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In 1863 he joined the army of the Confederacy as first lieutenant in Capt. Dan Doughty's company. From that time to the close of the war he was with this company in active service. Their operations extended from Refugio to the Rio Grande, and from Corpus Christi north to the frontier. His story of the privations these men endured equals in fortitude, courage and endurance that of any band of men who ever fought for a just cause. Large portions of the territory they covered were deserts. Frequently they lived for days with nothing to eat excepting meat and coffee, sometimes not coffee, sometimes neither. They never went into winter quarters, and in fact did not have quarters at all. They fought the Federals, the Mexicans and the bandits. They were peace officers, rangers and soldiers, and J. A. McFaddin did his part.
His oldest child, A. M. McFaddin, one of the ex-presidents of the Texas Cattle Raisers' Association, and member of the Texas Live Stock Sanitary Commission, was born during his father's absence in the army. Notwithstanding J. A. McFaddin's anxious desire to be with his wife and child, and to look after his worldly goods, he stayed with his command until Lee and Grant met at Appomattox, and the news came down to Texas that the cause for which he was fighting was a lost cause. It was not until then that J. A. McFaddin turned his horse's head toward the Coward home in Galveston county, where his wife and son were. He brought them to his home on the Melone, and again took up his life's work.
He was by that time regarded as one of the foremost citizens of his section of the state, and not only attended to his own business affairs but managed the properties of many others. Even in those days the business of others handled by him brought in thousands and thousands of dollars. During the years from 1867 to 1874 he had many thousands of dollars in his charge. He filled every safe in the town of Refugio with silver, had several