While our physical offices are closed until at least April 13 due Austin's COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" 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 »


Stephanie P. Niemeyer

WHALEY, DAVID M. (1822–1862). 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.

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, Stephanie P. Niemeyer, "WHALEY, DAVID M. ," accessed April 05, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwh95.

Uploaded on April 7, 2011. Modified on June 1, 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...