John Thomas Bolton, soldier, physician, and politician, was born near Washington, Georgia, on March 22, 1840 (March 27, 1839, according to some sources), the son of Charles L. and Mary (Nolan) Bolton. In February 1846 his father purchased 1,000 acres of land in Wharton County, Texas, for $10,000. Bolton earned a medical degree in New Orleans and in 1856 joined his family in Wharton County. With the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in July 1861 as first corporal in Capt. J. F. Roberts's Reserve Cavalry company of the Wharton County Home Guards, Texas State Troops; he later joined the regular Confederate service as a private in Company C of Col. Reuben R. Brown's Thirty-fifth Texas Cavalry. He was soon promoted to assistant surgeon. With Brown's regiment he served in Texas and in the Red River campaign in Louisiana in 1864. After the war Bolton resumed his medical practice but spent most of his time as a cotton planter. He also served as a Wharton county commissioner for eight years, as county treasurer, and on the Wharton City Council. In 1869 he married Mary Rogers, the daughter of William P. Rogers. The couple had three children. Bolton was a member of the United Confederate Veterans. He died at Wharton on March 29, 1915. His correspondence, diary, and plantation records are preserved in the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin.