Stevens, James G. (ca. 1823–1889)

By: Cecil Harper, Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: July 27, 2011

James G. Stevens, county judge and Confederate officer, was born in Alabama about 1823. In 1841 he fought against the Indians in Texas in the battle of Village Creek. In 1853 he was living around Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation, where he married Elizabeth B. Gooding, the daughter of Fort Towson's commissary, and where the first of his two children was born. Around 1854, when the federal government closed Fort Towson, Stevens and his family moved to Hunt County, Texas. He is listed as a trader on the 1860 census. He ran unsuccessfully for county judge in Hunt County in 1856. On November 6, 1860, Hunt County voters elected him county judge in a special election called to replace O. H. King, who had died. Stevens resigned his office in December 1860 to enter the Confederate Army as part of the Twenty-second Texas Cavalry, which he had helped raise. He was elected major in January 1862 and promoted to colonel later that year. He led the regiment at Newtonia, Missouri, and at Prairie Grove, Arkansas, late in 1862. In October 1862 he was arrested by his commanding officer for cowardice. His troops were dismounted, and their horses were sent back to Texas. Although Stevens was soon returned to the command of his troops, he resigned in November of 1863, confessing that he was "entirely unable" to control his men. He returned to Hunt County, where he remained until he moved to Dallas in 1867. In Dallas County he was active in the local Democratic party and served as a surveyor and as superintendent of Dallas County schools in the 1880s. He was a member of the Dallas County Agricultural and Mechanical Association, and in 1883 he was elected vice president of the Confederate Veterans of Polignac's Brigade. He died in Dallas on May 24, 1889, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Bruce S. Allardice, Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008). Alwyn Barr, Polignac's Texas Brigade, Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association Publication Series 8.1 (November 1964). John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Dallas Morning News, May 25, 1889. A History of Greater Dallas and Vicinity, Vol. 1., by Philip Lindsley; Vol. 2., Selected Biography and Memoirs, ed. L. B. Hill (Chicago: Lewis, 1909).

Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

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

Cecil Harper, Jr., “Stevens, James G.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 27, 2011

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