Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer and Bruce Allardice

CORLEY, JOHN AUSTIN (1836–1871). John Austin Corley, attorney and Confederate cavalry officer, was born on May 10, 1836, in Tennessee, the son of Samuel and Esther (Priestley) Corley. Corley graduated from Cumberland College in Lebanon, Tennessee. He married Ann America Harris on November 10, 1859, in Titus County, Texas. They later settled in Clarksville, Red River County, where Corley practiced law.

Corley enlisted in the Twenty-third Texas Cavalry as a major on October 25, 1862. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on October 28, 1863, while stationed at Camp Sidney Johnston. The regiment was formed in early spring of 1862 and was stationed primarily in the Trans-Mississippi Department. The unit was initially stationed at Beaumont, and Corley commanded Camp Quintana. The unit was stationed near Houston at Camp Chambers in March of 1865 and drifted home over the following month.

Corley returned to Red River County and died in Clarksville on August 29, 1871. Legend states that he fell off of his horse while intoxicated. His widow later filed for a Confederate pension which was approved on March 22, 1901, a few years before her own death. Corley is buried in the Clarksville Baptist Cemetery, Clarksville, in Red River County, next to one of his fellow officers from the Twenty-third, his brother-in-law Nicholas C. Gould. Corley's father, Samuel Corley, served as major of an Arkansas Cavalry regiment.


James A. Mundie, Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables: A Biographical and Pictorial Field Guide (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002). Ron Brothers, comp., "Confederate Veterans Who Died or are Buried in Red River County, Texas" (, accessed February 3, 2011. "23rd Regiment, Texas Cavalry (Gould's)," The War for Southern Independece: Texas (, accessed February 3, 2011.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer and Bruce Allardice, "CORLEY, JOHN AUSTIN," accessed February 22, 2020,

Uploaded on March 29, 2011. Modified on July 14, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...