Richard Waterhouse was born on January 12, 1832, in Rhea County, Tennessee, son of an elder Richard Waterhouse, with whom he has at times been confused. After running away from home when still a boy, to engage in the Mexican War, he removed with his parents to San Augustine, Texas, in 1849, and there assisted the elder Waterhouse in the mercantile business. Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War he was instrumental in recruiting the 19th Texas Infantry in and around Jefferson, Texas. On May 13, 1862 he was commissioned its colonel, serving during that year and the next under Generals Hindman and Holmes in Arkansas, and in Louisiana under General Richard Taylor. He was present at the engagement of Milliken's Bend in the command of General Henry E. McCulloch and was commended by his superior. Later he fought in Scurry's brigade at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill during the Red River campaign. For his services he was "assigned to command" as a brigadier general by Kirby Smith to date from April 30, 1864. He was subsequently officially appointed by President Davis to take rank from March 17, 1865, and was confirmed the following day by the Confederate Senate. After the war he resided in San Augustine and in Jefferson, apparently engaging in land speculation, a universal occupation of the place and time. In the course of a trip to Waco, in March 1876, he fell down stairs in a local hotel and dislocated his shoulder. Two days later, on March 20, he died of pneumonia. He is buried in Jefferson.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.