John W. Head, farmer and Confederate military officer was born about 1827 in Georgia. Sometime before moving to Texas, he resided in Alabama where he married a “Nancy E.” It is unclear when he arrived in Texas, but it was most likely before 1855, because the 1860 census listed a family of five children—all born in Texas. The eldest was six years of age. Head and his family resided in Edom, Van Zandt County, Texas, where he worked as a farmer. He estimated his real property in 1860 to be worth $1,000 and his personal property to be worth $600.
Head did not immediately enlist into military service at the onset of the Civil War, however, he organized a Confederate military unit in early 1864 that was designated Head’s Cavalry Battalion. He served as the unit’s commanding officer at the rank of major. Head’s service was short-lived as the battalion disbanded in April 1864. While in service, Head’s Cavalry Battalion was assigned to Charles DeMorse’s Brigade, Sam Bell Maxey’s Division, District of the Indian Territory, Trans-Mississippi Department.
After the war, Head resided in Van Zandt County, and by 1870 he lived in the town of Canton. He reported that year that he was employed as a farmer and estimated his real property at $810 and his personal property at $500. In 1880 he and his family still resided in Van Zandt County and he continued to work as a farmer. The census listed eight children—three sons and five daughters. It is unclear when John W. Head died.