James Monroe Goggin, soldier and planter, son of Pleasant Moorman and Mary Otey (Leftwich) Goggin, was born on October 23, 1820, in Bedford County, Virginia. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point with the class of 1842, although he did not graduate. He moved to the Republic of Texas, where he served in the Texas army as a lieutenant in the First Infantry and acquired large landholdings, principally in Waller County. Goggin lived in Missouri, California, and Tennessee from 1844 until 1861, when he entered the Confederate Army as major of the Thirty-second Virginia Infantry. He was commended for gallantry and appointed brigadier general to rank from December 4, 1864, but probably because there was no vacant brigade at the time, the appointment was subsequently canceled, and he returned to staff duty at his former rank of major.
After the war Goggin returned to Texas and was a planter in Waller County until about 1883, when he moved to Austin. He married Elizabeth Nelson Page on February 13, 1860, and they had several children. He died in Austin on October 10, 1889. He and his wife were buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.