Introduction

Share Introduction Biographical Memoir; Sketch from “Official History of Lafayette Flying Corps.” KIFFIN YATES ROCKWELL was born September 20, 1892, at Newport, Tennessee, a picturesque little town spread out along the Pigeon River, in the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. He should have been born in Eastern Carolina, the country of his parents, but following doctor’s advice, his father and mother had left the flat and rather malarial region where their families had been installed for generations, and removed to the higher altitude of East Tennessee. I well remember the first time I saw Kiffin. I was about four years old, and my sister and I had been sent to spend the night with some little friends. When we returned home in the morning, our father took us by the hand and led us into our mother’s bedroom to see “the present Dr. Snoddy had brought during the night.” As I looked at the tiny red mite my feelings were of pride and pleasure that I had a brother. When Kiffin was within a few days of being one year old, our father died of typhoid fever, which was very prevalent in Newport that year. With our mother, we three children spent the following winter at our maternal grandparents’ place in South Carolina. Kiffin, being then the youngest grandchild, was his grandmother’s favorite, and until he was fourteen years old, she insisted on his spending at least half of his time with her. Usually he spent the winters in South Carolina, where the climate during that season was mild and agreeable, and his summers in the cooler, forest-clad mountains...