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NEYLAND, ROBERT REESE
NEYLAND, ROBERT REESE (1832–1862). Robert Reese Neyland, attorney, Indian agent, and Confederate officer, was born in 1832 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, to Williams and Harriet (Perkins) Neyland. In 1850 Neyland was a student in Jasper County, Texas. On January 14, 1858, he married Emily Wells in Polk County. The couple had two children. In 1860 Neyland was living in Woodville, where he was an investor in railroads and was employed as an attorney and state agent to the Alabama-Coushatta Indians of Polk County. When the Civil War began in 1861, Neyland was involved in a plan to organize these Indians for service as cavalry in the Confederate Army. In November he reported to Texas Gov. Francis R. Lubbock that the Indians were ready to join Col. George Washington Carter's Twenty-first Texas Cavalry Regiment. Soon after, Neyland resigned as agent to the Indians and left for Camp Carter, near Hempstead, Texas, to report for military service. In April 1862 he assisted in the organization of the Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment, comprised of recruits from Nueces, Comanche, Waller, Montgomery, and Karnes counties, and was elected lieutenant colonel. At the end of April, he succeeded in recruiting about twenty Polk County Indians for service with Company G of the Twenty fourth. Neyland, however, never saw action with the regiment. He died in Shreveport, Louisiana, on July 22, 1862, and was buried with full military honors in Shelbyville, Texas. Robert's brother, William M. Neyland, also fought for the Confederacy, as an officer in the Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry. Robert Reese's grandson of the same name was a brigadier general in the army during World War I and is famous for being the most successful football coach the University of Tennessee has ever had; the university's football arena, Neyland Stadium, is named for and was designed by their famed coach.
Articles About Tyler and Smith County, Texas, 1860–1862 (Austin State Gazette, July 7, 1860) (http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/tyler%201860-1862.htm), accessed March 22, 2011. Field Officers Serving in Texas Confederate Regiments (http://history-sites.com/~kjones/txoffs.html), accessed March 8, 2011. Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Howard N. Martin, "Texas Redskins in Confederate Gray," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (April 1967). Helen S. Swenson, comp., Your Ancestors of Jasper County (Round Rock, Texas: Helen Smothers Swenson, 1981).
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Uploaded on April 7, 2011. Modified on August 4, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.