Robert Brank Vance was an older brother of Zebulon Baird Vance (Governor of North Carolina during the Civil War).
He was a Clerk of Court and merchant in Asheville, NC. In the Civil War, he joined the Confederate troops, became a colonel, leading with Col. William B. Creasman the 29th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, and was eventually promoted to brigadier-general. After the war, he ran for congress and served for six terms.
For more information, see this account, from which the above information was taken: