Andrew Daly (sometimes written as Dale or Daley), newspaper editor and Confederate military officer, was born about 1809 in Ireland. It is unclear when he immigrated to the United States, but he lived first in New York where at some point he married an “Elizabeth.” Daly and his wife moved to Texas sometime before 1852; he and his wife had two sons, Alexander and Joseph, born in Texas, the former being born in 1852. Three other grown males—Edmond, Laurence, and Augustus—were listed in the Daly household in the 1860 census and may have been Daly’s sons from a previous marriage. In 1860 Daly and his family resided in Houston, where he worked as the editor of the Republic. He estimated his real property to be worth $5,000 and his personal property to be worth $3,500.
Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Daly organized a company of men in Houston and enrolled for service in the Texas State Troops on October 17, 1861. Elected the company’s captain, Daly raised the unit as a horse artillery company, but in March 1862 it was changed to a cavalry company and mustered into service in the Confederate Army on April 22, 1862. In early 1863 Daly’s company was attached to Alfred Marmaduke Hobby’s (Eighth) Texas Infantry Regiment and designated Daly’s Battalion Texas Cavalry, and Daly was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and ordered to move to Sabine Pass, Texas. His command was short-lived, however. On July 29, 1864, Daly was brought up on numerous charges unbecoming an officer of the Confederate army. Among other things, he was charged with “speaking in a light and disrespectful manner” towards two of his subordinate officers, Captain Samuel G. Ragsdale and a Lieutenant Robinson. Other charges included commanding a private to conceal a horse he had stolen, refusing to obey orders from Gen. John B. Magruder to furlough two privates, refusing to forward the resignation papers of Captain Ragsdale, selling ordinance for personal profit, falsifying monthly reports, and dropping officers from the muster rolls.
In response to these charges, Daly informed Gen. Magruder’s chief of staff that he had not treated Ragsdale with disrespect, rather that the captain was “displeased” with the consolidation of his company with another unit and that the captain’s displeasure was “manifested…in various ways.” To the charges of dropping an officer from the muster rolls, Daly wrote that the officer’s unit was newly-transferred to his command and that he was bitter about it. He had ordered the officer “out of his quarters where he was sleeping,” and to attend reveille roll call, which the officer and his men refused to do. Furthermore, Daly expressed that Captain Ragsdale was also angry at having his command consolidated under Daly’s and that the captain’s “manners, complaints and conduct [tended] to make his men discontented,” which had to be “checked by a firm exercise of authority.” In conclusion, Daly described Ragsdale as “troublesome on account of the consolidation and being removed to Sabine Pass and manifested a spirit of insubordination.” In spite of his rebuttal of the charges against him, Daly was demoted to the rank of captain, and Ragsdale was promoted to major and then lieutenant colonel in command of the battalion. Daly and the battalion were surrendered by Gen. E. Kirby Smith on May 26, 1865, and in a final bit of redemption Daly signed his parole papers as Lt. Col. Andrew Daly. His death date and place of burial are unknown.