Stephen F. Hale

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Stephen Fowler Hale
Stephen Fowler Hale.jpg
Born January 31, 1816
Died July 18, 1862
Richmond, Virginia
Cause of death
Mortally wounded at the Battle of Gaines' Mill
Resting place
Mesopotamia Cemetery (Oak Hill) Greene County, Eutaw, Alabama
Latitude 32.8504068 Longitude -87.9000149 Burial Row/Column 34/34
Residence Eutaw, Alabama
Spouse(s) Mary E.P. Kirksey, married June 12, 1844
  • William Kirksey Hale
  • Fannie Hale
  • May 26 1849-Oct 1 1849
  • Foster Kirksey Hale
  • Cicero F. Hale
  • Aug 21 1850-Sept 9 1856
  • Eleanor (Ella) C Hale

Stephen Fowler Hale (1816–1862) was an American politician and military officer. Stephen Fowler Hale, lawyer, was born January 31, 1816 in Crittendon County, Kentucky, and died July 18, 1862 in Richmond, Virginia as a result of wounds received in the battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia. His father was a Baptist minister, a South Carolinian, who married a Miss Manahan, of the same state.

Hale was a graduate of Cumberland University, came to Alabama about 1837, and taught school in Greene County for a year. He read law while teaching school, and in 1839 graduated from the law school at Lexington, Kentucky. Locating in Eutaw, he practiced at different times in association with Alexander Graham and T.C. Clarke.

In 1843 he was elected to the State legislature from Greene County. After serving his term in the house, he met and married Mary E.P. Kirksey on June 12, 1844[1] and retired to private life until the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846, when he volunteered and was elected lieutenant of a company. He served in Mexico until the conclusion of peace in 1848, he then returned to Eutaw to his law practice. He was the nominee of his party for congress in 1853, but was defeated; was elected to the legislature again in 1857; was re-elected in 1859; and was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Alabama in 1859.

When the secession ordinance was passed, he was appointed commissioner to Kentucky by Governor Moore and delivered an able address before the legislation at Frankford. That same year, he was elected to represent his district in the provisional congress of the CSA. While holding that position, he was chosen Lieutenant colonel of the 11th Alabama Infantry Regiment, and repaired with it to Virginia. He remained with that command until after the battle of Seven Pines, when he was temporarily assigned to the Ninth Alabama regiment and led it into battle. The fall of Col. Moore obliged him to return to the Eleventh regiment, which he led [2]at the Battle of Gaines' Mill,[3] sometimes known as the First Battle of Cold Harbor or the Battle of Chickahominy River on June 27, 1862, in Hanover County, Virginia.

This was the third of the Seven Days Battles (Peninsula Campaign, March-July 1862). Original documentation of the battle, at the National Archives, Washington DC, states "S.F. Hale, Lt. Col 11th Ala. Regt. Appears on a REPORT of casualties, of the 4th Brigade, Longstreet's Division, in the action at Gaines' Mill, Va., June 27, 1862, Remarks: Dangerously wounded".[4]

Stephen Fowler Hale died on July 18, 1862 at Richmond, after lingering for 22 days. He was laid to rest in Mesopotamia Cemetery (Oak Hill), Greene County, Alabama, Burial Row/Column 34/34. His tombstone bears the epitaph "Statesman, Jurist, Patriot, Soldier & Christian Gentleman"[5]

Hale County, Alabama is named in his honor.[6]


  1. ^ Greene County, Alabama, Marriages, 1823-1860
  2. ^ Clifton W. Crisler, Grand Masters of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama Who Served the Confederate States of America
  3. ^ National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior, The Civil War, Battles, Gaines' Mill
  4. ^ National Archives Trust Fund, Washington, DC, Series 1, Vol. 11, part 2, page 770.
  5. ^ Mesopotamia Cemetery, Greene County, Eutaw, Alabama
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 147.