Samuel Benton Barron, lawyer and judge, was born near Gurley, Madison County, Alabama, on November 9, 1834, the third child of Samuel Boulds and Martha (Cotten) Barron. Both parents died when Barron was young. The youth clerked in a store at nearby Huntsville, Alabama, and began reading law in 1858. He moved the following year to Rusk, Texas, where he found employment as a clerk until the summer of 1860, when he began his legal practice. At the outbreak of the Civil War Barron joined the "Lone Star Defenders," the first company of Confederate volunteers raised in Cherokee County, in May 1861. This unit became Company C of Col. Elkanah B. Greer's Third Texas Cavalry when the regiment was organized the following month. Barron entered service as a sergeant and was elected lieutenant in 1863. He served throughout the war in the Third Texas, from its first battle at Wilson's Creek, Missouri, to its final encounter with the enemy at Sugar Creek, Tennessee, on December 26, 1864.
After the war Barron returned to civilian life at Rusk, where he operated a store for about five years before resuming his law practice. From 1880 until his death he was repeatedly elected to the offices of county clerk (1880–91) and justice of the peace (1907–12); he also served as county judge between 1897 and 1899. Barron was a Presbyterian and Mason. His first wife was Eugenia Wiggins, with whom he had three children. After her death, he married Mrs. Olympia Scott Miller, who died in 1893. His third wife was Mrs. Agatha Scott Leftwich. Barron died in Palestine on February 2, 1912.
He is best remembered for his colorful and accurate memoir of his life as a Rebel cavalryman, The Lone Star Defenders, published originally in 1908. Without bombast or excessive sentimentality, he recounts his day-to-day experiences in camp and field. It is among the most authentic and reliable accounts of a Texas soldier in the Civil War.