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HEAD, JOHN W. (ca. 1827–?). 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.


Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate States Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

Matthew K. Hamilton


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

Matthew K. Hamilton, "HEAD, JOHN W. ," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 05, 2015. Uploaded on January 2, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.