Neyland, William Madison (1828–1869)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller and Bruce Allardice

Type: Biography

Published: May 26, 2011

Updated: July 29, 2011

William Madison Neyland, Secession Convention delegate and Confederate officer, was born in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, on May 26, 1828. He was the son of Dr. William and Harriet (Perkins) Neyland and brother of Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment officer Robert Reese Neyland. William married Cornelia Hicks on January 15, 1856. The couple had one son and two daughters. By 1860 Neyland practiced medicine in Jasper County. In 1861 William was elected as a delegate from Jasper County to the Texas Secession Convention, and he signed the Texas Ordinance of Secession in February 1861.

Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Neyland enlisted on May 13, 1862, as a private in Captain D. M. Stovall's company, Third Regiment, Carter’s Brigade Texas Volunteers. This unit was mustered into service in the Confederate army the next day, May 14, 1862. On May 25, 1862, Neyland was elected to the rank of lieutenant colonel of the then being organized Twenty-Fifth Texas Cavalry Regiment. When the Twenty-Fifth completed its organization, Neyland’s rank was made official via a commission from the Confederate government on June 1, 1862. On January 1, 1863, the Twenty-fifth was placed in Gen. James Deshler's Fourth Brigade of Walker's Texas Division and ordered to Arkansas. On January 11, 1863, parts of the Twenty-Fifth were captured at the battle of Arkansas Post. Neyland was among those captured. After being held as a prisoner of war at Camp Douglas and Fort Chase in Illinois, Neyland was exchanged on April 29, 1863. He returned to service with the Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry in July 1863 , this time as part of a conglomerate of captured and exchanged regiments serving with the Army of Tennessee. After rejoining his unit, Neyland was wounded during the Atlanta Caimpaign, and he resigned in March 1865.

After the war, Neyland returned to Jasper County where he died on February 24, 1869.

Bertie Bryant, Jasper County Census for 1850 and 1860 (Jasper, Texas: Deep East Texas Council of Governments, 1978). Confederate States of America Records, 1856–1915, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Ordinance of Secession of Texas (, accessed May 23, 2006. James A. Mundie, Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables: A Biographical and Pictorial Field Guide (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002). Helen Smothers Swenson, comp., Your Ancestors of Jasper County. (Round Rock, Texas: Helen Smothers Swenson, 1981).

Time Periods:

  • Civil War

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

Aragorn Storm Miller and Bruce Allardice, “Neyland, William Madison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 26, 2011
July 29, 2011

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: