Irvine, Robert Boyd (1813–1838)

By: Cooper K. Ragan

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: February 1, 1995

Robert Boyd Irvine, soldier, was born in Lawrence County, Tennessee, on January 8, 1813, the son of Josephus and Jane (Patton) Irvine. He was the oldest of four brothers who served in the Texas army, one of whom was Josephus Somerville Irvine. His father died on the family's journey to Texas in 1830, and the family settled near Milam, Sabine County; four years later they moved to Ayish Bayou, four miles south of San Augustine. Irvine enlisted in a San Augustine company of volunteers in October 1835 and fought in the battle of Concepción on October 28. He did not participate in the battle of San Jacinto; presumably he was in East Texas recruiting and obtaining supplies for Sam Houston's army. Irvine drew pay as a captain of infantry from December 18, 1835, to August 27, 1836, with extra pay as assistant quartermaster from March 14, 1836, to August 27, 1836. He was paid as captain of the First Infantry Regiment from August 27, 1836, to May 18, 1837. President Houston nominated and the Texas Senate confirmed Irvine as a major of infantry in Col. Amasa Turner's regiment in the regular army on May 22, 1837, making Irvine the first major commissioned in the regular Army of the Republic of Texas after the permanent government was formed. A bounty warrant for 1,280 acres was issued to his heirs in 1845 for his twelve months' service in the Texas army. Irvine died on July 24, 1838, in San Augustine; he had never married. He was considered by his associates to be one of the most promising young men of the republic.

William Campbell Binkley, ed., Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, 1835–1836 (2 vols., New York: Appleton-Century, 1936). Cooper K. Ragan, Josephus Somerville Irvine: Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Josephus Somerville Irvine Monument (Houston, 1963). E. W. Winkler, ed., Secret Journals of the Senate, Republic of Texas (Austin, 1911).
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Cooper K. Ragan, “Irvine, Robert Boyd,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995