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Robert Brank Vance (April 24, 1828 – November 28, 1899), nephew of the earlier Congressman Robert Brank Vance (1793-1827) and brother of Zebulon Baird Vance, was a North Carolinamarker Democratic politician who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for six terms (1873-1885). He was chairman of the United States House Committee on Patents. During the American Civil War, Vance served in the Confederate States Army, where he reached the rank of brigadier general.

Early life

Vance was born in Buncombe County, North Carolinamarker. He attended the common schools in the county and worked as a farmer and a merchant. He later served as the clerk of the court of pleas and quarter sessions in Buncombe County.

Civil War

Vance recruited a company known as the Buncombe Life Guards and was elected captain of the company. He was then elected colonel of the newly formed 29th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. He was sent to eastern Tennesseemarker and took part in his defense of the Cumberland Gapmarker and went with Edmund Kirby Smith into Kentuckymarker. Vance commanded the brigade of James E. Rains after his death at the Battle of Murfreesboromarker. This command was short lived as Vance contracts typhoid fever. He was promoted to brigadier general to rank from March 4, 1863. After he recovered from his illness, he was assigned to Western North Carolina. He was captured on January 14, 1864 at Crosby Creek, North Carolina and was held at Fort Delawaremarker until March 10, 1865.

Post-War career

Vance was elected to Congress six times, serving from 1873 to 1885. After losing his seat in Congress, Vance served as federal Assistant Commissioner of Patents and later was elected to one term in the North Carolina House of Representatives (1894-1896).


Vance died near Asheville, North Carolinamarker on November 28, 1899. He and his brother Zebulon are both interred in the Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolinamarker.

See also


  1. Warner, p. 313.
  2. Warner, p. 314.


  • Warner, Ezra J. (1959). Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
  • Congressional Biography

External links

  • Retrieved 2008-07-02

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