(1836 - ?)
Home State: Louisiana
Branch of Service: Infantry
He apprenticed as a grocer in Listowel, then enlisted in the 47th Regiment of Foot, Royal Army in 1853, not quite 17 years old, and saw action with the regiment in the Crimea between September 1854 and May 1856. He "purchased his discharge" in October 1856 and arrived in New Orleans in January 1857, joining his parents who had emigrated ahead of him.
By then owner of a draying (hauling) business in New Orleans, he enlisted as Sergeant in the Montgomery Guards - Company E, First Louisiana Volunteers - on 28 April 1861 in New Orleans. He was reduced to Private on 22 November 1861 but was appointed Sergeant again on 20 June 1862. He was commissioned First Lieutenant on 11 July 1862 and promoted to Captain after Captain John Fallon was killed at Malvern Hill on 1 July.
At the railroad cut at Second Manassas on 30 August 1862, his command fired all of their ammunition, and more was not immediately available:
Directly in the rear of the Montgomery Guards was their leader, Capt. Thos. Rice. The eyes of Capt. Rice from a slight elevation of the slope, moved here, there, everywhere. Nothing but a great quantity of rock was lying around, broken in fragments of moderate size as they had been blasted when the railroad was building. Captain Rice drew upon his experience in Crimea. He recalled that battle with stones fought in a rock quarry at Inkerman, close to the Redan - one of the bulwarks of Sebastopol - which had now come to him like a flash, born of the need. Quick as the thought, Rice picked up a piece of rock, and calling out loudly "Boys, do as we did at Sebastopol," hurled the first stone. Ambulance men, being idle just then, gathered stones at the word. The company, the regiment - even other commands of the brigade - followed with more stone, pelting the enemy savagely in their faces with good aim. Excellent work was done with these rocks - a work certified to by both pelters and pelted. Some of the enemy crawled up the bank and voluntarily surrendered themselves to escape the deadly stoning.
On the Campaign
He led his Company on the Campaign and was wounded in the left hip in action on 17 September 1862 at Sharpsburg.
The rest of the War
He returned to his Company by December and was wounded again, in the leg at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863. He may have temporarily commanded the regiment at Gettysburg, PA in July, and was wounded for the third time, more seriously and "left for dead", in action on 12 May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, VA. He was afterward absent, wounded, to November 1864, when he was retired by a medical board.
After the War
After recovering in Virginia, he returned to New Orleans in November 1865. He helped found the Hibernia Bank & Trust and Hibernia Insurance Companies there, and was a grocer.
References & notes
03/21/1836; Listowel, County Kerry, IRELAND
1 Booth, Andrew B., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 Volumes, New Orleans: State of Louisiana, 1920, Vol. 3, Book 2, Part 1, pg. 301 [AotW citation 22288]
2 Evans, Clement Anselm, editor, Confederate Military History, 12 Volumes, Atlanta: The Confederate Publishing Company, 1899, Vol. X (Louisiana), pg. 233 [AotW citation 22289]