Daniel B. Lucas

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Daniel Bedinger Lucas
Born (1836-03-16)March 16, 1836
Charles Town, Virginia
Died June 24, 1909(1909-06-24) (aged 73)
Charlestown, West Virginia
Occupation Poet, Soldier, Lawyer
Nationality American
Period 1865-1909

Daniel Bedinger Lucas (March 16, 1836, in Rion Hall near Charles Town, Virginia – June 24, 1909, in Charles Town, West Virginia), was a poet and lawyer from West Virginia. He was the son of United States Senator William Lucas.


Daniel Lucas graduated from the University of Virginia and earned his law diploma from Washington College and graduated in 1856. He studied under Judge John W. Brockenbrough of Lexington and was admitted to the bar in 1859.[1] He served with General Henry A. Wise during the Civil War in the Kanawha campaign of 1861. Late in the war he escaped a blockade of Virginia to aid his college friend John Yates Beall, who had been arrested as a spy. He left Richmond on January 1, 1865, and crossed the Potomac River through the ice in a small skiff. He was not allowed to assist in the defense of Beall by General Dix, and resided in Canada some months.[2]

Beall was executed on Governor's Island in New York on February 24, 1865.[3] Unable to return to Virginia, Lucas composed his most famous poem The Land Where We Were Dreaming, shortly after the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. His work often earned him the epithet "The Poet Laureate of the Lost Cause", an honor he shared with several other Southern writers. When he returned to West Virginia the proscription on ex-Confederates in the practice of law prevented him from resuming his career until 1870, when restrictions were lifted.[4][5] He returned to his law practice and was elected to the West Virginia Legislature from 1884 to 1887.

In 1887, he strongly opposed Johnson N. Camden, whom he considered an ally of Standard Oil.[6] This led Governor Emanuel Willis Wilson to appoint Daniel Lucas to the United States Senate. The legislature, however, decided instead to elect Charles J. Faulkner. Governor Wilson appointed Lucas to the Supreme Court of Appeals on December 11, 1889. Lucas also served as President of the Court during his service.


"The Land Where We Were Dreaming" was first published in the Montreal Gazette and was reprinted widely in the United States and England. It was dated "Chambly, June 1865".[7]

His first collection of poems was published in 1869 as The Wreath of Eglantine. This volume also included other poetry inspired by the Lost Cause such as "Jefferson Davis", "Song of the South", "The Virginians Sit and Weep", as well as "The Land Where We Were Dreaming". His work on this theme resulted in frequent requests for memorial poems for dedications, such as the consecration of the Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia in 1866, and the dedication of the Confederate Monument in Charlestown, West Virginia in 1871.[8] Further works included such poems as Jackson's Grave and A.P.Hill.

  • The Wreath of Eglantine, and Other Poems (Baltimore: Kelly, Piet & Company, 1869)
  • The Maid of Northumberland: A Dramatic Poem (New York: G.P. Putman's Sons, 1879)
  • Ballads and Madrigals (New York: Pollard & Moss, 1884)
  • The Land Where We Were Dreaming (Boston: Roger G. Badger/Gorham Press, 1913)


  • Memoir of John Yates Beall: His Life; Trial; Correspondence; Diary; and Private Manuscript Found among His Papers, including his own account of the raid on Lake Erie (Montreal: J. Lovell, 1865)
  • Nicaragua: War of the Filibusters (Richmond: B. F. Johnson Publishing Co., 1896)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ The West Virginia Encyclopedia, West Virginia Humanities Council, 2006, pg. 437
  2. ^ White, Robert, Col. Confederate Military History, Extended Edition, Vol. III West Virginia, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1987, pg. 227
  3. ^ Headley, John W. Confederate Operations in Canada and New York, Neale Publishing Company, 1906, pgs. 359-366
  4. ^ The West Virginia Encyclopedia, pg. 437
  5. ^ "Lucas, Daniel Bedinger, The Land Where We Were Dreaming, Richard G. Badger, Boston, 1913, pgs. iii-iv
  6. ^ Daniel Bedinger Lucas
  7. ^ Lucas, Daniel B. The Land Where We Were Dreaming, Richard G. Badger, Boston, 1913, pg. 227
  8. ^ Lucas, ibid, pgs. 19 & 185
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas C. Green
Justice for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Marmaduke H. Dent