Who is Edgar James Cody?

August 3, 2013
Fifteenth Brigade Scouts.

Fifteenth Brigade Scouts.

Samuel Basterra writes with a a request for help:

Fausto Villar was a Spanish 19-year-old conscripted into the Spanish Civil war in 1937, assigned to the international Fifteenth Brigade. He felt a profound admiration for both Robert Merriman and Edgar James Cody. Fausto Villar chose to remain with Merriman when he died on the morning of April 2, 1938, and appears to have been the only surviving witness to the death of Merriman and Cody. (Read more about Fausto Villar at my blog.)

Fausto spent the rest of his days trying to find the full name of the person he had known merely as Cody. We know now that Edgar James Cody, of New York, had been a member of Local 89, Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union.

I am now looking for a photograph of Cody. T may very well include Cody. Can anyone help identify him in this group shot of the scout group of Fifteenth Brigade?


5 Responses to “ Who is Edgar James Cody? ”

  1. Alan Warren on August 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Hi Samuel,

    James Neugass in “War is Beautiful” describes James Cody having the nickname “Wild Bill Cody” because of his long fair hair and beard that made him look similar to “Wild Bill Hickock”. A small, but possibly vital clue to study in the Tamiment photos? When are Fausto’s memoirs coming out in Spanish and English on the web? They are incredible! Good Luck!

  2. Alan Warren on August 4, 2013 at 12:19 am


    These are XV Brigade scouts at Ambite Mill with Captain Smyrka (“Smittie”). I think that Fausto and Cody were battalion scouts and not with Brigade. I dont think that Cody will be in this photo, sadly.

  3. Samuel on August 6, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Thanks a lot, Alan, the essay is finished both in English and in Spanish
    but Cinca seems to have hit a spot of trouble finding time publishing it.

    Will be in touch.

  4. Alan Warren on August 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    For those curious about Fausto, and also the excellent work by Samuel and Jaime Cinca, here is a link to some of their work with excerpts from Fausto’s manuscript, in English and Spanish about the Retreat from Belchite in March 1938.


  5. ziegelbrenner on July 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Llevamos mucho tiempo siguiendo el rastro de Robert Hale Merriman y Edgar James Cody. Los mas probable es que sufrieran emboscada en els Pesells, “las trincheras del Algars ” o línea Lenin. Fortificaciones que delimitan el engendro de reino de España con Catalunya. El objetivo militar del sorpresivo paso de el rio Ebro. Juan Modesto, comandante en jefe de tal maniobra, lo repite vaias veces en sus memorables memorias, “yo soy del 5º Regimiento”.

    Tengo localizados los viñedos que habla Fausto Villar, es término de Caseras, Robert H. Merriman, siguió andando, herido de muerte, en dirección a la Vall Rovira. Muchos miembros de su brigada morirían en Calaceite. Asi lo aseguran internacionalistas cubanos que componían ese batallón.