While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Jennifer Eckel

STANLEY, WRIGHT AUGUSTUS (1835–?). Wright Augustus Stanley, frontier physician and soldier, was born in 1835 in Jefferson, Tennessee. His parents were probably the elder Wright Stanley and Mary C. McBride of Davidson, Tennessee. The future colonel migrated to Fannin County, Texas, after 1850 and established a medical practice and surgery. Stanley acquired a respectable personal estate and in 1860 married Emma Campbell in Dallas, Texas.

In June 1861 Wright Stanley raised a company from Bonham in Fannin County and served as its captain. Originally members of the eponymous Stanley Light Horse Independent Mounted Volunteers, Fourteenth Brigade, Stanley's men were mustered into Confederate service as Company H of the Ninth Texas Infantry Regiment on December 1, 1861. Stanley was promoted to major and served as one of the original field officers of the Ninth Infantry under Col. Samuel B. Maxey. During the winter of 1862 the Ninth Texas was plagued by pneumonia and measles and lost many soldiers to illness and exposure, necessitating its reorganization. Maxey was promoted to brigadier general on March 4, 1862, and Major Stanley was elected to replace him as colonel of the regiment on March 29. Stanley's transition to command does not seem to have been a smooth one, however, with one of his men recalling that "Major Stanley was elected Col. of the regiment, but the boys so nearly plaged him out his life, that he would not have them."

Although Stanley commanded the regiment for only two months, it was during his tenure that the Ninth Texas fought at the battle of Shiloh. Shiloh was Stanley's last action with the unit, and while the regiment was either forced to "withdraw for a short time" or "[flee] from the enemy," depending on the account, Stanley appears to have regrouped and, in his words, "immediately charged, routing the enemy." It was at this point, however, that Colonel Stanley's horse was shot from beneath him; Stanley sustained serious injuries and twenty-four-year-old William Hugh Young took up the charge. Although Stanley is memorialized as the Ninth Texas's commander on the Texas State Memorial at the Shiloh battlefield, Young is more often associated with the unit's charge on the first day of the battle. Young was officially elected to replace Stanley as colonel of the regiment on May 8, 1862.

Stanley presumably returned to Fannin County to recuperate. He was a member of the Constantine Masonic Lodge of Bonham for some time between 1860 and 1870. His son, Wright Augustus Stanley, Jr., was born in Bonham on July 31, 1865. Following this event, however, the family likely moved on and perhaps returned to the Dallas area, which was home to Stanley's wife Emma. Wright Stanley, Jr., eventually became a notable figure in the Dallas business community and raised five daughters with his wife Mattie Huguley. The precise date and place of the death of Wright A. Stanley, Sr., is unknown.


Tim Bell, "History of the 9th Texas Infantry" (http://gen.1starnet.com/civilwar/9hist.htm), accessed April 13, 2011. Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington.

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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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, Jennifer Eckel, "STANLEY, WRIGHT AUGUSTUS ," accessed July 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fstai.

Uploaded on April 23, 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...