James F. Thomas was born in Newberry, S. C. in 1834. His parents, David and Mary E. Thomas, moved with others to the lower part of Giles County Tennessee 1835-1840 where he grew up in the Sugar Creek area. About 1854 he married his cousin Louisa Caroline Marbut. They had three children: Columbus Lafayette, David Silas Wilbur, and Bettie Jim Thomas.
James F. Thomas was enlisted 7 October 1861 in the Confederate States Army, Company H, 32nd Tennessee Infantry. This was Captain Thomas Hanna's Company, called the Tennessee Volunteers. He was listed as a waggoner and was promoted to Corporal.
According to his military records on micro-film page 1750 he "died in hospital, March 13th 1862." His death certificate, which was signed by Captain John L. Brownlow, Company Commander, does not give the location or cause of his death. Since the 32nd was stationed at Bowling Green, Kentucky from Christmas 1861 to about 1 February 1862, when they moved on to Russellville, we may assume that he died somewhere in that area.
"The winter of 1861-62 was extremely disastrous for these Confederate soldiers in Kentucky. Accidents, disease, and cold, damp weather caused the loss of around 300 men of the 32nd Tennessee. Many were ill and took months to recover. Some were ill and never recovered". (Bob Wamble, Giles County Tennessee, Civil War, 32nd Tennessee Infantry.)
His military records give the petition of his widow, Louisa Caroline Thomas, who sought to receive his personal effects, including "Twenty One Dollars and Seventy Five Cents" due him for army service. The place of his burial is not certainly known but some say that he was buried in Sam Jackson Cemetery below Minor Hill in an unmarked grave.
It has been reported and repeated by genealogists that James F. Thomas returned from the war unscathed and was killed by Cub Boyd in 1867 while in a political dispute at the old Post Office in Minor Hill, Tennessee. His military records disprove this claim. However, his two younger brothers were both in the CSA during the war, Joseph W. died somewhere between 1872 and 1890, Gilford C. either died or disappeared before the 1870 census was taken. It is possible that one of these brothers, probably the latter, was killed at Minor Hill, but not James F.
Click HERE for information on James F. Thomas' burial. Thanks to Wayne Austin for this link.
Submitted by: James F. Thomas, Great Grandson