B. Warren Stone, Jr., lawyer and Confederate officer, was born in Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky, on November 5, 1817, to Barton W. and Celia (Bowen) Stone. He attended Georgetown College, Kentucky, where he demonstrated an ability for classical languages, and accompanied his father in 1836 to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he worked his father's farm and continued to study. He married Margaret M. Howard in 1844. About 1845, Stone moved his family to Memphis, Tennessee, in hopes of improving his wife's consumption. In the spring of 1851 he traveled with Sam Houston from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Grand Écore on the Red River, and their friendship deepened with Houston's discovery that Margaret was the daughter of Gen. Tilghman A. Howard, chargé d'affaires from the United States to the Republic of Texas and Houston's friend. Concern for his wife's deteriorating health induced Stone to move his family to North Texas, where the climate was considered better, and in November 1851 they arrived in Dallas. Stone began a law practice, promoted bringing the railroad to Dallas, and in 1859 accepted an appointment as a special judge. His wife died in 1855; he married Sue E. Smith of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, in February 1857. Stone had two children by his first wife and five by his second.
As a member of the Constitutional Union party of Dallas County, Stone saw no immediate threat in the election of Abraham Lincoln. But when the Civil War began he obtained authority to raise a cavalry regiment for service under Benjamin McCulloch. His regiment was sworn in at Camp Bartow in Dallas County in September 1861 as the Sixth Texas Cavalry. Stone commanded it at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in March 1862, after which it was dismounted and transferred to Corinth, Mississippi. After he was replaced by Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross, who was elected colonel on May 14, 1862, he returned to Texas, where, during the fall and winter of 1862–63, he set about organizing two more regiments; he was ordered to Louisiana with one of them, the Second Texas Partisan Rangers, before the other was complete. In a complaint to Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder, Stone requested that the regiments be combined into a brigade under his command as senior colonel. He had applied in April 1862 for promotion to brigadier general and over the next year obtained several recommendations for this rank, including the unanimous endorsement of the Texas legislature in February 1863. On December 14, 1863, he cited "very heavy losses in my devotion to duty," physical incapacities, family obligations, and "long service and subjection to younger officers" as reasons for the destruction of his military ardor. Stone resigned as colonel of the Second Regiment of Texas Partisan Rangers as of January 29, 1864. He declined a commission as judge of the district court to reorganize the courts of North Texas and resumed his law practice in Dallas. He subsequently moved to Missouri and settled in Howard County, near Fayette, where he tended his farm more than his law office. He was a member of the Christian Church, which his father helped found. In November 1879 Stone returned to Dallas, where he died at home on February 26, 1881.
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Max Lale and Hobart Key, Jr., The Civil War Letters of David R. Garrett (Marshall, Texas: Port Caddo, 1963?). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Joan J. Perez,
“Stone, Barton Warren, Jr.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 18, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
October 27, 2011
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: