Bryan, King (1818–1866)

By: Matthew K. Hamilton

Type: Biography

Published: March 22, 2011

King Bryan, also known as Kindallis Bryan, was a farmer, slaveholder, and Confederate infantry officer. He was born on January 20, 1818, in Berwick, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, to Luke O'Brien and Rebecca M. Berwick. It is unclear when King arrived in Texas, but by 1860 he was living in Liberty, Texas, was married to Amanda Wynn of Louisiana, and worked as a farmer. In that year, he reported $8,000 in real estate and $5,000 in personal estate including the ownership of three slaves.

Soon after the start of the Civil War, King raised a company of Texas volunteers on July 11, 1861, and was elected captain. This unit was subsequently mustered into service in the Confederate Army at Richmond, Virginia, as Company F of the Fifth Texas Infantry Regiment. This regiment was part of Hood's Texas Brigade and saw action in all of the difficult campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia. King saw action in most of the pivotal battles of the Civil War including Antietam, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and the Wilderness.

Following the battle of Second Manassas, Bryan was promoted to the rank of major on August 30, 1862. He was promoted again on November 1, 1862, following the battle of Antietam, this time to the rank of lieutenant colonel. At Gettysburg, King was wounded on the third day of the battle, July 3, 1863. After Gettysburg, King's unit was part of Gen. James Longstreet's First Corps when it went west to aid the Army of Tennessee. While in Tennessee, Bryan was often in command of an entire brigade, despite his rank. In the summer of 1864, having returned east, King's unit took part in the battle of the Wilderness. During the battle he was severely wounded on the anterior portion of his right arm on May 6, 1864. King's injury proved so severe that he never again returned to combat. On August 22, 1864, a surgeon issued him a disability certification, and he remained in private quarters in Richmond, Virginia. However, on March 8, 1865, he retired from service and joined the C.S.A. Invalid Corps.

Sometime between the summer of 1865 and the fall of 1866, King returned to Texas. He eventually succumbed to his battle wounds on October 8, 1866, in Beaumont. He is buried in the Bryan-Neyland Cemetery in present-day Hardin, Texas.

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State Of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Joseph H. Crute, Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army (Midlothian, Virginia: Derwent, 1987). Houston Telegraph, March 25, 1864.

  • Agriculture
  • Farmers
  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Regimental and Staff Officers
  • Soldiers
Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • Antebellum Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Matthew K. Hamilton, “Bryan, King,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 22, 2011

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