David Sloane Stanley

David Sloane Stanley was born in the Ohio hamlet of Cedar Valley on June 1, 1828. He was a direct descendant of one Thomas Stanley who came to Massachusetts from England in 1634. Intending to be a doctor, he was apprenticed to study medicine, but in 1848 he received an appointment to the Military Academy. He was graduated in 1852 and posted to the cavalry. All his antebellum service was on the Indian frontier and in 1861 he was stationed at Fort Washita in what is now Oklahoma. Spurning a Confederate commission which was offered to him, he led his men back to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and took part in the Missouri campaign of that summer, including the battle of Wilson's Creek, where he was employed in guarding the Federal trains. On September 28, 1861, he was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers, but was out of action with a broken leg during the winter. The following March, Stanley commanded a division of the Army of the Mississippi at New Madrid and Island No. 10, in the tortuous advance upon Corinth after Shiloh, and at the battles of Iuka and Corinth. From November, 1862, to September, 1863, he was chief of cavalry of W. S. Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland and was engaged at Murfreesboro and in the Tullahoma campaign which maneuvered Braxton Bragg out of Tennessee, but he was on sick leave during the Chickamauga campaign. Meantime he was advanced to major general to rank from November 29, 1862. Upon his return he commanded first a division and then the IV Corps near Chattanooga and in the Atlanta campaign, and he was privately blamed by W. T. Sherman for permitting William J. Hardee to escape annihilation at Jonesboro. His corps was then detached, along with John M. Schofield's XXIII Corps, to oppose John B. Hood in Tennessee. Stanley was wounded at the battle of Franklin and remained in camp near Nashville until the end of the war. He was brevetted major general, U. S. Army, in 1865 and on July 28, 1866, was commissioned colonel of the 22nd Infantry and returned to the Indian frontier. He served throughout the West in the postbellum years and was advanced to the grade of brigadier general, U. S. Army, on March 24, 1884, upon the retirement of General R. S. Mackenzie. He then commanded the Department of Texas until he was retired for age in 1892. From 1893 until 1898 he was governor of the Soldiers' Home in Washington; he died in this city on March 13, 1902, and was buried in the home's cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.