(1816 - 1902)
Home State: Texas
Education: Cumberland College (KY)
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 4th Texas Infantry
He came to Texas as a volunteer soldier from Mississippi in 1836, and was briefly a Comptroller's clerk in the new Republic of Texas government. A Gonzales County farmer since 1841 and former Texas State Representative (1853-57), he was 45 years old when he enrolled at Camp Clark in Guadalupe County as First Lieutenant of Company A, 4th Texas Infantry on 11 July 1861. He was elected Texas State Senator in the Fall of 1861 and was furloughed home to Texas from October 1861 to March 1862 to attend the legislative session. He was promoted to Captain in May to date from 3 March 1862.
On the Campaign
He led his Company in action at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September and at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. In his Sharpsburg after-action report, Colonel Carter noted:
Color-bearer Parker, of Company H, was severely wounded and left on the field. At his fall Captain Darden, of Company A, seized and carried the colors until we fell back to the woods.
The rest of the War
He resigned on 1 October 1862 to take a commission as the Colonel of the 5th Regiment, Texas State Troops for 6 months' service on the Gulf Coast. He was elected to the Confederate Congress in 1864 and served there to the end of the war in April 1865.
After the War
He returned to his farm in Gonzales County, was Texas Comptroller (1874-81), and was chief clerk in the Comptroller's office (c. 1887).
References & notes
Service information from Davis1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860 and 1880, and a bio sketch in Lewis E. Daniell's Personnel of the Texas State Government (1887). His gravesite is on Findagrave. At least one source has him as Stephen Lee Heard Darden.
He married Mary Matilda Goff (1821-1847) in Mississippi in February 1836 and they had 5 children. He married again, Margaret Ann Tomlinson (1832-1854) in November 1861 (no children), for a third time, Nicolena C Stewart (d. 1859) in 1858 in Baltimore, and finally, Catherine R. Mays (1836-1912) in March 1862; they had 3 more children together.
11/18/1816; Fayette County, MS
05/16/1902; Wharton, TX; burial in Texas State Cemetery, Austin, TX
1 Davis, Rev. Nicholas A., The Campaign from Texas to Maryland, Houston: Telegraph Book and Job Establishment, 1863, pp. 148-150, 315-316 [AotW citation 1621]
2 US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927 [AotW citation 26747]