Fambing Woo, who later (and illegally) changed his name to Wilfred Woodruff, was a Chinese railroad worker who became a Confederate hero during the Civil War, when he stole the uniform from a dead soldier and posed as that officer. He founded a new branch of the Woodruff family tree.
Fambing's officer sword was passed down through his descendants for several generations before it was stolen by funeral director Lawrence Schatz. His great-great-great-great grandson, Wilfred Woodruff VI, tried to steal the sword back from the brothers Schatz before it could be sold, and became involved in an altercation with Ned.
Fambing Woo was a railroad worker during the Civil War era. During a summer day in 1863, while laying track for the Central Pacific Railroad, the man guarding them suddenly passed out or died. The other workers fled northwest for a better life, but Fambing Woo ran southeast instead. The Narrator said his reason for making this decision is unknown, but it has been argued that it was either "the hand of destiny" or heatstroke. During his flight, Fambing stole the uniform from the body of a fallen Confederate soldier.
Within moments of putting the clothes on, a regiment of Confederate soldiers discovered him, but mistook him for a fellow soldier. Fambing found from a name-tag inside his uniform that the fallen officer was named "Woodruff." He posed as the deceased Woodruff, but soon started to live the illusion, serving with distinction in several battles. He was decorated for bravery in the Second Battle of Murfreesboro and the Battle of Missionary Ridge. After the war ended, he continued to live as a Woodruff and founded his own branch of the Woodruff family tree.
Although not a well-known name, Fambing Woo was regarded as one of the heroes of the Confederacy. He was particularly admired by his descendants, all of whom were named Wilfred Woodruff. Fambing's sword was passed down by the family for generations, until it was to be buried with Fambing's great-great grandson, Wilfred Woodruff IV.
The sword was stolen from the coffin of Woodruff IV by Lawrence Schatz, one of the funeral directors of Schatz Brothers Funeral Home, who regularly plundered their corpses with his twin brother, Louis Schatz. The brothers tried to sell the sword for $1,200 on an on-line auction, where it was found by Woodruff IV's grandson, Wilfred Woodruff VI. Woodruff VI stole the sword back from the Schatz brothers and tried to frame Ned for their deaths, but was arrested and charged in connection with their deaths.
Personality and traits
Although Fambing Woo displayed a lack of judgment when he fled from slavery in a southern direction instead of north, he also displayed an ability to think quickly when he posed as a Confederate officer to avoid arrest. He was also intelligent enough to maintain the ruse throughout the Civil War and for the rest of his life. His legacy also indicates he was an exceptional soldier with good swordsmanship skills.