Cathey, William Henry (1831–1873)

By: Brett J. Derbes

Type: Biography

Published: March 27, 2011

William Henry Cathey, Confederate officer in the Civil War, was born in 1831 in Tennessee. He married Samantha E. Rogers in 1853, and they had seven children. By 1860 the family relocated to Texas where Cathey worked as a merchant in Johnson County.

Cathey enlisted as a captain of Company K in the Fifteenth Texas Cavalry regiment on March 12, 1862, in Dallas, Texas, for a period of twelve months, and trained in Clarksville. The unit reorganized in McKinney later that same year. He was elected major of the unit on May 20, 1862. The first fighting experience of the Fifteenth Texas Cavalry was at the battle of Batesville, Arkansas, on July 8, 1862. Major Cathey suffered from painful cardiac conditions and was diagnosed with a thickening of the valves on the left side of his heart. The condition rendered him incapable of performing the actions of a field officer as of September 24, 1862, and he resigned on October 21, 1862.

After the war Cathey and his family moved to Caddo Parish, Louisiana. He and Samantha both died in 1873, in Shreveport, Louisiana, of yellow fever during an epidemic.

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Regimental and Staff Officers
  • Soldiers
  • Business
Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Reconstruction

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Brett J. Derbes, “Cathey, William Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 27, 2011

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