Stanley descendant served in Confederate, Union armies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 16, 2017

Covington is one of the largest counties, land wise, in the State of Alabama, and it has been stated that the county had more men per capita to serve in the Confederate Army than any other.

However, there were a few leading citizens associated the county who were against Alabama seceding from the Union and who even joined the Union Army.

One of those men, Garrett S. Stanley, an early resident of Coffee County, is being featured in today’s story.

The primary source for this writing was a narrative written by Scott R. Smith and William D. Taylor Jr. entitled “They Wore the Gray and the Blue: Three Coffee Countians Who Served in the CSA and USA: John R. Cauley, James H. Dannelley, and Garrett S. Stanley.” Appreciation is expressed to them for their research and making it available for others.

Garrett S. Stanley was born in Montgomery County, Ala., on October, 1827, and died near Opp, Covington County, Ala., on December 31, 1913, at 86 years of age. He and his wife lie buried in the cemetery of the Enon Baptist Church in Covington County. He was the son of Cullen Edward Stanley (1797-ca 1860) and Nancy Jane Williams (1797-ca 1865), natives of South Carolina. (His mother’s maiden name of Williams has not been fully documented.)

According to, Cullen Edward Stanley was the son of Lewis Isham Stanley (1750-1814) and Ada Martin (1850-ca 1797) who were the parents of the following 14 children: Betsy, b. 1764, d. 1775; Ezekiel Isham, b. 1770, d. 1805; Jesse Martin, b. 1771, d. 1777; John, b. 1778; Anne, b. 1780, d. 1860; Celia Lela, b. 1780, d. 1787; Elizabeth Betsy, b. 1780, d. 1795; Rhoda, b. 1783, d. 1852; George, b. 1786, d. 1861; Lewis Isham Jr., b. 1788, d. 1866; Benjamin Franklin, b. 1791, d. 1867; Jesse, b. 1793, d. 1866; Joshua David, b. 1793, d. 1881; and Cullen Edward, b. 1797, d. 1860.

It appears Cullen E.’s mother died about the time of his birth and that he was about 17 years of age when his father died in 1814.

Cullen Edward Stanley was born in South Carolina, but he made his way to Coffee County, Ala. by 1850.

On February 2, 1852, he purchased 79.75 acres of land Township 7 North, Range 19 East, Section 4, which was located north of Elba and later became a part of Crenshaw County when it was created in 1868. and his wife, Nancy Jane Williams, were the parents of the following children: Lydia Ann, b. 1823, d. 1903; Garrett S., b. 1827, d. 1913, m. Harriette Taylor; Mary J., b. 1835; William Joshua “Josh,” b. 1838, d. 1927, m. Frances Elizabeth Neal (1844-1920); and Sarah R., b. 1842.

Very little is known about his sisters, but his brother, Josh Stanley, was a well- known Primitive Baptist preacher in Southeast Alabama.

William Joshua Stanley was married in 1865 to Frances Elizabeth Neal, daughter of Amos Pinkney Neal (1806-1870) and Delilah Coon (1809-1870). Joshua and Frances were the parents of the following 12 children: Robert Lee, b. 1866, d. 1935; Alfred Perry, b. 1866, d. 1945; Lucy Ann, b. 1869, d. 1872; Mary Jane “Mollie,” b. 1871, d. 1882; Joe Sephus, b. 1873, d. 1928; Frances Serena, b. 1875, d. 1967; Josephus, b. 1875; Thomas F. “Tommy,” b. 1878, d. 1933; Melissa, b. 1879, d. 1898; William Joshua Jr., b. 1881, d. 1950; Charles Augustus “Gus,” b. 1883, d. 1977; and Jonah Costilla, b. 1886, d. 1914.

Garrett S. Stanley was married in 1852 to Harriette Taylor, daughter of Richard Ivey Taylor (1799-1860) and his first wife, Ann, who died before 1843. Garrett was born in Montgomery County, Ala., and Harriette, in Edgefield County, S.C. However, Harriette was reared in Covington County.

They both died in Covington County and were buried in the Enon Baptist Church Cemetery, which is located northeast of Florala.

They were the parents of the following children: Cullen Egustus, b. 1852, d. 1920, m. 1873 Martha Ellen Taylor (1856-1922); John E. b. 1854, d. 1923; Nancy Jane, b. 1856, d. 1943, m. 1876 Vincent Columbus Holloway (1853-1921); James C., b. 1858, d. 1900; Mary Ann, b. 1862, d. 1863; Sarah, b. 1862, d. 1865; Lidia Ann Matilda, b. 1866, d. 1902; Zilpha Susan, b. 1866; and Garrett.

There were a few variations in the children found on various family trees show on, and more than one child born during the same year raises concern.

The oldest son, Cullen Egustus Stanley, had moved to Covington County with the rest of his family by 1880.

In 1893, he was appointed Postmaster for the Chester Post Office, which was located about 12 miles north of Opp on the Opp-Rose Hill Highway.

He and his wife, Martha Ellen, were the parents of the following children William Joshua, b. 1875, d. 1966; Charles Egustus, b. 1877, d. 1965; and Corinna Ethel, b. 1888.

The daughter, Nancy Jane Stanley, was married in 1876 in Covington County to Vincent Columbus Holloway.

They were the parents of the following children: Mary Ann Harriette, b. 1878, d. 1913, m. Daniel Ingram Helms (1870-1940); Sarah Louise, b. 1880, d. 1976; James Columbus, b. 1882, d. 1974, m. Minnie E. ? (1892-1971); William Garrett, b. 1885, d. 1942; Vincent Levi, b. 1888, d. 1973, m. Lizzie ?; Cullen Edward, b. 1892, d. 1911; Annie W. J., b. 1894; Martha Matilda, b. 1895, d. 1981, m. Arney F. Norris (1896-1990); Richard Davis, b. 1897, d. 1975, m. 1924 Lula Jane Coon (1897-1976); John, b. 1900, d. 1981; and Cullen Edward.

Garrett S. Stanley’s political views are somewhat varied. Records in the National Archives show he enlisted in Company A, 18th Alabama Regiment of the Confederate Army on July 22, 1861, which was fairly early in the war.

He did not desert the Confederate States Army, but was medically discharged on January 7, 1862. for “severe attack of typhia or pneumonia.” Records further show he enlisted in the First Florida Cavalry U.S.A. on March 23, 1864, where he served until he was honorably discharged on November 17, 1865.

Later he received a pension for his Union service, and his widow continued to receive it following his death.

After the war, Garrett moved sometime after 1870 to Covington County where his brother was already residing. In 1891, he homesteaded 159.32 acres of land in the Valley Grove Township.

It was probably his son, Garrett, who homesteaded 80.07 acres in the Libertyville Township in 1906. Garrett S. Stanley was a farmer throughout his life. He died in 1913 near the Town of Opp.

The sources for this writing included the narrative listed in the beginning by Scott R. Smith and William D. Taylor Jr., and Wyley Ward’s Originial Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who finds any error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: