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
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.
17, 1861, Van Zandt County. Recruiting for his company
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 the soldiers."
- November 6,
1861, Clarksville, Tennessee. Preparing to go to Ft.
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.
18, 1862, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Exchanged after seven
months at Johnson's Island. Brigade being reformed at Clinton,
- 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.
16, 1863, Marshall, Texas. Returned to his unit after being
home on leave. Ordered to Port Hudson.
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 the war.
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 not express."
- 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 home.
- 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."
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
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