Letters and newspaper articles show this side of his personality.
7. He was a "Radical Republican" during Reconstruction, prompting hard feelings among the democratic populace.