Portrait of Stephen D. Lee

Donald C. Stith served on the staff of Confederate Major General Stephen D. Lee (pictured here) during the Vicksburg Campaign. He was one of four West Point graduates to fight for the Union during the war before switching sides. [Wikimedia Commons]

Donald Chester Stith - Facts

July 21, 1829 - March 18, 1920

Key facts about Colonel Donald Chester Stith, one of four graduates of the United States Military Academy to join the Confederate Army after first fighting for the Union Army during the Civil War.

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Full Name:

  • Donald Chester Stith

Birth Date:

  • July 21, 1829

Birth Location:

  • Smyrna in the Ottoman Empire, now known as Izmir, Turkey

Parents:

  • Undetermined

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1850)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Captain (USA)
  • Colonel (CSA)

Spouse:

  • None

Place of Death:

  • Austin, Texas

Date of Death:

  • March 18, 1920

Place of Burial:

  • Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas

Significance:

  • Donald Chester Stith was born July 21, 1829, in the ancient city of Smyrna in the Ottoman Empire, now known as Izmir, Turkey.
  • Donald C. Stith’s parents were Americans traveling abroad at the time of his birth.
  • Donald C. Stith attended the United States Military Academy from September 1, 1846 to July 1, 1850.
  • Donald C. Stith ranked last among the forty-four cadets in his class at the United States Military Academy.
  • Upon graduating from West Point, Donald C. Stith was brevetted to second lieutenant of infantry and sent to the American West.
  • Donald C. Stith was promoted to the full rank of second lieutenant on April 30, 1853.
  • Donald C. Stith was promoted to first lieutenant on October 18, 1855.
  • After the Civil War erupted, Confederate troops captured Donald C. Stith near Guadalupe, Mexico in late June or early July 1861.
  • Confederate Colonel John R. Baylor paroled Donald C. Stith after Confederate troops captured Stith near Guadalupe, Mexico, in 1861.
  • Donald C. Stith was promoted to captain with the 5th Infantry on August 8, 1861.
  • Donald C. Stith joined the Confederate army in August or September 1861.
  • Donald C. Stith was dismissed from the U.S. Army on September 25, 1861.
  • Donald C. Stith was a major in the Confederate army by 1862.
  • Donald C. Stith served on the staff of Confederate Major General Stephen D. Lee during the Vicksburg Campaign.
  • In 1863, Donald C. Stith was promoted to colonel in the Confederate Army, the rank at which he finished the war.
  • Donald C. Stith died on March 18, 1920, aged 90, at the Confederate Home at Austin, Texas.
  • Donald C. Stith was buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
  • What caused Stith Donald C. Stith to change allegiances during the Civil War remains unknown.
  • Donald C. Stith was one of four West Point graduates to fight for the Union during the war before switching sides.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Donald Chester Stith - Facts
  • Coverage July 21, 1829 - March 18, 1920
  • Author
  • Keywords Donald Chester Stith
  • 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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