Whaley, David M. (1822–1862)

By: Stephanie P. Niemeyer

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 2011

David M. Whaley, druggist and Confederate infantry officer, was born in 1822 in Pennsylvania. He was the son of James Whaley. He trained to be a doctor and moved to Leon County, Texas, in 1853. He worked as a druggist, and, as a strong advocate for health on the frontier, he dispensed medicines and attended to the ill. He was a state senator in the Eighth Legislature representing the Twenty-first District including parts of Brazos, Burleson, Leon, and Robertson counties. During the Civil War, he was the captain of Company C in the Fifth Texas Infantry. Whaley was promoted to major on July 17, 1862.

Whaley died on August 22, 1862, at the battle of Freeman's Ford in Virginia. This series of skirmishes took place from August 22 to August 25 in and around Culpeper County and Fauquier County. The area was laden with corn, and the Union and the Confederate sides took advantage of this readily available foodstuff, each sending out a corn gatherer. In the process of corn gathering, the two met each other in the middle and promptly began to pummel one another. Each side became aware of the fisticuffs, and shooting began. The Fifth Texas Infantry was especially vulnerable due to the extra long staff upon which they carried their Texas Lone Star flag. The flag caught the eye of the Federal troops, and a fired artillery shell struck Whaley's area killing him instantly. One other man died, and four others were wounded. Whaley was buried near where he fell.

J.B. Polley, Hood's Texas Brigade: Its Marches, Its Battles, Its Achievements (Dayton, Ohio: Morningside Bookshop, 1976). Harold B. Simpson, Hood's Texas Brigade: A Compendium (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1977). George Skoch and Mark W. Perkins, eds. Lone Star Confederate: A Gallant and Good Soldier of the Fifth Texas Infantry (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2003). Texas Senate, District 21 (http://www.answers.com/topic/texas-senate-district-21), accessed February 15, 2011. David Whaley (http://www.rootsweb.com/~txleon/confederate/whaley.htm), accessed February 15, 2011.

  • Eighth Legislature (1859-1861)
  • Senate
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Stephanie P. Niemeyer, “Whaley, David M.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/whaley-david-m.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 2011

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