Captain E. T. Broughton
7th Texas Infantry
LETTERS TO MOLLIE
The Letters of Edward Thomas
Broughton to Mary Elizabeth Douglas Broughton (1861-1864)
Compiled by Mary Lee Anderson Barnes, Great Granddaughter, 1989
Copy of handwritten letter #4,
courtesy of Athens Genealogical Organization, Athens, Texas
Edward Thomas Broughton
Edward Thomas Broughton II was born in Monroe County,
Alabama, on April 13, 1834. He was the son of Edward T. Broughton and
Rachel Winborne Walker. E. T. Broughton was described as a man of fine
appearance, nearly six-feet tall, erect and commanding.
Broughton studied to become a lawyer and after passing the
Texas bar, established himself in the legal profession. On July 2, 1856,
at the age 22, he married Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) Douglas, daughter of
Alexander Douglas of Smith County. During the course of their marriage,
they had seven children.
In 1857, Broughton and Mollie moved to Athens, Texas where
he entered a law practice with his brother, Dempsey W. Broughton and T. B.
Greenwood. In 1861, records show he was in Kaufman County, Texas, in a law
firm with his brother and R. B. English. By this time, he and Mollie had
given birth to their first two children, Prentiss and Margaret Tomie.
In July, 1861, Broughton volunteered for service in the
Confederate army. He was elected captain of Company C, Seventh Texas
Infantry. During the war, Broughton was captured twice - at Fort Donelson,
Kentucky, February 16, 1862, and at Raymond, Mississippi, May 12, 1863.
Each time, he was imprisoned at Johnson's Island Prison, Ohio. During his
second time in prison where he remained for almost a year, he contracted
smallpox that impaired his vision for life.
Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth Douglas
After his 1864 release from prison, Broughton traveled to
Georgia where his regiment was engaged in the Campaign for Atlanta. Prior
to rejoining the army, he spent some time in Newnan, Georgia,
convalescing. After the fall of Atlanta, Broughton continued with General
Hood's army into Tennessee. On November 30, 1864, after Granbury was
killed during the Battle of Franklin, Broughton took command of Granbury's
Brigade for the remainder of the engagement.
The fate of the Confederacy was sealed after the loss of
the battles of Franklin and Nashville.
After the Tennessee Campaign, Broughton returned to
Kaufman and his law practice. In 1868, he moved to Sherman (Grayson
County) and, in 1870, was elected state senator from the 22nd District. He
served two terms but was forced to retire due to the decline of his
health. Brought died in February of 1874 and is buried in Sherman, Texas.
He was not quite 40 years of age at the time of his death.
Historic notes by Mary Lee Barnes, great granddaughter.
- September 17,
1861, Van Zandt County. Recruiting for his company
- September 26,
1861, Starrville, Texas. Recruiting for his company.
- October 21,
1861, Shreveport, Louisiana. Ordered to Memphis. "Night
before last, I dreamed that Prentiss sat on my knee and prattled about
- November 6,
1861, Clarksville, Tennessee. Preparing to go to Ft. Donelson,
- November 16,
1861, Princeton, Kentucky. Quartered at Cumberland College, he
is homesick, "I am almost miserable. I have heard nothing
definite from you since I left Marshall. I do trust I shall begin to
receive letters from home." His company has been selected as
the regiment's color company.
- January 4,
1862, Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Attacked with "billious
remittant fever", "reduced to a skeleton, 110 pounds. I am
weak as a child." Apprehensive of pending attack.
- January 22,
1862, Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Recovering from illness. "My
physician said my disease from which I am recovering was produced by
- May 23, 1862,
Sandusky, Ohio. Imprisoned at Johnson's Island. Trying to take
imprisonment philosophically to avoid depression. Spends time reading
and exercising in the open air.
- September 18,
1862, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Exchanged after seven months at
Johnson's Island. Brigade being reformed at Clinton, Mississippi.
- October 7,
1962, Clinton, Mississippi. Disappointed that he could not
return to Texas for recruiting. "Never in my life have I
undertaken to write to you under more distressing and gloomy
circumstances." Optimistic that he will be elected Major.
- January 16,
1863, Marshall, Texas. Returned to his unit after being home
on leave. Ordered to Port Hudson.
- January 31,
1863, Port Hudson, Louisiana. "I have not been able to
get any cooking utensils yet, and if I had them, I cannot get much to
cook in them." He muses on the prospects for an early end to
- February 2,
1863, Port Hudson, Louisiana. "The prospects for peace
are growing daily more bright and it cannot come too soon for
me." He asks about "a little matter" (she
was expecting another child).
- March 18,
1862, Robbin Station (12 miles from Port Hudson). He describes
naval bombardment of Port Hudson.
- April 15,
1863, Port Hudson, Louisiana. He specifies how he wants his
new summer uniform to be sewn, "not allow any for buttons on
the coast as I can get staff buttons and have them put on here. I
believe I would prefer a nice piece of Black cloth on the collar and
sleeves if it can be had."
- April 27,
1963, Port Hudson, Louisiana. The Red River is blocked. "I
am still sanguine about the war closing my mid-summer, for God knows
if there is any event feverently and anxiously wished for by me, it is
the close of the war. How sick, tired and disgusted I am words will
- May 23,
1864, Newman [Newnan], Georgia. He tells of his capture in
Raymond, May 12, 1863 and how he was taken back to Johnson's Island.
He is now on parole awaiting exchange. He describes his movements upon
release, April 22, 1964, and anticipates a fight. He describes "having
had small pox, flux and two attacks of erysipelas. My face is pretty
badly marked with pox. I am in pretty feeble health."
- June 3,
1864, Newman [Newnan], Georgia. Staying with a Methodist
preacher tell of his improving health and looks forward to returning
- July 3,
1964, Atlanta, Georgia. "My health continues to
improve, and I think in a few weeks I will be well and fit for
service. There is no prospect for getting home until the present
campaign is ended."
- August 15,
1864, Atlanta, Georgia. "I have been promoted to Lt.
Colonel of the regiment."
- November 2,
1864, Tuscumbia, Alabama. Describes the movements of his
regiment through Georgia, Alabama, and Florence and anticipates
preparing for winter quarters. "My health is improving slowly
all the time excepting my eyes which give me some trouble yet."
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