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

Dalby man fought in civil war

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

His name was Solomon Bradford and he lived a dangerous and colourful life in various parts of the world until  settling 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 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.

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