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There are 1867 and 1868 references from Mississippi and Lousiana to "Colonel Lyman J. Strong" [1]. I have been unable to find any military records, either in the United States or Confederate armies, of an officer with that name. Was that title informally applied to prosperous gentlemen, or does it have a more precise meaning?

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I understand that the honorary title of Colonel was used in some states of the USA (including Mississippi and Louisiana - mostly in the South?) as an honour. There was once a link to military practices, as some of the original recipients had financed militia units but had no expectation of operational command.

Today the title seems to be bestowed by the state governments as an honour. Though apparently Texas confers the title of Admiral instead.

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  • Thank you, although I find the Wikipedia article (which I should have mentioned having checked in my original post) to be vague and not well sourced. – Ellen Spertus Sep 12 '15 at 22:47

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