Portrait of David S. Stanley

During the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, David S. Stanley was shot through the neck while leading his troops to victory at the Battle of Nashville (December 15-16, 1864). [Wikimedia Commons]

David Sloane Stanley - Facts

June 1, 1828 - March 13, 1902

Key facts about Major General David S. Stanley, a prominent Union officer and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, who served as commander of the 4th Army Corps in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.

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Full Name:

  • David Sloane Stanley (AKA David Sloan Stanley)

Birth Date:

  • June 1, 1828

Birth Location:

  • Cedar Valley, an unincorporated area in southwestern Wayne County, Ohio

Parents:

  • John Bratton and Sarah (Peterson) Stanley

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1848)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Brigadier General (USA)
  • Major General (USVA)

Spouse:

  • Anna M. Wright (1857)

Place of Death:

  • Washington, DC.

Date of Death:

  • March 13, 1902

Place of Burial:

  • United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, Washington, DC

Significance:

  • David S. Stanley was the second of five children born to John Bratton and Sarah (Peterson) Stanley.
  • David S. Stanley entered the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1848.
  • Among David S. Stanley’s United States Military Academy classmates who later became general officers in the Union Army were Henry W. Slocum, Alexander D. McCook, August V. Kautz, and George Crook.
  • David S. Stanley graduated from the United States Military Academy, ninth in his class of forty-three cadets, on July 1, 1852.
  • Following his graduation, from the United States Military Academy, David S. Stanley was brevetted to second lieutenant and assigned to the 2nd U.S. Dragoons.
  • On September 6, 1853, David S. Stanley was promoted to the full rank of second lieutenant.
  • On March 3, 1855, David S. Stanley was transferred to the 1st Cavalry, and less than a month later, on March 27, he was promoted to first lieutenant.
  • In 1856, Stanley and his regiment were sent to “Bleeding Kansas” to help stifle the violent strife between “Free-soilers” and pro-slavery advocates.
  • On April 2, 1857, Stanley married Anna M. Wright, who he had known since his time at West Point. Their marriage lasted for nearly forty years and produced seven children.
  • In 1857, future Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart saved David S. Stanley from a potential brush with death at the hands of a Cheyenne Indians near Solomon Fork, Kansas.
  • On March 1, 1861, David S. Stanley was promoted to the rank of captain.
  • While serving in Missouri under Major General John C. Frémont, David S. Stanley took part in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek (August 10, 1861) and the Battle of Lexington (September 12-20, 1861).
  • On September 28, 1861, David S. Stanley was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the volunteer army. His promotion was officially announced by the War Department in General Orders, No. 106, which was issued on December 5, 1861.
  • In January 1862, David S. Stanley was placed in command of the 1st Division of Major General John Pope’s Army of the Mississippi. Small in size, Stanley’s Division comprised four Ohio regiments, the 27th, 39th, 43rd, and 63rd infantries.
  • David S. Stanley’s Division took part in the Union operations at New Madrid and Island No. 10 (February 28, 1862 – April 8, 1862), which helped secure Union control of the Mississippi River down to Fort Pillow in Tennessee.
  • David S. Stanley took part in Major General Henry Halleck’s Siege of Corinth, Mississippi (April 29 to May 30, 1862), and the subsequent pursuit of Confederate General P. G. T, Beauregard’s retreating Rebel army.
  • David S. Stanley commanded the 2nd Division of the Army of the Mississippi at the Union victory at the Battle of Iuka (September 19, 1862).
  • David S. Stanley commanded the 2nd Division of the Army of the Mississippi at the Union victory at the Battle of Corinth II (October 3 – 4, 1862).
  • On November 24, 1862, David S. Stanley was appointed as Chief of Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland.
  • David S. Stanley’s cavalry took part in the Union victory at the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863).
  • David S. Stanley was brevetted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the regular army for his “gallant and meritorious services” at the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863).
  • At the inception of the Tullahoma Campaign (June 24–July 3, 1863) David S. Stanley was listed as major general, commanding the cavalry corps. Stanley’s appointment to that rank (to date from November 29, 1862) was officially announced by the War Department in General Orders, No. 316, on September 18, 1863.
  • In late summer David S. Stanley fell ill and missed the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19 – 20, 1863).
  • In November 1863, David S. Stanley was placed in command of the 1st Division of the 4th Corps and sent north to help relieve Major General Ambrose E. Burnside’s troops who were under siege at Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • On December 3, 1863, David S. Stanley was promoted to the rank of major in the regular army.
  • During the early phases of that campaign, David S. Stanley’s Division took part in operations around Dalton, Georgia (May 7‑13), the Battle of Resaca (May 15), the Battle of Dallas (May 26–June 4), the Battle of Pickett’s Mills (May 27, 1864), the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (June 27, 1864), and the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, (July 20, 1864).
  • David S. Stanley was brevetted to the rank of colonel in the regular army for his “Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Resaca, Ga.”
  • On July 30, 1864, the War Department issued General Orders, No. 238, announcing that David S. Stanley was appointed to command the 4th Army Corps (to date from July 27).
  • David S. Stanley was wounded at the Battle of Jonesborough (August 31-September 1, 1864).
  • During the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, David S. Stanley was shot through the neck while leading his troops to victory at the Battle of Nashville (December 15-16, 1864).
  • On March 13, 1865, David S, Stanley was brevetted to brigadier general in the regular army for “Gallant and Meritorious Conduct” during the Battle of Ruff’s Station, Georgia on July 4, 1864.
  • On March 13, 1865, David S, Stanley was brevetted to brigadier general in the regular army for “Gallant and Meritorious Conduct” during the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864.
  • David S. Stanley mustered out of volunteer service on February 1, 1866, but continued his military career as colonel of the 22nd Infantry in the United States Army.
  • David S. Stanley spent twenty-six years after the Civil War serving at numerous military posts, mostly in the American West.
  • In 1873, David S. Stanley led an expedition to explore parts of Montana along the Yellowstone River.
  • David S. Stanley served as commander of the Department of New Mexico from November 3, 1883 to May 1, 1884.
  • David S. Stanley was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on March 24, 1884.
  • David S. Stanley served as commander of the Department of Texas from May 8, 1884 to June 1, 1892.
  • On June 1, 1892, the U.S. War Department issued General Orders, No. 34, announcing David S. Stanley’s retirement from active service.
  • David S. Stanley served as Governor of the Soldiers’ Home, in Washington, D. C., from September 13, 1893 until April 15, 1898.
  • On March 29, 1893, the U.S. Congress paid homage to David S. Stanley’s performance at the Battle of Franklin by awarding him the Congressional Medal of Honor. His citation noted that Stanley “At a critical moment rode to the front of one of his brigades, reestablished its lines, and gallantly led it in a successful assault.”
  • David S. Stanley died of kidney failure (chronic Bright’s disease) on March 13, 1902, at the age of seventy-three years, at his residence in Washington, DC.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title David Sloane Stanley - Facts
  • Coverage June 1, 1828 - March 13, 1902
  • Author
  • Keywords David Sloane Stanley
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 31, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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