Coleman was older than Levi by three years, and almost the complete opposite in character. Levi was a rake and rounder whereas Cole was sober and straight-forward. However, they both fell in love with Ruby, and the love was reciprocated by her to both, although Levi excited her imagination while Cole represented husband material.
Cole and Levi both joined up with the Rebels in Shreveport as soon as the war commenced. But while Levi saw the war as a great adventure, Cole was more clear-eyed about it and joined the fight out of a sense of duty but really to keep an eye on Levi.
Sadly, Levi died on the field at Mansfield, leaving Cole to return, alone, to Ruby, whom he married (see song “Levi, Ruby & Cole“). He knew she was pregnant with Levi’s baby, and took on the responsibility of raising this baby girl, Pearl. He and Ruby enjoyed a long marriage, having four children of their own and celebrating their 56th anniversary shortly before Cole died in 1910.