Creasman Family Genealogy Forum
The newspaper in which the story about the recovery of Dr Mitchell's body appeared was the Asheville Spectator, which at one time was edited by Zeb Vance. Sorry for the confusion. The son of the publisher of the Asheville News served with the 29th, and there are some issues surviving on microfilm in Pack Library in Asheville from the War years, which contain long letters from the son about the activities of the 29th.
After Gen Ector was wounded, and his replacement Col (later Gen) William H. Young had died, Ector's Brigade was commanded by Colonel David Coleman of the 39th NC. Colonel Coleman was in command of the brigade at Nashville. In addition to the 29th and 39th NC the Brigade consisted of the 9th Texas, and the 10th, 14th and 32nd Texas Cavalry regiments serving dismounted as infantry.
David Coleman was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina Feb 5, 1824, the son of William Coleman and Cynthia Swain.
Cynthia Swain was a sister to David L. Swain, the first student from western North Carolina to enter the University of North
Carolina, at Chapel Hill. Afterwards David L. Swain became the youngest man ever elected governor of North Carolina. He
served three terms, and then was for more than 30 years President of the University of North Carolina, until the reconstruction
era (when his daughter married a Yankee officer occupying Chapel Hill). The cabin where Governor Swain was born still exists
at the head of Beaverdam Valley. Also born in this cabin was Governor Swain's cousin, Joel Lane, who was a major general in
the Mexican War and afterwards governor of Oregon. Governor Swain's nephew, David Coleman, was the second student
from western North Carolina to enter the state University in Chapel Hill.
Just before David Coleman graduated from the University of North Carolina he entered the United States Naval Academy at
Annapolis, graduated, and served in the Navy until 1850, when he resigned and returned to Asheville, Buncombe County,
North Carolina, and began practicing law. In 1854 he ran as a Democrat for State Senator, defeating Nicholas W. Woodfin. In
1856 he was reelected, defeating Zebulon Baird Vance. This was the only election Vance ever lost - he would serve as
Colonel of the 26th NC before being elected governor of NC in 1862. Vance's elder brother Robert B. Vance had been the
original colonel of the 29th NC of Ector's brigade, though he was promoted to brigadier general before the 29th and 39th NC
were brigaded together under General Ector. In 1858 David Coleman and Zeb Vance faced off for Congress, and Vance won.
David Coleman was one of few secessionists in western North Carolina. At the war's outset he was appointed to command a
ship, but grew impatient with delays in fitting out and entered the Army, where he was assigned to command a battalion, to
which more companies were added and which became the 39th NC.
He resumed the practice of law after the War, and was for a time solicitor, and represented Buncombe County with General
Thomas L. Clingman at the State convention in 1875. David Coleman never married. He died in Asheville March 5, 1883.