TOWNES, NATHANIEL WILLIAM (1827-1900). Nathaniel William Townes, lawyer and Confederate officer, was born in Pittsylvania
County, Virginia, on February 3, 1827. Townes
married Lucinda Robbins on October 5,
1852, in Red River County, Texas.
By 1860 the couple and their three children lived in Paris,
Texas, where Townes
worked as an attorney and planter with nine slaves.
Townes joined the Ninth Texas
Cavalry when it organized in August 1861. A popular man, the men elected
him major of the regiment on October
2, 1861, and then colonel in May 1862. The Ninth was mustered into
service on October 14, 1861,
and saw some of their first battles in Indian Territory
where they fought pro-Union American Indians.
Shortly after being elected colonel in 1862, Townes
was injured in an accidental shooting in Corinth,
Mississippi. One of the men failed to see a
loaded rifle on the ground in front of him, stepped on the gun, and it fired
hitting Townes in the knee. Despite efforts to return
to his troops, Townes never again took the field as a
After the Civil
War, Townes returned to Red
lived in Bogata. On December 1, 1893, he was named Bogata
postmaster, a position that he retained for six years. Townes
died on May 4, 1900, and is
buried in the BogataCemetery.
Richard Lowe, ed., A Texas Cavalry
Officer's Civil War: The Diary and Letters of James C. Bates (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1999). James A. Mundie,
Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas
Burial Sites of Civil War Notables: A Biographical and Pictorial Field Guide
(Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002).
Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of
Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this