James W. Raine, overseer and Confederate military officer, was born on November 7, 1836, in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was the eldest son of John Ashley Raine, Sr., and Mahala (Bland) Raine. Sometime before 1860, James left his home and settled in Fort Bend County, Texas, where he worked as an overseer. This profession was likely the result of his family’s ownership of slaves during his upbringing in Kentucky. On October 30, 1860, James married Mary Elizabeth Dibrell, a native of San Antonio. They had one daughter.
Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Raine enlisted on January 25, 1862, and was elected to the rank of major of Young’s Regiment, Texas Infantry. This unit completed its organization of ten companies in February 1862 and was mustered into service as the Twelfth Texas Infantry Regiment. However, in the field this unit was known as Young’s Regiment or [mistakenly] the Eighth Texas Infantry. Assigned to Young’s and Waul’s Brigade of the Trans-Mississippi Department, Raine’s unit operated in Arkansas in and around Little Rock. In April 1863 he marched the unit from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to Monroe, Louisiana. While stationed at Camp Rogers, near Marksville, Louisiana, Raine was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel on July 2, 1863.
Between March 10 and May 22, 1864, Raine and his unit served in the Confederate Gen. Richard Taylor’s defense against Nathaniel P. Bank’s Red River campaign. Raines was likely wounded at the battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864, and succumbed to his wounds on April 13. His remains were returned to his birthplace of Hardin County, Kentucky, where he was laid to rest in the Elizabethtown City Cemetery.