On this day in 1865, Edward M. Alfriend—better known to his friends as Ned— was arrested for being away without leave from his Confederate infantry regiment, the 44th Virginia. As our entry notes, Alfriend’s army career was already “checkered.” On May 24, 1864, he had been fined twenty-five days’ pay for being AWOL, and although he eventually returned to his company, he then contracted typhoid fever during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and had to relocated to Richmond to recuperate. Now, apparently, he was out wandering again and his superiors were clearly annoyed. A court-martial convicted him a month later and kicked him out of the army.
Which left him more time to sell insurance and write plays. He wrote fourteen in all, and although the critics hated them, audiences were rarely AWOL.
IMAGE: Alfriend, a “Notable New Yorker”