Good, Chaplin (1833–1868)

By: Matthew K. Hamilton

Type: Biography

Published: March 13, 2011

Chaplin Good, farmer, West Point attendee, and Confederate military officer, was born on February 3, 1833, in Ohio County, Virginia. He was the eldest of three sons of John A. Good of Maryland and Mary C. (Chapline) Good of Virginia. In the 1840s John Good moved the family to Missouri, and by 1850 the family resided in Bowling Green, Pike County, Missouri. In 1852, at the age of nineteen, Chaplin Good attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. However, in 1856 he withdrew before graduating for reasons that are not clear. He returned to Missouri and by 1860 resided in Tebo Township, Henry County. It is unclear if he ever married or had children.

Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Good enlisted for service in the Missouri State Guard, was appointed to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and acted as aide-de-camp for Brig. Gen. M. M. Parsons's Sixth Division, Missouri State Guards. On October 29, 1863, Good received authority, per Special Order No. 176 from headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department, to raise a cavalry company north of the Arkansas River. Good was instructed to raise a battalion of cavalry if the necessary men could be recruited. In the summer of 1864 Good had recruited and organized a battalion-sized cavalry unit and was assigned the rank of colonel of Good's Texas Cavalry Battalion.

From August to September 1864 Good's Cavalry Battalion was assigned to the Northern Sub-district, District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department. From September 1864 to January 1865 the unit was assigned to the Fifth Texas Cavalry Brigade. However, in early 1865 Good's battalion was combined with Wells's Texas Battalion and Levi Gillette's Cavalry Battalion and designated Wells's Cavalry Regiment. Good was made lieutenant colonel of the regiment.

Apparently unwilling to relinquish his command to John W. Wells, Good requested a commission in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. Good's request, however, was not granted, and he was present for an April 1865 roll call in Hempstead, Texas. It is entirely likely that he surrendered along with the rest of Wells's Cavalry Regiment in June.

Following the war, Chaplin Good returned to Henry County, Missouri, where on April 11, 1868, he died. He is buried in the Lewis Station Cemetery in Henry County, Missouri.

Richard C. Peterson, James E. McGhee, Kip A. Lindberg, and Keith I. Daleen, Sterling Price's Lieutenants :A Guide to the Officers and Organization of the Missouri State Guard, 1861–1865 (Shawnee Mission, Kansas: Two Trails Publisher, 1995). Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

Time Periods:

  • Civil War

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

Matthew K. Hamilton, “Good, Chaplin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 05, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 13, 2011

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