lockettCol. Samuel H. Lockett, owner of the Lockett/Gidley House.

Much of the Lockett House was salvaged and incorporated in the building of Fiddler’s Green

Samuel H. Lockett, born on July 7, 1837, was the son of notable Virginians Napoleon Lockett and Mary Clay Lockett. Mary Lockett, along with artist Nicola Marschall from Marion, Alabama, designed and made the first flag of the confederacy (also known as the Stars and Bars) which flew for the first time over the state capitol in Montgomery on March 4, 1861. Samuel grew up in Marion, Alabama, where he attended Howard College. In 1859 he graduated second in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and he married Cornelia Clark. During the War Between the States he served the Confederacy as Chief Engineer of the Army of Tennessee. His crowning achievement was the creation of a fortress out of the town of Vicksburg. During the battle of the Big Black River, Lockett destroyed several bridges over the river in order to stave off the enemy.

Col. Lockett and General John H. Forney of Jacksonville were close friends, both were West Point graduates who had won distinction at the Siege of Vicksburg. Forney was the influencing factor that brought Col. Lockett to Jacksonville in 1873 to take over the presidency of the newly established Calhoun College (presently Jacksonville State University). While here, he lived in the house that would later be known as the Lockett-Gidley House. After leaving Jacksonville, Lockett taught at LSU and the University of Tennessee where he was head of the engineering department.

lockett_houseLockett was a prolific writer and artist and was a contributing author in the four-volume series, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Lockett also served as principle engineer in the construction of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. He was assigned to Chile in 1888 to work on a massive construction project and then to Cairo, Egypt. While in Egypt his daughter wrote a letter to the Jacksonville Republican telling how she missed her hometown of Jacksonville, AL. This was reprinted in the New York Times on November 4th, 1875. Samuel Lockett died on October 12, 1891, in Bogota, Columbia. At Vicksburg National Military Park a monument is raised in his name.