Peak, William Wallace (1831–1884)

By: Bruce Bumbalough

Type: Biography

Published: May 26, 2011

William Wallace Peak, Confederate officer, druggist, and merchant, was born on January 29, 1831, in Warsaw, Kentucky, to Jefferson and Martha Peak. He was a younger brother of Carroll M. Peak, the first physician in Fort Worth, Texas. Between 1850 and 1860, William W. Peak moved to Dallas. He was listed on the 1860 United States census as a druggist in Dallas. He married Mary Frances Smith in Dallas on December 21, 1860.

At the onset of the Civil War, Peak enlisted as a captain in Company A (aka William W. Peak's Company) of the Thirty-first Texas Cavalry. On February 4, 1864, William Wallace Peak was promoted to major.

The Thirty-first Texas Cavalry (aka [Trezevant] Hawpes Regiment, Texas Cavalry) was organized in Dallas on May 14, 1862, with men from Dallas, McLennan, Fannin, and Karnes counties. Organization concluded at Fort Washita in Indian Territory. On September 30, 1862, the Thirty-first Texas Cavalry engaged Union troops at Newtonia, Missouri, and assisted in the victory. In November of 1862 Gen. Thomas C. Hindman ordered the unit dismounted. They were then sent to Shreveport to protect the city in the spring of 1863. In September of 1863, the Thirty-first Texas Cavalry (dismounted) took part in the Battle of Stirling's Plantation as part of Speight's Brigade. The unit also participated in the Red River campaign against the Union troops of Gen. Nathaniel Banks. They were included in those surrendered by Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith in New Orleans on May 26, 1865.

Peak returned to Dallas following the war and continued his career as a businessman. He was employed as a merchant in 1870 with real property having a value of $4,000 and personal property of $6,000. Records show him living with his wife, and children Eula E., John Sidney, and William Wallace Peak. In 1880 Peak was listed as a justice of the peace in Dallas County. He died on May 23, 1884, and was buried in Pioneer Cemetery in Dallas.

Richard G. Lowe, Walker's Texas Division, C. S. A.: Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004). Bill Nolan, 31st Texas Cavalry Regiment (;read=6906), accessed December 22, 2010. Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of Confederate Armies–Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

Time Periods:

  • Civil War


  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth

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

Bruce Bumbalough, “Peak, William Wallace,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 26, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 26, 2011

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