Biffle Researchers

Colonel Jacob Biffle

By Brent Cox

Reprinted from Biffle Researchers, Volume 1, Number 1, March 1992

Jacob Barnett Biffle, the son of John Barnett and Mary Chambers Biffle, was born on May 31, 1830 near Ashland in Wayne County, Tennessee. His father was a veteran of the War of 1812 [who served in Samuel B. McKnight's Company], and son of Jacob C. Biffle, a Revolutionary War veteran. The military history of the Biffle family from 1763 to the present is one which displays the foundation for why we are a free people; and not a single war has been fought on our homeland or foreign soil in which the Biffle family hasn't participated. Perhaps this lineage of Jake Biffle proved him to be one of the South's finest colonels in the American Civil War.

Jake Biffle was a veteran of the Mexican American War (1846-1848). [At the age of 18 he volunteered to serve in the company formed by Albert G. Cooper. Cooper later served as Biffle's lieutenant-colonel in the 9th Cavalry Regiment.] It was here that the military adventures of Jake began.

During the Civil War, Colonel Jake proved to be worthy of equality with General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Though most historians have created a myth around Forrest that shields the greatness of his field commanders, Colonel Jake Biffle was one that could not be overshadowed with ease. In 1861, Captain Jacob Biffle helped form the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, soon Jake was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and commanded an entire regiment which became the 9th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment (also called the 19th).

One could not properly construct a military history of the achievements of Jake without going into great detail, for his career displayed gallantry and valor second to none. His brilliance on the battlefield was much like that of the ingeniousness of General Forrest, and without a question, he must have taught the South's finest general a thing or two. One discovers Jake executing maneuvers of expertise before Forrest's Cavalry existed, and later these same moves are used by Forrest with similar success. There is not question that Colonel Jake Biffle was Forrest's finest colonel.

After the war, Colonel Jake returned home to find Wayne County, Tennessee, hostile towards ex-Confederates. Soon after his return, Jake and his wife, Sarah Ann Lusk, moved to Tupelo, Mississippi, in the late 1860s. By 1873, Colonel Jake and his family are listed in Myra, Cooke County, Texas, where Jake became a cattle rancher. This settlement was largely populated by ex-Confederate soldiers, and here the Biffles were able to live in peace and harmony with others of like beliefs.

One December 15 of 1876, while on a cattle drive, Colonel Jake Biffle was shot by a man named Waters, who served as his cook. He died two weeks later and on January 5, 1877, Colonel Jake was buried at the Reed Cemetery in Myra, Texas.

The family of Colonel Jake suffered greatly during and after this period. Today, many descendants of Biffle are still in the area of Myra.

Additional information on the family of Jacob Biffle.

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