Hunter, David was born on July 21, 1802 in Washington, District of Columbia. Son of Review Andrew and Mary (Stockton) Hunter.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1822.
Commissioned Second lieutenant 5th Infantry, United States Army, 1822. Captain 1st Dragoons, 1833. Major, paymaster United States Army, 1842.
Colonel calvary, 1861. Commissioned brigadier general United States Volunteers, in command 2d division United States Army under General McDowell, 1861, served at 1st Battle of Bull Run. Commander Western Department, (succeeding Fremont), 1861.
Assumed command of South, 1862, issued order emancipating all slaves in Union custody in his department, 1862, sanctioned liberation of all slaves in area, 1862. In command operations in Shenandoah Valley, 1864, won Battle of Piedmont, took Lynchburg (Virginia). Retreated before Early’s troops, enabling Confederate commanded to threaten Washington (District of Columbia) by way of Shenandoah Valley.
Served court martial duty, 1865 until end of Civil War. President military commission which tried Lincoln’s assassins. President special claims commission Cavalry Promotion Board.
Brevetted brigadier general and major general meritorious conduct during war. Retired as colonel, 1866.