Capt. Charles Wallace
Eldest son of Col. Alexander M. Wallace (1822-1901) and his first wife, Octavia A. Cox (1825-1852), of Blount Co., TN. After Octavia's death, A. M. Wallace had moved his family to Atlanta, GA, where he became a prominent citizen. He was an ardent secessionist, raising and commanding troops for the Confederate army. Son Charles Wallace fought for the C.S.A., distinguishing himself for his bravery and rising to the rank of captain. After the war, he removed to Warrenton, GA, where he became the editor of a local newspaper, the "Warrenton Clipper." As he tried to establish himself in his new community, Wallace applied for membership in the Masonic lodge. Dr. G. W. Darden, a local physician and Mason, promised to support Wallace's application, but ended up blackballing him. Wallace then denounced Darden as a "liar and a scoundrel" in the pages of his newspaper, and Darden retaliated by shooting the editor to death from a second-story window as the latter passed by his office in the street below. Darden was arrested for murder but subsequently taken out by a group of angry men in disguise and shot. The incident became a national cause célèbre, as both Southern and Northern newspapers often distorted the facts to support their respective political mindsets. By some, Wallace was depicted as an upstanding citizen and an innocent victim of personal enmities; by others, he was described as a violent racist and a member of the KKK, who had received his just deserts. The affair even sparked a Congressional committee investigation. To this day, it is difficult to ascertain all of the facts of the case.
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