Hello again Benny,
After reading about Alfred Shorter I was amazed how weathly he was. He owned Rome, Ga at one time and even had a locomotive named after him during the WBTS.
I would think his title as Colonel was an honorary one. He was born in Georgia in 1803. I see him being referred to as Colonel as early as 1836. Perhaps he paid for a regiments equipment etc during the Creek Indian Wars under Governor Mitchell of Georgia?
Someone with his vast wealth also would be given that title. Somehow he is also probably related to Governor John G. Shorter of Alabama. I think Governor Shorter had a brother who was a Colonel at Shiloh.
At any rate, Alfred Shorter was an interesting and powerful man and used his money to help his town and state.