Garland, Robert Rice (1821–1870)

By: Stephanie P. Niemeyer

Revised by: Brett J. Derbes

Type: Biography

Published: April 11, 2011

Robert Rice Garland, Confederate infantry officer, was born in Lovington, Nelson County, Virginia, and was a career soldier. During the Mexican War, he enlisted as a private on December 30, 1847, and rose to the rank of second lieutenant. He served in the United States Army from 1847 to 1861 and became a captain in the Seventh U.S. Infantry Regiment. He was married to Elizabeth Wolfe of Virginia during the mid-1850s, and the couple produced two children. When the Civil War began, Garland was assigned to Fort Fillmore in New Mexico but resigned to join the Confederacy. He enlisted as a colonel on September 3, 1861, at Camp McCulloch and became the commanding officer of the Sixth Texas Infantry. The Sixth was part of the Trans-Mississippi Department and spent much time in Arkansas. On January 11, 1863, at the battle of Arkansas Post, the Confederate troops surrendered, and Garland was taken prisoner and transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio, on January 30, 1863. He was then transferred to Fort Delaware before finally being exchanged at City Point, Virginia, on April 29, 1863. Following his exchange he was stationed near the Sabine River to organize new Texas regiments. By July 10, 1864, he was commanding a brigade under Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne in the Atlanta Campaign. He returned to combat in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 25, 1864, and was wounded. He was sent on leave by the Board of Surgeons and surrendered on June 3, 1865, in Alabama.

Following the war Garland moved to Washington D.C. where he lived as a retired officer. He suffered from tuberculosis that he contracted at a Northern prison camp and died at his sister's home in Lynchburg, Virginia, on June 13, 1870. He is buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Lynchburg City, Virginia.

Bruce S. Allardice, Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008). The Atlanta Campaign: Confederate Order of Battle, April 30, 1864 (, accessed February 10, 2011. History of the 6th Texas Infantry (, accessed February 10, 2011. James M. McCaffrey, ed., Only a Private: A Texan Remembers the Civil War: The Memoirs of William J. Oliphant (Houston: Halcyon Press, Ltd., 2004).

Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Stephanie P. Niemeyer Revised by Brett J. Derbes, “Garland, Robert Rice,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 11, 2011

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