Thomas Jackson Spear was born in Montgomery County, Alabama, on September 27, 1837. He was the son of Malachai Moore Spear and Elizabeth Candler Woodley.
He moved with his parents and siblings to Texas, and is enumerated with them as J. Spears in the Montgomery County census of 1860. The family owned six slaves.
T. J.'s older sister, Martha Eliza, was married in 1850 to James A. Reding, the brother of George W. Reding.
T. J. was probably called “Jackson” by his family. He joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen, a militia unit of the Seventeenth Brigade, Texas State Troops, under Captain S. D. Wooldridge in May of 1861; his name is on the muster rolls of September, 1861 and February, 1862.
On the 20th of February 1862, T. J. married Mary J. Childers in Montgomery County. Mary J. was born in Georgia, and was the daughter of Danville neighbors, W. (actually Douglas) and A. Childers. She was the sister of Reuben Childers and Jefferson Pearse Childers.
Mary was the granddaughter of Richard Jesse Cheshire. And she was the niece of Eliza J. Cheshire who married John Baker Reding.
On March 29th, T. J. enlisted as a private in the Second Texas Lancers in the unit which became Company B, 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry under Captain S. D. Wooldridge. He was mustered in at Camp Carter at Hempstead on April 28th. His Compiled Service Records show that it was fifty miles from his home to place of rendezvous. His horse was worth $50.00 and his equipment was worth $25.00.
Two of his brothers-in-law joined with him. They were Wiley Green, who married his sister Margaret, and James R. McIntyre, who married Elizabeth Ann.
T. J. rode his horse to Arkansas with the rest of the men, and became ill when the men reached Sulphur Springs. The company was probably stationed at Camp Holmes, Sulphur Springs, Arkansas when T. J. died, on August 2, 1862.
T. J. was probably buried in the hospital cemetery.
The hospital cemetery has been restored as a memorial to all the Confederate soldiers who died in the area, and a place has been provided for families to place memorial markers if they so desire.
You may read about the hospital’s Camp White Sulphur Springs Cemetery and view a photo at the following web site: Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery
T. J. Spear is listed on this page as having died of disease while stationed here; he is buried in an unmarked grave: Cemetery Census
The members of the cemetery restoration committee have placed a memorial marker in his honor.
It has been assumed that Thomas died at White Sulphur Springs Hospital. However, the Spear Family Bible, the images of which are on the Andrea Worthy Home Page online, shows the following (original spelling retained):
Jackson Thomas Spear died in Montgomery Cty. Texas August 1, 1862. In addition, Spear researcher Patsy Johnson notes that T. J. Spear’s probate was filed in Montgomery County on August 16, 1862. It states that Thomas J. Spear died intestate, ...a resident of said county. This seems to indicate that Thomas somehow made it home from Arkansas before he died.
In any case, the only marker honoring Thomas is located in the White Sulphur Springs Hospital reconstructed cemetery.
On 13 November 1866, Jackson Spear's widow, using the name Molly J. Spear, married Wiley Robbins in Montgomery County. Family papers found in the Walker County Library vertical files at Huntsville, Texas, confirm that Mary Childers married Wiley Robbins. The papers were placed by Mrs. Patsy Johnson of Anaheim, California.
Thanks to Doyle Taylor for the information on Camp White Sulphur Springs Cemetery. Other information on T. J. Spear has been compiled from county records, census, and the Compiled Service Records, which were accessed on microfilm at Hillsboro Confederate Research Center. Family papers are found in the vertical files at the library in Huntsville, Texas.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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