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Highsmith, Henry Albert (1843–1930)

Thomas W. Cutrer Biography Entry

Henry Albert Highsmith, Texas Ranger and Confederate soldier, was born in Bastrop, Texas, on January 11, 1843, the son of Teresa (Williams) and Samuel Highsmith. He attended Bastrop Military Institute (see TEXAS MILITARY INSTITUTE, AUSTIN) and followed his father and older brother Malcijah Highsmith into the Texas Rangers. As a ranger he eventually achieved the rank of captain. During the Civil War Highsmith served in his brother's company, the "Bastrop Cavalry Company" or the "Bishop Cavalry Company," of Texas State Troops. This company was mustered into Confederate service on August 10, 1861, as Company D of Col. William H. Parsons's Twelfth Texas Cavalry. Highsmith enlisted as a private and ended the war as regimental sergeant major. He subsequently returned to Bastrop. There he married Sarah A. McCutcheon on July 31, 1867; they had seven children. Soon after his marriage Highsmith rejoined the rangers, and in July 1869 he narrowly escaped death in an Indian fight. In 1876 he resigned from the rangers and moved from Lampasas to Round Rock, where he opened a feed store and livery stable. In 1878 he recovered the wounded robber Sam Bass, returned him to Round Rock, and sat with him until his death. His detailed account of the famous incident was published in the Williamson County Sun in 1926. From Round Rock Highsmith moved in 1885 to Hutto, where he died on March 19, 1930.

Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Maude Wellis Traylor, "Two Famous Sons of a Famous Father," Frontier Times, April 1941.

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Highsmith, Henry Albert,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 30, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.