Thomas Benjamin Rust Massie(1820 - 1908)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Commanding Battalion
Branch of Service: Cavalry
Unit: 17th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
Before the Antietam Campaign:
In 1859 Thomas Massie was a farmer living in Rappahannock County, Virginia. He organized the Washington Grays, a local militia company. In June 1861 they were mustered into Confederate service as Company B, 7th Virginia Infantry, Captain Massie commanding. He was promoted to Major and command of the 17th Virginia Cavalry Battalion to replace Major William Patrick, killed at 2nd Manassas on 29 August 1862.
In the Antietam Campaign:
On the 7th of September Major Massie took his command on a reconnaissance towards Harper's Ferry, and when near Darksville [Darkesville, Berkeley County, VA - now WVa] met with a small force of Federals and charged and pursued them to the neighborhood of Martinsburg. In the charge many prisoners were captured, and Massie's command stringing out in pursuit, lost their proper position in the column. On the return, when near Darksville, they were suddenly attacked by a Federal cavalry force. Forming his men as best he might in the streets of Darksville, he gave battle, and after a contest in which several of the Confederates were killed and wounded he was forced to retreat. In this skirmish the Federals had a force of five companies of cavalry, four companies of infantry, and a section of artillery.
Shortly after this skirmish Major Massie and his command joined Jackson at Harper's Ferry, where they occupied a position on his flanks, picketing the fords of the Shenandoah and Potomac until the surrender of the place.
The 17th Battalion - with the rest of the cavalry brigade under Munford, picketed Antietam Creek below Sharpsburg on 17 September. They were part of the rearguard of the Army of Northern Virginia on the Potomac crossing to Shepherdstown on the night of 18-19 September.1
The remainder of the War:
By the May 1864 battle of the Wilderness, Massie was Lieutenant Colonel and commanding the 12th Virginia Cavalry. 2 He was wounded at Trevilian Station in June 1864 and was captured in Warren County, Virginia, on 18 February 1865 and imprisoned at Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, being released in May.
After the War:
He was a farmer in Rappahannock County.
References, Sources, and other notes:
Massie's service with the 17th Battalion is found in McDonald1, birth and death information from family researchers. Additional biographic information from the registration (pdf) for his family home on the National Register of Historic Places. The photograph above is from a copy of a CDV available from PictureHistory - original source of the CDV is unknown.
More on the Web:
An 1897 photo of the Colonel is online courtesy of RootsWeb and contributor Shirley Starks.
|Birth Date: 12/15/1820 Birth State: VA |
Death Date: 4/29/1908 Death Place: Rappahannock County, VA Burial Place: cemetery at Meadow Grove, Amissville, VA
1 McDonald, William Naylor, and Bushrod Corbin Washington, editor, A History of the Laurel Brigade, Baltimore: Mrs Kate S McDonald, 1907 [AotW citation 909]
2 US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Series 1, Vol. XXXVI, Part 1 (Serial # 67) [AotW citation 910]
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