David Sloane Stanley
Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry
The 22nd Infantry Regiment did
not exist during the Civil War. After the War, in 1866, the 22nd
Infantry was re-activated
from elements of the 13th Infantry. COL David Sloane Stanley was the 22nd's first Commander after the re-activation.
He served with the 22nd Infantry for eighteen years.
Below are the listings for David
S. Stanley in the Official Army Registers,
including his Regular Army service and concurrent service in the Volunteers.
At the same time that Stanley was occupying General positions in the Volunteers,
and leading troops as a General, he still held lesser actual rank in the Regular Army:
Cadet Military Academy
................................................ July, 1, 1848
Brevet 2nd Lieutenant 2nd Dragoons ............................... July 1, 1852
2nd Lieutenant ...................................................... September 6, 1853
Transferred to 1st Cavalry ........................................... March 3, 1855
1st Lieutenant ............................................................ March 27, 1855
Captain 4th Cavalry ................................................... March 16, 1861
Offered Brigadier General of Volunteers .............. September 28, 1861
Accepted Brigadier General of Volunteers ............... October 15, 1861
Offered Major General of Volunteers ................... November 29, 1862
Accepted Major General of Volunteers ........................ April 10, 1863
Major 5th Cavalry ................................................. December 1, 1863
Shot in the neck at the Battle of Franklin, Tenn.......November 30, 1864
Awarded Brevet as Major General ............................. March 13, 1865
Honorably mustered out of the Volunteers ............... February 1, 1866
Offered Colonel 22nd Infantry ....................................... July 28, 1866
Accepted Colonel 22nd Infantry .......................... September 13, 1866
Offered Brigadier General .......................................... March 24, 1884
Accepted Brigadier General ......................................... April 18, 1884
Retired ........................................................................... June 1, 1892
Awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in 1864..........March 29, 1893
Died.............................................................................March 13, 1902
At his retirement, Stanley was the fourth highest ranking General in the United States Army.
The following is the military
history of David Sloane Stanley, as
recorded in Cullum's Registers, published 1868 through 1901:
As Commander of the 22nd
Infantry, Stanley led three expeditions into the Yellowstone
country of Montana,
during the years 1871-1873. These were the first attempts at exploring and mapping this still wild and unknown
country. The most important of these expeditions was the one in 1873. On that expedition, Stanley commanded
a force consisting of eighteen companies of infantry (comprised of the 8th, 9th, 17th and 22nd Infantry), and
ten companies of cavalry. The cavalry was the 7th Cavalry, under LTC George Custer, who reported directly
to Stanley. Expeditions into the Yellowstone were resisted and harrassed by Sitting Bull and the Sioux, with
several engagements being fought, as preludes to the great Sioux Wars of 1876-1877.
To read Stanley's 23 page report
of the 1873 expedition, click on the link below.
(The link is to a PDF file. To return to this page, click the "back" arrow in the PDF file.)
Yellowstone Expedition 1873
Below are three biographies of
David S. Stanley, each with something
unique to say about him:
David S. Stanley
No specific date given
for the above photo, only the vague date of between 1860-1870.
The rank insignia in his shoulder board is indeterminable, however, it is a single insignia,
indicating the photo was taken prior to his position of Major General of Volunteers in 1863.
Library of Congress photo number LC-DIG-cwpb-04715
STANLEY, David Sloan, soldier, born in Cedar Valley, Ohio, 1 June, 1828. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1852, and in 1853 was detailed with Lieutenant Amiel W. Whipple to survey a railroad route along the 35th parallel. As lieutenant of cavalry from 1855 till his promotion to a captaincy in 1861, he spent the greater part of his time in the saddle. Among other Indian engagements he took part in one with the Cheyennes on Solomon's Fork, and one with the Comanches near Fort Arbuckle.
At the beginning of the civil war he refused high rank in the Confederate army. In the early part of the war he fought at Independence, Forsyth, Dug Springs, Wilson's Creek, Rolla, and other places, and was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, 28 September, 1861. He led a division at New Madrid, and the commanding general reported that he was "especially indebted" to General Stanley for his "efficient aid and uniform zeal." Subsequently he was complimented for his "untiring activity and skill" in the battle of Island No. 10. He took part in most of the skirmishes in and around Corinth and in the battle of Farmington. In the fight near the White House, or Bridge Creek, he repelled the enemy's attack with severe loss, and he was especially commended by General William S. Rosecrans at Iuka. At Corinth he occupied the line between batteries Robinett and Williams, and was thus exposed to the severest part of the attack of the enemy, and, although other parts of the line gave way, his was never broken. General Stanley was appointed major-general of volunteers on 29 November, 1862. He bore an active part in most of the battles of the Atlanta campaign, and as commander of the 4th army corps he took part in the battle of Jonesboro'. After General George H. Thomas was ordered to Nashville, General Stanley was directed on 6 October to command the Army of the Cumberland in his absence. Until he was severely wounded at Franklin, he took an active part in all the operations and battles in defence of Nashville. His disposition of the troops at Spring Hill enabled him to repel the assault of the enemy's cavalry and afterward two assaults of the infantry. A few days afterward, at Franklin, he fought a desperate hand-to-hand conflict. Placing himself at the head of a reserve brigade, he regained the part of the line that the enemy had broken. Although severely wounded, he did not leave the field until long after dark. When he recovered he rejoined his command, and, after the war closed, took it to Texas.
He had received the brevets of lieutenant-colonel for Stone River, Tennessee, colonel for Resaca, Georgia, brigadier-general for Ruff's Station, Georgia, and major-general for Franklin, Tennessee, all in the regular army. He was appointed colonel of the 22d infantry, and spent a greater part of the time up to 1874 in Dakota. In command of the Yellowstone expedition of 1873, he successfully conducted his troops through the unknown wilderness of Dakota and Montana, and his favorable reports on the country led to the subsequent emigration thither. In 1874 he went with his regiment to the lake stations, and in 1879 moved it to Texas, where he completely suppressed Indian raids in the western part of the state. He also restored the confidence of the Mexicans, which had been disturbed by the raid that the United States troops made across the boundary in 1878. He was ordered to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1882, and placed in command of the district of New Mexico. While he was stationed there, and subsequently at Fort Lewis, complications arose at various times with the Navajos, Utes, and Jicarillas, all of which he quieted without bloodshed. The greater part of his service has been on the Indian frontier, and he has had to deal with nearly every tribe that occupies the Mississippi and Rio Grande valley, thus becoming perfectly acquainted with the Indian character. In March, 1884, he was appointed a brigadier-general in the regular army, and assigned to the Department of Texas, where he has been ever since.
(From a volume published in 1899)
Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM
A portrait of Stanley taken during the
in his uniform of Major General of Volunteers
Thanks to Thomas A. Broido for the identification of the above photo
David Sloan Stanley was born on 1 June 1828 and entered service at Congress, Wayne County, Ohio.
Commissioned in the 2nd Dragoons
in 1852 as young officer Stanley spent considerable time in the
The outbreak of the Civil War found Stanley in Missouri where in 1861 he participated in an early engagement
at Wilson's Creek near Independence, Mo. Appointed a Brigadier General of Volunteers he commanded a
cavalry division in the Stone River Campaign and was brevetted for gallantry at the Battle of Murfreesboro.
Stanley led a corps in the Chickamauga Campaign.The year 1864 found Brigadier General Stanley serving as
the Chief of Cavalry for the Army of the Cumberland. On November 30, 1864 at the Battle of Franklin, at a
critical moment rode to the front of one of his brigades, reestablished its lines, and gallantly led it in a
successful assault. He would later be awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry in action.
Wounded in this action, he was brevetted a total of four times during the war.
The citation for David S. Stanley's Medal of Honor reads:
Rank and organization: Major General, U.S.
Place and date: At Franklin, Tenn., 30 November 1864.
Entered service at: Congress, Wayne County, Ohio.
Born: 1 June 1828, Cedar Valley, Ohio.
Date of issue: 29 March 1893.
Citation: At a critical moment rode to the front of one of his brigades, re-established its lines, and gallantly led it in a successful assault.
After the war, Stanley returned
to the west where he first served as the commander of the
at San Antonio in 1866. He later served as the commander of the 22nd Infantry against hostile Indians.
During this period while skirmishing against the Sioux he had an interesting encounter with another Civil War
cavalry officer, LTC George Armstrong Custer, destined for a precarious place in US History. General Stanley
had to officially reprimanded Custer while under his command for a series of offences including marching 15 miles
away from the rest of a column without orders. In what was an almost farcical act, Custer was ordered to get rid
of a cooking stove no less than six times by Stanley who became totally exasperated with him in much the same kind
of way Custer's West Point superiors and fellow officers during the Civil War must have been.
In 1884, General Stanley was appointed commander of the Department of Texas with its Headquarters at
Fort Sam Houston. During his tenure at Fort Sam Houston, the post was enlarged to become the second largest
Army post in the US. General Stanley passed away in 1902. In October 1917, War Department General Order #134
designated Camp Stanley near San Antonio in his honor.
Stanley, after he retired, in his full
One of the very few photos taken of him wearing his Medal of Honor.
His medals, left to right, are:
Medal of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland, Medal of Honor,
Medal of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States,
Medal of the Grand Army of the Republic
STANLEY, DAVID SLOANE (18281902).
David Sloane Stanley, United
States Army officer, was born in Cedar Valley, Ohio, on June 1,
1828, the son of John Bratton
and Sarah (Peterson) Stanley. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1848.
He graduated ninth in the class of 1852, of which his close friend Philip H. Sheridan was a member, and was brevetted
second lieutenant in the Second United States Dragoons on July 1 and assigned as quartermaster to Lt. Amiel W. Whipple's
surveying party, which charted the route of a railroad from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to San Diego, California. Stanley was
promoted to the substantive grade of second lieutenant on September 6, 1853. In 1854 he was ordered to Fort Chadbourne
on the Texas frontier. He was transferred to Capt. George B. McClellan's Troop D of the First United States Cavalry on
March 3, 1855, and was promoted to first lieutenant on March 27. In 1856 he was sent with his regiment to Kansas to
quell the disturbances there between proslavery advocates and "free soilers." On April 2, 1857, he married Anna Maria Wright,
whom he had first met while he was a cadet at West Point; the couple had seven children. After service against the
Cheyenne Indians on the Great Plains, in which his life was saved by J. E. B. Stuart in a fight near Fort Kearny,
Nebraska, he was assigned to Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1860. He was promoted to captain on March 16, 1861, and
transferred to the Fourth United States Cavalry on August 3. At the outbreak of the Civil War Stanley, himself a slaveowner,
was offered a colonel's commission in the Confederate Army and command of an Arkansas regiment, but he declined
the offer and joined other Union forces at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers
on September 28, 1861. He fought in the battles of Wilson's Creek, New Madrid, and Island Number Ten in the Missouri
campaign of 1862. In consequence of his good work at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, in October 1862 he was promoted
to major general on November 29 and appointed chief of cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland. Stanley was brevetted
to lieutenant colonel in the regular army on December 31 of the same year for "gallantry and meritorious service"
at the battle of Stone River, Tennessee; to colonel on May 15, 1864, for his role in the battle of Resaca, Georgia; and
to brigadier general on March 13, 1865, for his part in the action at Ruff's Station, Georgia. He was severely wounded
at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864, in which he commanded the Fourth Corps of Maj. Gen.
George H. Thomas's Army of the Cumberland. For his "distinguished bravery" at Franklin he was brevetted to major general
on March 13, 1865, and awarded the Medal of Honor on March 29, 1893. He was posted to the Fifth United States Cavalry
as a major in the regular army on December 1, 1863. He was mustered out of volunteer service on February 1, 1866,
and promoted to colonel of the Twenty-second United States Infantry on July 28, 1866.
After recovering from his wound, Stanley led the Fourth Corps into Texas in June 1865 to counter growing French
involvement in Mexican internal affairs and the threat posed by the emperor Maximilian. He debarked at Indianola and
established his headquarters at Victoria, where he found the weather "very warm and tiresome" but enjoyed the
companionship of John J. Linn. In October he moved his headquarters to San Antonio; there he remained until the last
of his regiments was mustered out of service in March 1866. By this time, Stanley admitted, his men "were not happy and
discipline none too good." While commandant at San Antonio, he ordered the sale to a circus of the remaining camels
from Camp Verde, thus bringing to an end the United States Army's camel corps experiment. In 1866 he was back on the
Indian frontier; in 1873 he was involved in the Yellowstone expedition, and from 1879 through 1882 he was involved in
suppressing various Indian uprisings in Texas. On March 24, 1884, upon the retirement of Ranald S. Mackenzie, Stanley
was promoted to brigadier general in the regular United States Army and named commander of the Department of Texas.
He retired on June 1, 1892. From September 13, 1893, until April 15, 1898, he was governor of the Soldiers' Home
in Washington, D.C. General Stanley died in Washington on March 13, 1902, and was buried in the Soldiers Home cemetery.
His autobiography, Personal Memoirs of Major-General D. S. Stanley, U.S.A., published in 1917, contains many colorful
pictures of service on the Texas frontier. From 1917 to 1947 Camp Stanley, a military installation near San Antonio,
was named in honor of the general.
Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903;
rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965).
Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Blue (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964).
Thomas W. Cutrer
Thomas W. Cutrer, "STANLEY, DAVID
SLOANE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst12),
accessed April 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
David Sloane Stanley was an
Original Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of
the United States,
a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of the
Army of the Cumberland, a member of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution,
and an Honorary Companion of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.
David Sloane Stanley's decorations
David Sloan Stanley
Oil on canvas, 31 ½ x 27 ¾ in.
c. 1890, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas
Signed lower right; Anna Stanley 1890
Private Collection, Washington, DC
"This portrait of the artists father, aged sixty-two, was painted after she studied for two years in Europe. The painting was completed
near the end of her fathers service as the commanding general of the Texas Territory at Fort Sam Houston. Anna returned to Texas,
in November 1889 where this was likely painted. Although the portrait is formal and a departure from her impressionist style,
she confers on her father the deference that his place in history deserved as a Medal of Honor recipient."
From the Smithsonian website
(1st Battalion Website Editor: This is
one of two portraits of her father done by Anna Stanley.
This portrait hangs in the Army and Navy Club, 901 17th Street, Washington, District of Columbia 20006)
Below is the incredibly long
eulogy for Stanley, written for the Annual Reunion of Graduates
of West Point,
by an unknown classmate of Stanley. It is reprinted here, in its entirety.
DAVID SLOANE STANLEY.
No. 1544. CLASS OF 1852.
Died, March 13, 1902, at Washington, D. C., aged 74.
DAVID SLOANE STANLEY was born
June 1, 1828, at Chester, Cedar Valley, Wayne County, Ohio. His
father was a farmer.
After the death of his parents he studied medicine under Dr. Firestone, at Wooster, Ohio, but gave up that study when he
received his appointment as a cadet. He was a son of John Bratton Stanley and Sarah (Peterson) Stanley; great grandson of
Marshall Stanley; great (2) grandson of Nathaniel Stanley, private Spencer's Connecticut regiment in the War of the American
Revolution, and a grandson of Conrad Peterson, private Virginia line. He married, April, 1857, Anna Maria Wright,
daughter of General Joseph Jefferson B. Wright, Assistant Surgeon General United States Army, and to them were born
seven childrenFlorence, Josephine, Sarah Elizabeth, Anna Huntington, Alice, Blanche Huntington and David Sheridan.
Elizabeth and Anna married, respectively, Captains David J. Rumbough and W7illard A. Holbrook, United States Army.
The father's ancestors came from Lancastershire, England, and settled in Connecticut about 1650, in the neighborhood of
New Britain. Later a part of the family removed to Pennsylvania and Ohio. The mother's family were of Coventry, Connecticut,
subsequently of Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, where the family resided for several generations. Mrs. Stanley's grand-uncle was
Samuel Huntington, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The children, by ancestral blood of their father and mother,
are connected with the War of the American Revolution, as follows : Grandchildren of John Bratton and Sarah (Peterson)
Stanley; great grand-children of William and Margaret (Bratton) Stanley; great (2) grand-children of Marshall and Thamor
Stanley; great (3) grand-children of Nathaniel Stanley, private Spencer's Connecticut regiment; great grand-children of
Conrad Peterson, private Virginia line; grand-children of Joseph Jefferson B. and Eliza (Jones) Wright; great grand-children
of Amasa and Elizabeth (Huntington) Jones; great 2grand-children of Joel Jones, Lieutenant Colonel Connecticut militia.
From 1852, when Stanley
graduated with distinction at West Point, to 1884, he passed
through all the grades, in the
regular service, from Second Lieutenant, by brevet, to Brigadier General, excepting that of Lieutenant Colonel; and in the
volunteer service he was among the earlier Brigadier Generals, reaching the grade of Major General in November, 1862,
in all ten commissions. In addition, he received in the regular army four commissions, by brevet: Lieutenant Colonel,
December 31, 1862, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Stone River; Colonel, May 15, 1864, for gallant
and meritorious services at the battle of Resaca; Brigadier General, March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious services
at the battle of Ruff's Station; and Major General, March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle
of Franklin. His distinguished labors embraced numerous skirmishes, actions, expeditions, pursuits and battles.
He commanded companies,
regiments, brigades, divisions, an army corps, districts and
departments. He was appointed
Chief of Cavalry, Army of the Mississippi, in Dec., 1863; and subsequently Chief of Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland,
wherein he commanded the cavalry, with special distinction, in the Stone River, Tullahoma and Chickamauga campaigns.
He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for distinguished bravery at the battle of Franklin, where he was severely
wounded while commanding the Fourth Army Corps. In that battle, "when he discovered the break in the (Union) line,
although a Corps Commander, he placed himself at the head of a brigade, and, leading the charge, drove the enemy back,
and re-established the continuity of the line."
On June 1, 1892, he was retired
from active service, being 64 years of age. On September 13,
1893, he was assigned,
by the President, as Governor of the National Soldiers' Home, Washington, D. C, and so served until April 15, 1898,
when he resigned the position.
Prior to the secession of Texas,
the military department embracing that State was a most important
"almost five-sixths of the whole army and field batteries of the nation." That force was surrendered by the
department commander, and, as a part of it, the First United States Cavalrysubsequently the Fourthwith
Captain Stanley commanding the companies in the field. Stanley refused to recognize the surrender, and promptly
ordered the regiment to Forts Arbuckle and Washita, Indian Territory, and Fort Wise, Colorado Territory; and thus
prepared to defend his honor, during March and April, 1861, "against not only the hostile arms, but the more
dangerous seductions of the" insurgent emissaries. In May, leaving four companies at Fort Wise, he moved, six to
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and in June actively skirmished through Missouri and Colorado. In late July he commanded
the cavalry attached to Brigadier General T. W. Sweeney's force, and attacked the greater part of General Price's
Confederate force, at Forsyth, Missouri. For some hours the conflict was doubtful, until Stanley, at the head of four
companies of his regiment, charged the center and cut through, capturing two pieces of artillery and many prisoners,
utterly routing the Confederate force, which, demoralized, retired into Arkansas, losing through desertion about 5,000 men.
In the charge Stanley's horse was shot.
On July 25, while commanding the
cavalry in the Army of the Missouri, he led 250 men, including 40
volunteers, in the
charge upon the Confederate rear guard, at Springfield, with the result that the entire rear guard, over two thousand, was destroyed.
On August 2nd, his dash and bravery were again attested, at Dog Spring, Missouri. On August 3, in recognition of his most
valuable services, he was assigned to the command of the Fourth Cavalry, the designation given by Congress to the former
First Regiment. He was in the battle of Wilson's Creek, guarding supply trains, August 10, 1861; retreat at Rolla, August, 1861;
skirmish at Salem, September, 1861. September 28, 1861, he was appointed Brigadier General United States Volunteers,
in recognition of his ability and distinguished services.
As the war advanced, the Fourth
Cavalry became a unit in the Second Cavalry Division, Army of the
The instruction and elan given by Stanley to that noble regiment proved of great value to it, as well as to the command
with which it served. That command "held a central position in the grand field of the operations of the Armies of the Ohio,
the Cumberland and the Tennessee. * * * It received the surrender of over 30,000 men and officers; captured over
80,000 stand of arms; nearly 20,000 horses, and took in battle, by direct charge, 75 pieces of artillery, including
15 heavy siege guns; and, as a division, * * * captured the second strongest fortified city in the Southern Confederacy."
* * * "The cavalry arm of the service in the West, early in the Civil War, developed and perfected into a mighty engine
of warfare, while in the East it was neglected, ridiculed, dwarfed and stunted, until just before the final overthrow of the enemy."
* * * In the East it was kept too much "within the leading strings of the other arms of the service."*
NOTE."Minty and the
Cavalry," by Captain Joseph G. Vale, Brigade Inspector
United States Volunteer Cavalry.
That history of campaigns in the western armies refers, frequently, to the services of General Stanley, and embraces a
valuable and interesting sketch of Stanley's services, by Brigadier General John Green Ballance, late United States Volunteer,
now Assistant Adjutant General, United States Army.
On August 31, 1864, during the
Atlanta campaign, the Fourth and Twenty-third Army Corps were too
far from the
main army to receive orders from General Sherman or General Thomas, and despatches were received, from Sherman,
that the Fourth and Twenty-third Corps must act on the morrow, under the orders of the highest commander present;
that General Stanley was that highest commander, and accordingly General Schofield was directed to report to him.
Before Schofield had time to report, Stanley appeared at Schofield's camp, evidently much disturbed by the order,
and said that Sherman was wrong; that he did not want the command, and was not entitled to it, and, therefore, urged
Schofield to accept the chief command, thus that he might act under Schofield's orders. Schofield replied that Sherman's
order was imperative, and that he could not relieve him from the responsibility of executing it; it was all wrong, but
there was no present remedy. Later, at Lovejoy's, Sherman requested Schofield to give him a written statement of his
dissent from the decision upon the question of relative rank. The statement was submitted, by Sherman, to the War Department,
and in due time the decision by that department was rendered. It sustained the view of the law as taken by Schofield and
Stanley, and reversed that of Sherman. As has been said, by General Schofield, it was by virtue of that decision that he,
instead of Stanley, had command of the force that, in the following November, 1864, opposed Hood's advance from the
Tennessee River, and repulsed his fierce assault at Franklin.
The incident illustrates
Stanley's well-founded magnanimity. Considering that the order
emanated from so distinguished
a soldier as Sherman, not every officer would have acted as Stanley did. He went promptly to Schofield, who was his friend;
but had he been his enemy, he would have gone as promptly, for he was ever actuated by greatness of mind, elevation and
dignity of soul, and disdained injustice, meanness and revenge,ever ready to act and sacrifice for noble objects.
At Spring Hillwhere
Stanley was attacked by cavalry as well as
infantrySchofield confidently trusted Stanley's
one division to hold that place until the army should reach it. Schofield has said: * * * "The serious danger at Spring Hill
ended at dark. The gallant action of Stanley and his one division at that place in the afternoon of November 29 cannot
be overestimated or too highly praised. If the enemy had gained a position there in the afternoon which we could not have
passed round in the night, the situation would then have become very serious. But, as I had calculated, the enemy did not
have time to do that before dark, against Stanley's stubborn resistance." * * * Schofield has often referred to Stanley as
"conspicuous for gallantry at Spring Hill, and at Franklin, where he was wounded."
At Spring Hill he made temporary
cover for his troops with intrenching tools, improvised for the
most part on the spot,
by splitting the canteen of every other man and using the parts as scoops to throw up the earth.
He fought at Franklin on three
occasions : the skirmish there December 15, 1862; the action
there April 10, 1863,
and the momentous battle there November 30, 1864.
His marked courage was
established early in his military career, notably in the Cheyenne
Indian campaign of 1857,
at the battle of Solomon's Fork, where White Antelope, the celebrated Cheyenne chief, attacked him and snapped a pistol
in his face. The pistol, however, failed, and Stanley drew his pistol and killed the Indian chief. It was a hand to hand conflict !
At Forsyth, Mo., in June, 1861, he was in the thickest of the fight, and his horse was shot from under him. In that engagement
he foreshadowed that eminent coolness, courage and gallantry which ennobled his services from 1861 to 1865.
At Iuka, General Rosecrans
commended him for gallantry. He saved the day at that place; also
the day at Corinth.
Stanley ever had the highest respect for authority, and its support, the moral order of the people. He prayed that the latter
might never be relaxed, so as to make necessary the government by armies. And he held fast to the sublime enunciation that:
"Civil sovereignty is co-eval with men. The relations of authority, submission and equality lie in the human family,
and from it are extended to commonwealths, kingdoms' and empires. The civil authority resides materially in society
at large; formally in the person or persons to whom society may commit its exercise. Immediately, therefore, sovereignty
is given by God to society; mediately through society to the person who wields it. Both materially and formally,
mediately and immediately, sovereignty is from God, and within its competence is supreme and sacred. Civil allegiance
to sovereignty is, therefore, a part of Christianity, and treason is both a crime against lawful authority and a sin against God,
who has ordained that authority. * * * It is a part of the Christian religion to obey "the powers that are." * * * All nations
have their progress, and the progress of a nation is like the growth of a tree, bearing its fruit in due season. If the trunk
of a tree be wounded, the vigor of the tree is stayed. Anything which crosses the healthy development and growth, be it
a tree or human society, is fatal to its perfection." * * * "The good and pure see God's power in the storm, in the cataract,
in the earthquake. They see His wisdom in the laws which govern the boundless universe; His beauty in the flower,
in the sun-beam, and in the many-tinted rainbow. But the wicked and impure use this very creation only to outrage
and blaspheme the Creator."
Stanley advocated that the best
subjects are those who are first loyal to the creator of heaven
and that they best keep the laws of the land who do it for conscience sake.
He resolutely asserted that
loyalty is part of Christianity, and that "the time is
coming when true fealty, and true loyalty,
will be found only in those who are loyal and true, first to the Heavenly King, and after this to the representatives of
his authority upon earth." * * * "Beware of disobedience! Beware, also, not of actual disobedience only, but of that
tardy slothful negligence by which one may provoke! Do your little duties with great exactness; for if you will faithfully
do your lesser duties, your greater duties will take care of themselves/" Nothing should be regarded as an accessory;
but everything as a principal.
The virtues necessary to command
shown eminently in Stanley, though not to the prejudice of true
zeal. In correcting faults,
he observed the well-stated rule: "Correction ought to be full of sweetness, but yet strong enough to be effective and to
root out defects; it ought to have the softness of a silken arrow, which does not penetrate; it should be of steel, but this
steel must be tempered in charity, which * * * can be piously severe, patiently angry, and humbly indignant, which punishes,
but with chastisement full of mercy."
Early in Stanley's military
career he aided in the survey of a railroad to the Pacific, along
the thirty-fifth parallel. The route
became known as the Atlantic and Pacific, westward from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Nineteen years afterward he organized
and commanded the Yellow Stone expedition, of 1872-73, to explore and guard the Northern Pacific Railroad. His reports
of the latter expedition have proved valuable they pointed to the future population and wealth of what, at the time, was
almost an unknown region. It has been noted, as an interesting coincidence, "that he should have been instrumental in
locating the routes of two great railroads." But his West Point education fitted him for the tasks. His standing, number nine,
in the large class of 1852, was distinguished, number four in engineering, five in mineralogy and geology, three in chemistry,
seven in philosophy, and sixteen in mathematics. He had as competitors such men as Casey, Alexander, Rose, Ives, Mendell,
Slocum, Bonaparte, Hascall, Mullan, Hartsuff, Woods, McCook, Kautz, Crook, Sheridan, Bowen and others.
Stanley's distinguished services
are endurably recorded in the archives of the Department of War;
are outlined in
Cullum's register of the officers and graduates of our beloved Alma Mater; and further outlined in the records of the
Congress of the United States through a report (No. 1245, 52d Congress, 1st session) from the Committee on Military Affairs,
House of Representatives. Therein the following important battles and actions, in which he well sustained a part, are enumerated:
Near Fort Arbuckle, Indian
Territory, February 27, 1859; Forsyth, Missouri, June 27, 1861;
Dug Spring, Missouri,
August 31, 1861; Wilson's Creek, Missouri, August 10, 1861; New Madrid, Missouri, March 13, 1862; Island No. 10,
Mississippi River, April 7, 1862; Farmington, Mississippi, May 28, 1862; siege of Corinth, Mississippi, May 30, 1862;
Iuka, Mississippi, September 19, 1862; Corinth, Mississippi, October 3-4, 1862; Franklin, Tennessee, December 15, 1862;
Stone River, Tennessee, December 31, 1862, to January 4, 1863; Bradyville, Tennessee, February 13, 1863; Snow Hill,
Tennessee, March 10 and 30, 1863; Franklin, Tennessee, April 11, 1863; Middleton, Tennessee, May 22, 1863; Shelbyville,
Tennessee, June 27, 1863 ; Elk River, Tennessee, July 2, 1863; Alpine, Georgia, September 9, 1863; Resaca, Georgia,
May 15, 1864; Cassville, Georgia, May 17-19, 1864; Dallas, Georgia, May 15-28, 1864; Pine Mountain, Georgia,
May 28 to June 30, 1864; Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, January 20 to July 2, 1864; Rugg's Station, Georgia, July 4, 1864;
Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 19-21, 1864; siege of Atlanta, Georgia, July 22 to September 2, 1864; Lovejoy's Station,
September 2, 1864; near Nashville, Tennessee, November 24-29, 1864; Spring Hill, Tennessee, November 29, 1864;
Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864, (where he was wounded) ; at the mouth of Powder River, Montana, August, 1872,
and a number of small skirmishes.
In the Congressional report, he
is referred to in communications from Generals Grant, Sheridan,
Hancock, Pope, Howard, Augur, Crook and Terry, as a brave, gallant and accomplished officer, serving through the Civil War
with conspicuous merit in the exercise of large commands, contributing much to the successful overthrow of the war; as fully
competent for all the requirements and responsibilities of his position, evincing constant care as an efficient and faithful commander;
as one noted for special skill, desperate fighting, able generalship, and as possessing rare qualities eminently fitting him to be a
leader of men.
"Some men are in pursuit of
honors; but others have honors in pursuit of them." Stanley
was of the latter class.
Following the views of eminent men as to the healthful solution of important questions, Stanley-deprecated "a policy which
combines, in a most extraordinary way, the disadvantage, both of yielding and of resistance, without gaining the advantages of
either course." And he believed that in the discharge of duty "we must not go 'cap in hand' to the opponent." But that we should go,
in order to good relations, "boldly with cap on head," * * * 'With hindward feather and with forward toe.'
Stanley's love for the United
States Military Academy was intense. His address to the
graduating class of 1885 was scholarly
and instructive, as part of a ceremonial which marked the importance of the occasion when the cadet pathway was about to join
the great rough roadway of the life so well known to officers of the army. As stated by him, the class was to pass from tutelage
to that independence and freedom of life compatible with the profession,of arms and the articles of war. Touchingly did he
add that the Superintendent and Academic Staff were not longer to be their sponsors,that thence forward future records would be
mainly in their own hands. Through practical words, relative to the origin, rise and perils of our Alma Mater, he made apparent
the rise and progress of the Academy, thereby to indicate valuable results, with some hints to the end that the reputation
of the Academy might be kept true to its past history. He referred to the War of the American Revolution, and the need
felt by its leaders relative to officers skilled in the science of war, and then traced the Academy, from the efforts of the
Father of his Country, through the first official recognition and ensuing steps, from 1790 to 1802, when, for the first time,
our Alma Mater had, in name, a legal existence. It continued to grow in favor, and, in 1812, the part played by the graduates
was conspicuous and gallant,they were well to the front; one-half of them were either killed or wounded,and in 1814
our flag floated in honor of numerous victories. He quoted the words of Scott, the grand old hero: "But for our graduated
cadets, the war between the United States and Mexico might, and probably would, have lasted four or five years, with, in its
first half, more defeats than victories falling to our share; whereas, in less than two campaigns, we conquered a great country,
and a peace, without the loss of a single battle."
Passing, briefly, the Indian
Wars and the great Civil War, Stanley referred to the action of a
select committee of the
House of Representatives, in 1837, which contemplated: * * * "That all acts now in force authorizing the enlistment or
appointment of cadets * * * be, and are hereby repealed, from and after the thirtieth day of June next; and all such cadets,
now in service or under the instruction of the United States, shall be disbanded or dismissed." The select committee held
that constitutional principles, principles of sound policy, and principles of fiscal economy, were opposed to certain features
of West Point. Great emphasis was rested on the "unfruitfulness of the system of military education." Repudiation was had
of the principle, held by many eminent statesmen, that "in proportion as our own military establishment is small, the government
ought to be careful to disseminate, by education, a knowledge of the art of war; and that, in the event of war, the knowledge
of cadets who had returned to civil life will not be lost to the country." And, after that repudiation, these words are recorded:
* * * "Make it a known condition of filling up the army of the United States, at any juncture of danger, that the citizen soldier's
wishes are not to be consulted in the selection of your officers, and that, so far from it, all his wishes and feelings are to be
violated by placing over him men whose education, habits, temperaments and feelings, he has been accustomed to regard
with a feverish dislike, and what will be the consequence? Either a failure in filling up the desired ranks, or the earliest discharge
of their muskets will be to rid themselves of their obnoxious commandants, and to devolve the duty of command
upon some more congenial comrade." * * *
The report ignored the views of
Presidents Washington, John Adams, Jefferson and Madison, and the
War Secretaries Dearborn, Crawford and Calhoun, aside from sound words from other eminent statesmen. Stanley, in final
reference said: "So much for this wonderful report, which I will dismiss by saying that ancient governments, whose armies
have filled the world with the splendor of victory, realized the importance of discipline and military science; skill in the
individual officers; that science in war does more than force; that neither numbers nor blind valor insure victory; and that he who,
with a small army, could not execute great things, was liable to be effaced from the list of great generals. Therefore, I may say
that the Moderns, who would have destroyed this institution, had retrograded from the ancient teachings.
Fortunately for the Academy and
the country, our Presidents, their War Ministers and boards of
visitors, have not accepted
the erroneous theory that military science can be imbibed by intuition, but, on the contrary, they have held that some
previous education is necessary to qualify a man to exercise the art of war, and that mental, more than the physical,
qualities of man determine the issue of the contest. Further, they have expressed the opinion that the Academy was the
basis of an army nucleus which would furnish the country with well educated and trained officers, devoted to its service,
and capable of defending the frontiers, extending our fortifications, carrying on great systems of internal improvements,
guarding against the imposition of foreign peoples, and, above all, of developing the undiscovered resources of great states."
The "Tinsels of
Scholarship," so termed by a committee of Congress, have
proved to be, in the estimation of the country,
golden honors of unequaled brightness. * * It has been well said, "that as the hills of the Hudson have constantly answered,
in faithful reverberations, to the sounds of the morning and evening gun, so the hearts of the American people have continually
responded, with equal fidelity, to every effort of the public authorities for the inculcation of military science."
Stanley's further words, as to
all true officers, were: "From what I have said, as to our
graduates, do not understand me
as underrating the many distinguished officers of the army who have been schooled in practical war, and, on that instruction
as a basis, have made themselves efficient officers. Nor do I disparage the more youthful ones from civil life. All true officers
be they graduates or notlook to the acquirements and character of the officer, and he is esteemed accordingly."
In the concluding part of his
address, in touching upon the future life of the class, he
embraced the following injunctions :
"It is one of the fundamental principles of government that every citizen is bound to defend it when the necessity arises; and
this principle applies much more strongly to you, whom the country has educated. I beseech you to obey orders; be studious
in habit, and mark your duties with fidelity; observe strictly the articles of war; owe no man, live according to your means;
and be not drinkers or gamblers. * * * Learn something every day. * * * Read not as a matter of amusement, but to learn,
and as a matter' of duty and habit. Follow the advice of Carlyle, to read into the very essence and core of books. * * * *
As a true guide to service in the army of your country, I beg you, in the words of the illustrious Soldier of the Cross,
St. Paul, to 'be instant in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and doctrine. * * * Be thou vigilant;
labor in all things; * * * fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.' So that, as he has said, you may say at that solemn hour, which will
surely come : 'I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me
a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me at that day.' "
The words of St. Paul, as
quoted, warrant me in saying that this sketch of Stanley would be
incomplete without an outline
of his religious life. In what I may say, I shall embrace inculcation, familiar to Stanley, through quotation from doctrinal writers.
Prior to his entrance to the
Military Academy, and for some years after his graduation, he
was, in religious belief, a Protestant.
The dangers of war had impressed him deeply, through his experience in battle, and caused him to realize the nothingness
of this world, the shortness of earthly life and the duration of eternity. Was he prepared for the latter? To this question
he gave the profound consideration which its importance demanded. What would it avail should he gain the whole world and
lose his soul? His thoughtful attention to the subject led him to the Catholic Apostolic Church; and in connection with that
the most important step of his life I have the following from the Most Reverend John Ireland, Archbishop of St. Paul, who,
in the Civil War, was the Chaplain of the Fifth Minnesota Volunteers: . . .
* * * "I myself had nothing
to do with his conversion, or his reception into the church. I
became acquainted with him only
a few weeks after he was received in the church. Father Tracey, who had been, before the war, pastor of the church at
Huntsville, and who had given up his charge to become the personal chaplain of General Rosecrans, was the one who
instructed and baptized General Stanley. It was in the autumn of 1862. Mass was celebrated in the public square of Iuka.
There was a very large attendance of the army; and before the mass General Stanley read his profession of faith and received
conditional baptism. General Rosecrans was his sponsor. The news of the incident spread at once through the whole army.
I was stationed with my regiment, the Fifth Minnesota, near Corinth. I remember very well hearing the news and taking note
of the excellent impression produced by it. Not many weeks later I met General Stanley, and he told me that he was most happy
in realizing that he had obeyed the calling of his conscience; and that by so doing he was nearer to his God, and ready
to meet Him, if death came to him in the performance of his duty on the battle field.
One Sunday morning I was
preparing the altar for the celebration of mass in the camp of
the Fifth Regiment, when
Stanley was seen coming forward to assist at the Holy Sacrifice. I remember him well, kneeling on the ground among the
rank and file of the regiment, prayer book in hand and edifying deeply, by his visible piety, all who were around him.
Catholics and non-Catholics expressed their respect for him on account of his open profession. Catholics, in a special manner,
were drawn to a more fervent practice of their religion by the noble example which they had witnessed. When he was,
in later days, on duty in the northwest, he occasionally passed through St. Paul. Whenever he was here on Sunday
he was most punctual in attending mass. I met him frequently when he lived in Washington, and found him to be,
in profession and practice, a most loyal Catholic.
The last time I shook hands with
him was one day in Lafayette Square, towards the close of the
'How was General Stanley able to remain at home when war was raging?' I asked, and the reply was, 'To an old soldier
this has been no war, made up as it is of what we would have called morning skirmishes.'
The effect of my personal
relations with General Stanley was that I loved and esteemed him,
as a noble soldier, a cultured gentleman, a true friend and devoted Christian. He may have had a few frailties!
But, how small they were when seen together with his great qualities of mind and heart!" * * * .
George Deshon, a graduate of
1843second in the class with Franklin, Peck, Reynolds,
Hardie, Clarke, Augur,
Ulysses S. Grant, and other noble soulsserved in the Topographical Engineers and Ordnance, and was, for some
eighteen months, Assistant Professor of Ethics during Stanley's cadet-ship. He resigned in 1851, and subsequently,
as Roman Catholic priest, became a member of the Congregation of Redemptorists, and thereafter a member of the
Paulists. Now he is the Very Reverend Superior General of the latter congregation. Inferably Stanley was led, through
observation of that eminently distinguished graduate, to that study of Catholic doctrine which, eventually, made him a
Catholic. Deshon was an attractive man, and led men to love and admire him. Among his particular admirers was Grant.
The latter, when President, had Deshon as his guest during his visits to Washington ; and during the visits they were to
each other, as they had been at West Point"Sam" and "George."
Stanley believed, with the
Christian world, that "Prayer moves an arm that is almighty;
and that arm governs the world!"
Accordingly, he did not fail to supplicatethrough the universal prayer of the Catholic Churchour God of might, wisdom
and justice, through whom laws are enacted and judgment decreed, to assist with the holy spirit of counsel the President of the
United States, that his administration might be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to the people; and that
the light of divine wisdom might direct the deliberations of Congress, to the end that they might tend to the preservation of peace,
the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge, and the perpetuation, to the people,
of the blessings of equal liberty. And, in his supplications, he embraced the governors of states, and all judges and other
officers appointed to guard our political welfare; also all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States
that they might be preserved in that,union and peace which the world cannot give. For all, he asked unbounded mercy and
the blessings of this life.
The almighty arm of prayer has,
notably, its recognition in the concurrent resolution of the
Congress, and the proclamation
of the President under that resolution, in July, 1864, both based on penitential and pious sentiments at a time when
the gloom and grief of the United States were intensified. A day of humiliation and prayer by the people was then proclaimed,
that they might repent and confess their manifold sins, and implore the Almighty and Merciful Ruler of the Universe not to destroy,
nor suffer us to be destroyed, as a people; and that the mind of the nation might be enlightened to know and do His will,
humbly believing it to be in accordance with His will that our place should be maintained, as a united people, among the family
of nations; and that effusion of blood might be stayed, unity and fraternity restored, and peace established throughout our borders.
Stanley understood the nature of
charity, as well enunciated by an eminent writer: * * * "As
we have no rights over ourselves,
and are bound to love ourselves with a rational lovethat is, with the love of knowledge, the knowledge that God has made us;
and according to the laws which He has imposed upon our nature, so we are also bound to love our neighbor as ourselves;
that is to say, he also is a creature of God, he is the property and possession of God, just as I am, and I am bound to pay
to him the same respect, the same love, and the same honor, that I am bound to pay to myself. If I see that his soul can be saved
by the loss of my temporal life, the law of Charity prompts me to lose it. If I were to see that his temporal life could be saved
by the expense of my own, and even by the loss of my own, the law of Charity bids me, if it does not bind me, to risk it.
If the risk of my own life were necessary to procure him some great and signal good, charity would counsel me even to
risk my life for it. But there is one thing that I may not risk, neither to gain any temporal good for myself, nor to gain any
temporal good for another I may not risk my spiritual life and my eternal salvation! The rational law of love for myself there
comes in to limit my freedom. And though I may die for my neighbor to save his soul, or even his lifethe life of the body
I may not risk my spiritual life, or my salvation, for anything whatsoever. This, then, is the nature of charity." * * * And the
words of St. Paul: "that charity is 'the bond of perfection;' that is to say, like as a golden thread that sustains a string of pearls,
and runs through them all, or as a clasp of gold holds a vestment together, so all the graces of the Holy Ghost, which
constitute the sanctification of the soul, are sustained, and completed, and clasped together by charity. * * * 'Faith, hope
and charity. But the greater of these is charity' * * * because charity makes faith and hope perfect." * * *
Stanley held to his true
greatness; and never did he covet false glory! Though living in
an age when "the material civilization
of the world has been piled up to a gigantic height," he stood among the many great and good, "to testify that there is an
order higher still; that as the soul is more than the body, and eternity than time, so the moral order is above the material; that
justice is above power; that justice may suffer long, but must reign at last; that power is not right; that no wrongs can be sanctioned
by success; nor can the immutable laws of right and wrong be confounded."
He did not fail to assert that
it is part of the Christian religion to obey "the powers
that are," and that there are two distinct
and separate powersthe spiritual and civilwith "distinct and separate spheres, and that within these spheres, respectively,
they hold their power from God," from whom all power comes. This tenet is illustrated by the forcible entry of French troops,
in 1809, into the Quirinal Palace. In the hall of the palace stood the Holy Father, Pius VII; before him stood General Radet,
the commander of the troops. For the moment they stood in silence. Afterward someone asked Radet: "Why did you not speak?"
He replied: "I felt to be myself as long as I was ascending the stairs, and was in the midst of the Swiss and the soldiers.
When I came to stand in the presence of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, my first communion rose up before me!" In time he
recovered self-control and said: "Holy Father, by command of the Emperor, I must call on you either to abdicate your
temporal dominion or to go with me to prison." The Holy Father answered: "You have done right to fulfill the command
of your master, the Emperor, because you have sworn fidelity to him; and I must do my duty which binds me to my Master.
He has committed to me the Temporal Power of the Holy See, as a trust in behalf of the Universal Church, and resign it
we ought not, we will not, we cannot." The Holy Father thus rigidly protested against the despoilment of the
patrimony of St. Peter's successors !
Stanley, when exercising
command, held rigid views as to obedience: "Beware of
disobedience! Beware, also, not of
actual disobedience, but of that tardy, slothful negligence by which we may provoke!" He said to the graduates of 1885:
"I beseech you to obey orders ; mark your duties with fidelity; observe strictly the articles of war; do exactly as you will
promise in your oath of officethat is to say, obey the orders, of the President of the United States, and the orders of the
officers appointed over you, according to the rules and articles of war. Do not waste time in construing orders; it is extremely
improbable that any officer of the army will give you an illegal order; if he does, you will receive all due protection."
Stanley did not hate any man! He
did, however, hate the evil in the man, as he hated the evil in
himself; and he
condemned both alike. He was tolerant towards the person, but intolerant of the evil in him! When he spoke of that evil,
as was his wont, he used words most positive. Yet he stoutly strove to follow the injunction: "Bear the same heart toward
your neighbor which you desire your neighbor to bear toward you. Be conscious of your own dignity, and be conscious
of the dignity of others. Let us learn to have a delicate conscience to understand promptly, and to correspond, if we can,
proportionately." Such was his line of thought that he studied characterthat intellectual, and, as expressed by a thoughful
writer, "moral texture into which, all our life long, we have been weaving up the inward life that is in us. It is the result of the
habitual or prevailing use we have been making of our intellect, heart and will. We are always at work, like the weaver
at the loom; the shuttle is always going, and the woof is always growing. So we are always forming a character for
ourselves." * * * "If a man is habitually proud, or vain, or false, and the like, he forms for himself a character like in kind."
As a result he could read men by their facesnot simply by looking at their God-made features, "but at a certain cast
and motion, and, shape and expression, which their features have acquired; in brief, the countenance, which is the index
of character, and which stands, in its delineation, good or bad, just as the shuttle ever going invariably in the heart
has made it." The fruit of the loom will be ripe and perfect, or defective, just as man's free willthe motor for the
shuttle in the heartshall have produced it.
* * * "What they are within
they are without. Countenance is transparent, and the soul shines
through. And they who are
calm and bright, have a gentle expression; why is it so? Because things that are bright, and calm, and sweet, and, beautiful,
God and His goodness and the world to come, the hopes that bear them up, the trust which they know can never fail
these diffuse over their whole mind and heart, the brightness and sweetness of the realities which are ever before their sight."
Stanley had in view the famous
inscription, "Know Thyself," as engraved on the front
of Appolo's Temple at Delphi,
of which it has been said that it is so beautiful in expression, and so profound in sense, that it could not have come from man,
and must have come from heaven. And, in this connection he accepted the words of advice * * * "you would be much better
if you know yourself, than if, neglecting yourself, you should lose your time studying the course of the planets, the nature of man,
the structure of animals, and all the wonders of heaven and earth. Some know many things and know not themselves, though
true philosophy consists in self-knowledge. * * * Its principal effect is to produce in us humility, to the acquisition of
which it contributes wonderfully, and of which it is the origin * * * for if we consider ourselves, interiorily, with the laws
of truth, the sight of our great poverty and profound misery must humble and make us vile in our own eyes."
Accordingly Stanley endeavored
to find the means to acquire self-knowledge; and soon ascertained
that we must consider
ourselves attentively, and "study and comprehend that, of ourselves, we are nothing." He considered our miseries as manifested
through our falls, and corporeal pains and innumerable maladies; and "the experience of our miseries, the infirmities of our
bodies, and the weakness of our souls," taught him the necessity for humility, and that he, of himself, was nothing, had nothing,
and could not do anything. He thus escaped the spirit of pride, to which our natures incline us; and, resultingly, he could say
with a high sense of hope.: "The Lord is the protector of my life, who shall make me trouble? Though I should walk in the
midst of the shadows of death, though whole armies were ranged in battles against me, I shall fear no evil because thou
art with me!" With a character as indicated, Stanley left this world.
The funeral services, at St.
Matthew's Church, were solemn and impressive. The holy mass of
requiem, the mourning
habiliments of the altar, and the appropriate vestments of the priest; the music, melodious and pathetic; the flowers and lights;
the delegations from patriotic societies; the throng of mourning friends; the large military escort of cavalry, artillery
and engineers. All, simply and suitably, marked the occasion.
At the National Soldiers' Home
hundreds of veterans, inmates of the home, bordered the roadway
between the entrance
to the park and the grave; all standing with bowed headssome in tears. The solemn commitment services were
followed by the volley of musketry, the Major General's salute and "taps." So closed the earthly honors extended to the
remains of the eminently distinguished officer, who had served so wellas a soldier of the cross, and as a soldier of his country.
He who had studied the question: "Whither am I going; whither leads my way."
I knew Stanley intimately,
dating from West Point where, for three years, we were together
as cadets. There, for some time,
he was the leader of the choir of the Cadet Chapel, and at his instance I became a member of the organization. Inferably
he had to do with an invitation to me from his classmatesSheridan and Kautzto tent with them during the encampment
of 1849. All of us were from Ohio. After the Civil War we were together in Texas. For a part of the time he was the
Commanding General of the department, while I was the Adjutant General. We were close friends, officially and socially
were together on duty and off duty; walked, rode and visited with pleasant association. Once, when I was seriously ill,
he and his family extended to me the close attention and affection of their home. Again we were intimately associated
during and after his governorship of the Soldiers' Home. I enjoyed the charming hospitality of his house, and he was often
my guest. After his relief as governor, he said to me: I long to visit Europe, and particularly the Holy Land. If I do so,
I must go soon, else it will be too late. I have reached that time when I experience the natural effect of years; in the natural
order I have not much time left. He made the tour, and I shall ever treasure his recitals connected with it. He spoke of art and
artists, and scenes in the Holy Land; in connection with the former he referred to paintings of a religious character.
I now recall his last hoursduring which, undoubtedly, he thought of the other world and its "Hall of Judgment;"
and I associate his thoughts with the dream of the artist, Hans Memling, in his picture (painted 1467), portraying the
"Last Judgment," as referred to in the words of Mary F. Nixon-Roulet, as follows:
* * * "In the central
portion of the triptych is enthroned our Lord
'With calm aspect and clear, Lightning divine, ineffable, serene.'
Calmly grave of expression,
seated on a radiant rainbow, a great golden ball for his
foot-stool. Behind him is the
flaming sword of Divine Justice, while four lovely angel-figures, floating aloft, bear the instruments of his passion.
The Blessed Virgin kneels at one side, St. John Baptist at the other, and the twelve Apostles are grouped about,
stately figures with fine heads, their flowing robes well painted. Below stands St. Michael, a glorious knight-militant
in golden armor, his wings beautiful with peacock feathers.
'In stature, motion, arms, Fit to decide the empire of great Heaven,'
he holds the scales, weighing
the good and bad. At one side of the triptych is the way of the
where St. Peter welcomes them, and
'A glorious company, men and
The matron and the maid, Around the Savior's throne rejoice,
In robes of light arrayed.'
Radiant is the sight of those
redeemed souls, as with floating garments they sweep up the
golden stairs toward the
Gate Beautiful. Wonderful is the contrast on that other side, where the lost souls, finding not a blessed future,
are tortured according to the vigorous mediaeval ideas of hell, a place of physical torture so intense as to well-nigh work madness."
I was near Stanley during his
last illness, and conversed with him not many hours prior to his
last breath. During that
interview he said to one of his daughterswho was sadly distressed, knowing that the end was near"Be brave, my child,
I fear not!" Calmly and courageously he yielded to the embrace of death, believing in the mercy of the Supreme Judge,
who "is able to cast up a very large debit and credit account in a great ledger, and strike a true balance." He hoped to ascend
"the golden stairs to the Gate Beautiful!" At that, my last interview with him, may I not say that, in retrospect, he reviewed
his cadetship, and the dangers of battle and hazardous service of the officer, through which he had safely passed? I couple
with his dying hours the words of Fitz-James O'Brien, "The Countersign"that particularly important word intrusted to Stanley,
for the first time, in his early cadet life:
"Alas! The weary hours pass
The night is very dark and still, And in the marshes far below
I hear the bearded whip-poor-will. I scarce can see a yard ahead;
My ears are strained to catch each sound; I hear the leaves about me shed,
And bubbling springs burst through the ground.
Along the beaten path I pace,
Where white rags mark my sentry's track; In formless shrubs I seem to trace
The foeman's form, with bending back. I think I see him crouching low;
I stop and list-I stoop and peer, Until the neighboring hillocks grow
To groups of soldiers far and. near.
With ready piece, I wait and
Until my eyes, familiar grown, Detect each harmless earthen notch,
And turn guerrillas into stone; And then, amid the lonely gloom,
Beneath the weird old tulip trees. My silent marches I resume,
And think on other times than these.
So rose a dreamso passed a
nightWhen distant in the darksome glen,
Approaching up the sombre height, I heard the solid rnarch of men;
Till over stubble, over sward,
And fields where lay the golden sheaf,
I saw the lantern of the guard Advancing with the night relief.
'Halt! Who goes there?' my
Tt rings along the watchful line. 'Relief!' I hear the voice reply.
'Advance and give the countersign!' With bayonet at the charge, I wait
The corporal gives the mystic spell; With arms at port, I charge my mate,
And onward pass, for all is well. ²
Stanley, later in life, in his service
uniform as Brigadier General
Note that in this portrait he is not wearing his Medal of Honor,
as he had not yet been awarded it. This photo was taken circa 1884-1892.
Pictured above are General Stanley and
some of his family, at their quarters, the commandant's house,
the Pershing House, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, during Stanley's tenure as Commander of the Department of Texas.
The officer standing at the right is General Stanley's Aide, Capt William A. Holbrook, who not only married General Stanley's
daughter Josephine, but in 1918, as Major General Holbrook, would occupy Pershing house himself. Photo taken 1884-1892.
The above photo from the US Army Medical Department Center and School Website
US Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Section O-20
Grave monument for David S. Stanley
Photo by don connelly from the Find A Grave website
Grave plaque for David S. Stanley
Photo by don connelly from the Find A Grave website
David Sloane Stanley had seven
children, all girls, except for one son, David Sheridan Stanley.
David Sheridan Stanley would also have an Army career, lasting thirty-two years, more than seven
of those years assigned to the 22nd Infantry.
David Sloane Stanley's son was
to be called David Sloane Stanley, after his father, but received
his middle name
in a rather anecdotal way. The boy was born at Fort Sully, Dakota Territory, a post commanded by his father,
who, at the time, was also Commander of the 22nd Infantry.
A week after the boy was born,
Lieutenant General Phillip H. Sheridan, Chief of Staff of the
West Point classmate of Stanley, was on an inspection tour of the frontier. Sheridan's duties took him to the post
at Fort Sully, and he visited Stanley's home, to pay his respects to his old friend and classmate, and to see
Stanley's newborn son:
Mrs. Stanley still in bed, the oldest daughter, 12-year-old
Josephine, carried the infant out on a pillow
to show him. Sheridan asked the infant's name. Josephine, likely nervous in the presence of such a famous
person, blurted out: David Sheridan Stanley. The vain Sheridan had to be gratified by the family's wisdom
and continued friendship, and thus little David was christened Sheridan, not Sloane. Considering Stanley's
lack of political acumen, his daughter's jitters likely did as much for his careeer as he himself could have
accomplished in a decade." ³
Most of the Stanley
family in front of their home, the commanding generals
quarters at Fort Sam Houston, 1886.
Brigadier General David Sloane Stanley is seated, third from left, with his hat in his lap, with his Aide, 1st Lieutenant Oskaloosa Smith
(of the 22nd Infantry) standing behind him. On the far right, seated on the horse is David Sheridan Stanley. Four years after this photo
was taken, David would enter the US Military Academy at West Point.
Photo from the website: Anna Stanley An American Impressionist
David Sheridan Stanley was born
in North Dakota (Dakota Territory), while his father was
Commander of the 22nd Infantry,
on September 10, 1872. At the age of seventeen, David entered the US Military Academy, on June 17, 1890.
On June 11, 1892, he was turned back to repeat his second year. On June 12, 1895, he graduated 42 out of a class
of 52. His best subjects were Drill Regulations and Practical Military Engineering, and his worst subjects were
Chemistry and Civil Engineering. Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Company K of
the 22nd Infantry.
David served a year with the
22nd Infantry at Fort Keogh, Montana. He was then detailed by the
Secretary of War
to follow a course of instruction at L'Ecole de Cavalerie, in Saumer, France, from August 8, 1896, to January 10, 1898.
After the declaration of war against Spain, he was appointed Acting Ordnance Officer of the 1st Independent Division,
at Mobile, Alabama, on May 12, 1898, as the Division prepared for deployment to Cuba. That same month, the
Division Commander, Brigadier General John Joseph Coppinger, was promoted to Major General (Volunteers),
and given command of 4th Army Corps. On June 5 of that year, David was detailed as Aide-de-camp to Coppinger.
On July 23, 1898, David was promoted to 1st Lieutenant (22nd Infantry).
For the remainder of 1898, David
would occupy several positions concurrently. On August 15, he was
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, 4th Army Corps. His details of Aide-de-camp and A.A.A.G. both ended on
October 11, 1898, when Major General Coppinger retired from the Army. On September 4, 1898, he had also been
appointed Acting Assistant Quartermaster, and was on duty in connection with the mustering out of volunteers,
this detail lasting until November 17. On November 16, 1898, he became the Aide-de-camp to Major General
(Volunteers) James Harrison Wilson, serving in that capacity until December 20, 1898. (When Wilson died,
in 1909, David Sheridan Stanley, as a Major, would be one of his pallbearers.)
David officially returned to the
22nd Infantry on January 1, 1899. He joined the Regiment, already
in the Philippines,
on March 4, 1899. He spent his first month in the Philippines sick, in the hospital in Manila, where he stayed until April 1.
On that date he reported for duty with Company D, and served with the Company until June 1, 1899.
From June 1, 1899, to October
20, 1900, David was detailed as Aide-de-camp to Major General
Elwell S. Otis,
who was Commander of US forces in the Philippines, and Military Governor of the Islands. (Otis had served
as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 22nd Infantry from 1866 to 1889.) In 1900 David was officially assigned to
Company M, 22nd Infantry.
On August 13, 1900, David was
offerred a promotion to Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, in
the Quartermaster Department,
a position which he accepted on August 21 of that year. On December 11, 1900, he officially resigned his commission as
1st Lieutenant in the 22nd Infantry, so he could officially occupy the commission in the Quartermaster Department. He thus
ended his seven and a half year assignment to the 22nd Infantry.
From November 14, 1900 to
November 18, 1902, he occupied the position of Transport
From November 18, 1902, to October 13, 1903, he was the Assistant to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department of
California. In addition to that duty, David was the Quartermaster (temporary) of the Presidio of California, from
March 4 to July 27, 1903. On October 26, 1903, he became the Assistant to the Chief Quartermaster of the
Department of the Lakes. On August 10, 1904, he was promoted to Major and Quartermaster. He ended his
duty with the Department of the Lakes on November 14, 1904.
From February 1 to August 13,
1905, David served as the Chief Quartermaster, Department of
Mindanao, in the
Philippines. He was the Depot Quartermaster of Manila, Philippine Islands, from September 1, 1905, to March 31, 1906.
He was the Acting Chief Quartermaster of the Philippine Islands, from November 15, 1906, to May 5, 1907.
He returned to the United
States, where he was the Depot Quartermaster of St, Louis,
Missouri, from June 15 to
August 10, 1907. On August 25, 1907, he was appointed Assistant to the Quartermaster-General in Washington, D.C.
David was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Quartermaster General on March 3, 1911.
He ended his duty with the
Quartermaster-General in Washington, on May 4, 1912. From May 26,
May 5, 1917, he was the Depot Quartermaster at St. Louis, Missouri.
On May 15, 1917, he was promoted to Colonel, Quartermaster Corps.
On May 17, 1917, David was
detailed to General John J. Pershing's staff at Washington, D.C.
He sailed for France on May 28, and arrived in France on June 13, 1917. He commanded Base No. 1,
American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) from June 23 to July 16, 1917. From July 4 to December 18,
he was the Chief Quartermaster, Line of Communications, A.E.F. He was the Base Quartermaster at
Base No. 1 (A.E.F.), from December 19, 1917, to March 26, 1918. He was the Base Quartermaster
at base No. 5 (A.E.F.), from March 28, to September 3, 1918. From September 4 to November 28, 1918,
he was the Chief of Staff of Base No. 5 (A.E.F.).
David left France on December 8, 1918, and arrived back in the U.S. on December 18, 1918.
On January 2, 1919, he became the Zone Supply Officer at St. Louis, Missouri.
He retired from the Army, at his own request, on July 20, 1922.
On September 16, 1923, David
Sheridan Stanley became the Quartermaster and Purchasing Officer
US Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C. He occupied that position until 1942.
He died in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1942.
David Sheridan Stanley was a member of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution.
The citation for the
Distinguished Service Medal, awarded to David Sheridan Stanley,
reads as follows:
War Department General Orders No. 15 (1923)
The President of the United
States, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes
pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished
Service Medal to Colonel (Quartermaster Corps) David Sheridan Stanley, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and
distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. As Chief Quartermaster
and Chief of Staff, Base Section No. 5, at Brest, France, by his great administrative ability, exceptional foresight, and tireless energy,
Colonel Stanley handled numerous difficult problems of supply and transportation with unusual efficiency and success. In the performance
of his great task he rendered services of conspicuous worth to the American Expeditionary Forces.
David Sheridan Stanley's decorations
US Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Section Off, Site 18.
The grave of David Sheridan Stanley
Photo by GulfportBob from the Find A Grave website
¹ HISTORY OF THE Twenty-second United States Infantry 1866-1922, published by the Regiment
² THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REUNION OF THE
ASSOCIATION OF THE GRADUATES
OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT, NEW YORK JUNE 10th 1903,
Seemann & Peters, Printers and Binders 1903, Saginaw, Michigan
³ Jay Cooke's
Gamble: The Northern Pacific Railroad, the Sioux, and the Panic
Author M. John Lubetkin
Publisher University of Oklahoma Press, 2006
ISBN 0806137401, 9780806137407
Home | Photos | Battles & History | Current |
Rosters & Reports | Medal of Honor | Killed in Action |
Personnel Locator | Commanders | Station List | Campaigns |
Honors | Insignia & Memorabilia | 4-42 Artillery | Taps |
What's New | Editorial | Links |