Alfred Marmaduke Hobby, merchant, politician, Confederate officer, and poet, son of Martin and Anna Elizabeth (Slade) Hobby, was born in 1836 in Macon, Georgia. In the 1850s his mother, a widow, moved with her sons from Florida to Galveston, Texas. Hobby entered a mercantile partnership and established a general store at the new town of St. Mary's of Aransas, Refugio County, about 1857. Although only about twenty-two, he almost immediately became a political leader of the county. In 1859, upon the resignation of Henry L. Kinney, Hobby was elected to the House of Representatives of the Eighth Texas Legislature. He was an ardent supporter of states' rights and organized a chapter of the Knights of the Golden Circle at St. Mary's. At the Secession Convention he represented his district and voted for secession. Hobby was reelected to the Ninth Legislature but resigned to enter Confederate military service. On May 14, 1862, he organized and became major of the force later known as the Eighth (Hobby's) Texas Infantry regiment.
While stationed at Galveston during the war, Hobby married Mrs. Gertrude Menard. After the war he disposed of his Refugio County holdings and settled at Galveston, where he resumed the mercantile business. During the war he wrote several patriotic poems. These, including "The Sentinel's Dream of Home," were widely published in newspapers of the period. After the war he devoted himself more seriously to literary work. His best-known prose was his Life of David G. Burnet (1871). Serfs of Chattenay and Miscellaneous Poems (ca. 1881) contained his "Poem in Honor of Colonel Thomas S. Lubbock." Hobby spent the last years of his life in Silver City, New Mexico, where he died on February 5, 1881. A marker has been erected by the Texas Historical Commission on the Refugio courthouse lawn commemorating Hobby's life.