Lawson Gratz was believed by his command to have gone AWOL on four separate occasions, leaving for three to four months at a time, but was always brought back into his command. He was actually, according to Josef Gratts’ research, found to be a black dispatch, who were by orders of the War Department dispatched behind Confederate lines and indicate how many men and what kind of equipment they had.
“By being a black man he was able to pass as a worker in the fields or any number of situations that any black man would be doing at that time in the South,” a press release stated.
After the Civil War, he spent time along the Rio Grande River helping discourage French operations in Mexico. He later joined the 10th Cavalry Division. He then fought against Indians in several battles between 1867 and 1875, fighting many of those years with just one eye as a result of a training accident.
Lawson Gratz eventually made his way back to Texas, where he worked as a farmer, hide hauler. He made his way to Annetta in 1882, where he was a farmer. He suffered a heart attack in 1909 and died at the age of 73.