Charles Henry Thomas was born in Marengo County, Alabama, in about 1835 and moved to Montgomery County, Texas, before 1850 with his mother and brothers and sisters.
He was said to be the son of Ila Thomas (1800-1842) and Mary Edwards (1801-1873).
Mary Thomas and family, including Charles, are enumerated in Montgomery County in 1850. Charles first rendered his taxables in the county in 1859. He paid taxes on one horse and one poll in 1859 and in 1860.
On February 10, 1859, Charles was married to Amanda Eliza McCaleb, daughter of early settler Zill McCaleb. They were residing in or near Danville in 1860. In their household was R. (Rufus) Thomas, younger brother of Charles Henry Thomas. Next door was 77-year-old A. (Ann) Edwards, who was probably the grandmother of Charles and Rufus.
Amanda Eliza's sister, Sophia H. McCaleb, was married to Company B soldier Jabez Smyth Thomason.
Another sister, Mrs. Sarah F. McCaleb Chambers, was married to soldier James William Hulon.
On April 28, 1862, Charles H. Thomas joined Captain S. D. Wooldridge's company of the Second Texas Lancers, which was to become Company B of the 24th Texas Cavalry (Dismounted). Unfortunately, the War Department filed Charles's records under Company H, and it was only through an accidental discovery by Montgomery County Civil War researcher Frank Johnson that we are able to now add Charles to the roster of Captain Wooldridge's men, ten years after I began this project.
Charles was age 26 when he was enrolled at Danville by John E. George, the Justice of the Peace and local postmaster for the Danville area. He rode fifty miles to rendezvous at Camp Carter near Hempstead, and was mustered in on April 28, 1862. The value of his horse was entered as $140.00, and the value of his equipment was $40.00.
There is only one more muster roll in Charles's file. This roll was the August 31st roll, and in the Remarks space we learn that Charles died on June 12, 1862. This occurred on the men's march from Crockett, Texas (where they rendezvoused in May) to Arkansas.
It appears that Charles most likely died of measles in the hospital at Mt. Enterprise in Rusk County, Texas. Soldier Robert Hodges of Company F wrote in a letter to his mother, There are a great many sick in the hospital at Mt. Enterprise. Measels [sic] principally. The soldiers stayed near Mt. Enterprise at least until the 11th of the month, and it is unlikely they would have moved the sickest men. Instead, they left other soldiers behind to nurse the sick soldiers.
Contrary to what was previously believed, we now know that Charles was the first of the Company B soldiers to die after leaving home. It is probable that he was buried in the hospital cemetery, but all traces of the burials have been lost.
According to descendants, Charles and Amanda had two children, a boy and a girl born 1861 and 1862. After Charles's death, Amanda married Benjamin L. Wright, who was born about 1822 in Mississippi.
After 1870, the couple moved to Robertson County, where they were living in 1880 with her children by Charles Thomas and the rest of their family.
Descendants' records show that Amanda Eliza died on February 6, 1891.
The above was compiled from census records, family histories, county records, and from the Compiled Service Records, which are housed in the National Archives, and which were accessed on footnote.com.
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at email@example.com.
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