Diamond, George Washington (1835–1911)

By: Sam Acheson

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: December 1, 1994

George Washington Diamond, journalist, Confederate soldier, and politician, one of six brothers who immigrated to Texas before the Civil War, was born on December 26, 1835, in De Kalb County, Georgia, son of James and Nancy Diamond. He moved to Texas shortly after receiving a law degree in 1857 from Albany (now New York) University. He settled first in Rusk County, where he became copublisher of the Henderson Times. When the Civil War began Diamond sold his interest in the newspaper and enlisted as a private on May 7, 1861, in Company B of Co. Elkanah Greer's Third Texas Cavalry regiment.

Near the end of 1862 he took leave from his unit to visit his brother James J. Diamond at Gainesville. This was only a few weeks after the Great Hanging at Gainesville, in which James Diamond and other Confederate loyalists smashed an alleged "peace party conspiracy" in north central Texas by convening a "citizens' court" that tried, condemned, and hanged thirty-nine prisoners charged with conspiracy and insurrection against the Confederate state of Texas. George Diamond was asked to use the records of the court to prepare an official account of its work, a manuscript that he apparently completed before the end of 1876. It was not published during his lifetime, but was brought to light many years later by his granddaughter, Mrs. Harry Harlan of Dallas, and was published in 1963 by the Texas State Historical Association.

At Gainesville, Diamond transferred to the Eleventh Texas Cavalry, C.S.A., of which his brother James was colonel. He later raised a company of cavalry on the lower Brazos River and fought as a captain in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill (see RED RIVER CAMPAIGN) in 1864.

At the end of the Civil War he returned to Henderson, where he was elected state representative to the Eleventh Texas Legislature. Reconstruction prevented this legislature from convening until 1870. Meanwhile, Diamond had moved with his family to Whitesboro, where he spent the remainder of his life. Although he practiced law during Reconstruction in the Grayson county seat of Sherman and held several county offices at various times, he was chiefly interested in newspaper work and served for many years on the staff of the Whitesboro News. He died at Whitesboro on June 24, 1911, and was buried there.

Sam Hanna Acheson and Julia Ann Hudson O'Connell, eds., George Washington Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1963).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Sam Acheson, “Diamond, George Washington,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 26, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/diamond-george-washington.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994