DuVal, Lucien Spence (1826–1883)


By: William V. Scott

Type: Biography

Published: July 27, 2022

Updated: July 27, 2022


Lucien Spence DuVal (also spelled Duval), civilian physician and acting military surgeon of United States Army and officer in the Confederate States Army, son of Gen. John Pope DuVal and Ann Fouchee (Tebbs) DuVal, was born in 1826 in Prince William County, Virginia. The DuVals were Huguenots who came to Virginia, and the family immigrated to Florida in 1827 after his uncle, William Pope DuVal, was appointed the first territorial governor of Florida. During the Texas Revolution, DuVal’s cousins served under James Walker Fannin in the Kentucky Mustangs at Goliad, where Burr Harrison Duval perished with the garrison in the Goliad Massacre, and brother John Crittenton Duval was a famed survivor.

In 1848 Lucien S. DuVal enrolled in Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated in the spring of 1850. He returned to Tallahassee, Florida, and began a medical practice. The 1850 census listed Lucien as living with his older brother John Pope DuVal, Jr., also a physician, in Tallahassee.

In October 1852 Lucien S. DuVal was reported as a citizen employed as acting assistant surgeon at Fort Clark, Texas. His career at this time had taken a similar course to that of his brother John, who, as a private physician, had served as acting surgeon at Fort Mason in Texas from July 1851 to summer 1852. Lucien served at Fort Clark until he was discharged on March 10, 1853, after Assistant Surgeon Basil Norris joined the garrison. DuVal, representing Leon County, was subsequently elected as a Democratic party member of the Florida House of Representatives in 1856.

Lucien S. DuVal married his first cousin Cornelia Cottinger Tebbs, daughter of Samuel John and Hannah (Binns) Tebbs, in Fauquier County, Virginia, on September 22, 1859. The couple returned to Florida by 1860 and were recorded on the census in Tallahassee. DuVal’s mother was also listed in the household. Lucien and Cornelia DuVal later had two daughters and one son.

During the Civil War, Lucien S. DuVal enlisted in the Confederate Army on August 14, 1862, at Lake City, Florida. He was a second lieutenant in Company B, Second Battalion of Infantry. In August 1863 he was promoted to first lieutenant commanding Company G, Tenth Florida Infantry and served until Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Although he volunteered as a surgeon, DuVal largely served in a non-medical capacity in the Confederate Army.

After the war, DuVal returned to his medical practice in Tallahassee. The family moved to Wakulla County, Florida, where DuVal was one of the early settlers in Crawfordville, where he again practiced medicine. Genealogy sources list that his wife died in 1869, and the 1870 census recorded DuVal and his three children living in Cartersville, Georgia. In 1880 DuVal went to Texas and made himself available at the army headquarters in San Antonio. Soon he was requested to proceed to Pena Colorado, Texas, and upon arrival on August 7, 1880, he replaced Acting Assistant Surgeon Samuel M. Finley and served as a citizen physician as acting assistant surgeon at Camp Pena Colorado until he left on December 14, 1880, for Fort Stockton.

DuVal was apparently noted for his literary ability, as the genealogy volume The DuVal Family of Virginia (1931) noted his “great talent for satirical poetry” and mentioned his poems “San Louis” and “The Legend of the White Doe.” Lucien Spence DuVal reportedly died in December 1883. It is believed that Lucien DuVal is buried without a stone in the DuVal Plot of Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee.

Bessie Berry Grabowskii, The DuVal Family of Virginia, 1701, Descendants of Daniel DuVal, Huguenot and Allied Families (Richmond, Virginia: Press of The Dietz Printing Co., 1931). Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers, and Nonregimental Enlisted Men, National Archives and Record Service, Washington. “Dr Lucien Spence Duval,” Find A Grave Memorial (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172294669/lucien-spence-duval), accessed July 23, 2022.  

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

William V. Scott, “DuVal, Lucien Spence,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/duval-lucien-spence.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 27, 2022
July 27, 2022

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