Robert Weakley Brahan was born into a prominent Nashville, TN family in 1811, trained as a physician, married well, and had all the right friends, among them, apparently, President Andrew Jackson. After a decade in Panola County, MS, he took his family to Bexar County, TX in 1852 and established a large plantation and raised cattle there.

In July 1861 his oldest surviving son Haywood Weakley Brahan, 21, enlisted as First Sergeant of Company F, 4th Texas Infantry and started off for New Orleans to get a train to Virginia.

Shortly afterward, in August, Robert sent a letter to President Jefferson Davis requesting a commission for his son. He asked as a “personal favor” and cited Harwood’s excellent college record, “ability, and deportment,” as well as his own work as a Brigadier General of Texas Militia on the homefront. He added “I prefer that he go into the Army permanently = Lieutenant of Cavalry preferred as he is an excellent horseman.”

I expect the President got hundreds if not thousands of such letters. Like most of them, he probably ignored this one, as a commission was not immediately forthcoming.

Young Haywood was elected 2nd Lieutenant of his Company on his own merits (probably) in November 1862 and survived Sharpsburg and all the other actions of the regiment to Appomattox in April 1865.


His brands above and much more about Robert W Brahan are from a fine post on Lost Texas Roads by Regina Tolley and Allen Kosub.

The letter pages here are from Haywood’s Compiled Service Records, US National Archives, via the fold3 subscription service.

Please Leave a Reply