1st Arkansas Cavalry

"Samuel Corley was born about 1809 and grew to manhood in Tennessee, probably Wilson County. He was ordained in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, an offshoot of the Presbyterian Church, USA. Sam married Esther Priestley in 1829. About 1840, Sam moved his family to northeast Texas. Over the next decade he established several churches in Texas, served as chaplain in Hays Rangers during the Mexican War and as the military chaplain at Fort Towson in the Indian Territory, and traveled throughout Texas as a missionary for the church.

By the time the Civil War began, Sam was living in Arkansas. Since he was over 50 at the beginning of the war, Sam signed up as the Chaplain of Colonel Hindman's 2nd Arkansas Infantry where he campaigned in Kentucky and Tennessee. In November 1861 he resigned and shortly thereafter raised a cavalry company which he offered for service to General Albert Sidney Johnston. By May 1862 Captain Corley's company was serving in the Indian Territory. By July 1862 he was serving in Arkansas as part of Major Francis M Chrisman's Arkansas Cavalry. In December 1862, while involved in the fighting around Helena, Chrisman's unit was absorbed into Colonel Dobbins Arkansas Cavalry. In July 1863 Sam was promoted to Major.

As the federals advanced on Little Rock, Dobbin's regiment became part of the blocking force. Because Dobbins was temporarily absent, Sam was commanding the regiment on 10 September 1863. On that date he was mortally wounded at Fourche Bayou, near present day Little Rock. The fighting preacher died the next day and was buried near where he fell. After the war, his remains were moved to the Confederate Cemetary in Helena, Arkansas."

Thanks, John Corley

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