He was a student at Marion Institute in Marion, Alabama (where he narrowly escaped death in 1853, by jumping from a window of the burning college building). At the time of his enlistment, in the Confederate States Army, he was mustered in with the Hayneville Guards, Company "E", 6th Alabama Infantry Regulars (later Company "M"). He was wounded in the "Battle of Seven Pines" May 31, 1862 and later died of those wounds (a bullet wound in the belly). While at the "Battle of Manassas," (July of 1861) he wrote a letter home describing the death of his nephew, Frank Haralson (son of William & Susan "Gordon" Haralson). David had never married.