(1810 - 1863)
Home State: Georgia
Education: Franklin College (U of Georgia), Class of 1832
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 16th Georgia Infantry
A planter, lawyer, and State Senator before the War, he had military experience in the "Creek Indian War" (1836, Alabama). In 1860 he was a successful 50 year old farmer at Auburn in Gwinnett County, GA. He organized a Company of troops there - the Hutchins Guard - and was appointed Major of the 16th Georgia Infantry on 19 July 1861 as it was forming. He was elected (or appointed) Lieutenant Colonel on 24 June 1862 (to date from 15 February 1862).
On the Campaign
He was senior officer present and in command of the Regiment at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He was leading Wofford's Brigade when he was killed in action in an assault on Fort Sanders near Knoxville, TN on 29 November 1863.
[30 November 1863] I went with Lieut Ed Thomas while the flag of truce was up to get his fathers body which was brought to us by four Yankees in a litter we were not allow’d to go near the fort which they had surrounded by a strong line of pickets...His widow Ellen applied for his final pay of $674.33 in September 1864; if she ever received the funds, it was after January 1865.
[Next] morning Ed Thomas caused his fathers remains to be disinterred from field Infirmary & buried at the private graveyard of a Mrs Crawford about a mile from our Camp & 3 m fr Knoxville. Col Ruff was buried along side Col Thomas. I marked both of the graves with head boards & cut their names on there....
More on the Web
His service from Henderson,1 who says he was promoted to Colonel of the Regiment on 31 August 1863, and his Compiled Service Records,2 online from fold3. The quote above from the commonplace book (diary) of Assistant Surgeon Robert Pooler Myers (1839-1920) now in the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, the American Civil War Museum, Richmond (donated by the author in May 1916); thanks to Laura Elliott for the transcription. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860, and the Gwinnett Historical Society. His gravesite is on Findagrave; thanks to Ron Jones for the update on his burial place and pointer to the Myers diary.
He married Ellen E. D. Burroughs (1814-1894) in December 1837 and they had 5 sons and a daughter. His son Edward Burroughs Thomas (1841-1915) enlisted as a Private in July 1861 and was appointed First Lieutenant of Company I of the 16th Georgia after Gettysburg. He was later Captain of "F" of the 24th.
Henry's brother Edward Lloyd Thomas (1825-1898), was a Confederate Brigadier General.
05/10/1810; Franklin County, GA
11/29/1863; Knoxville, TN; burial in Henry Lonas Cemetery, Knox County, TN
1 Henderson, Lilian, compiler, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, 6 vols., Hapeville (GA): Longino & Porter, 1959-1964, Vol. 2, pg. 480 [AotW citation 12942]
2 US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927 [AotW citation 29163]