- Thomas Green (general)
Thomas “Tom” Green (
June 8, 1814[Eicher, p. 265, and Warner, p. 117, cite January 8, 1814, as the birth date. His [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9071 gravestone] , "Confederate Military History", vol. XV, p. 231, and "Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States", Volume III, p. 388, cite June 8.] – April 12, 1864[Lamb's cites April 14as his death date, page 339.] ) was a Texaslandowner, politician, and soldier who served as a brigadier generalin the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He was considered as one of the finest cavalryleaders in the Trans-Mississippi Theater.
Early life and career
Green was born in
Amelia County, Virginia, [ Eicher, p. 265; Warner, p. 117.] to Nathan and Mary (Field) Green. The family moved to Tennesseein 1817 when Green was still an infant. He attended Jackson College in Tennessee and Princeton College in Kentuckybefore he received a degree from the University of Tennesseein 1834. He then studied law with his father, a prominent judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Texas Revolutionbegan, Green left Tennessee to join the rebel volunteers. He arrived in Nacogdoches in December 1835 and enlisted in Isaac N. Moreland's company on January 14, 1836. During the April 21 Battle of San Jacinto, Green helped operate the famed "Twin Sisters" cannons, the only artillery present in Sam Houston's army. A few days after the decisive victory, Houston rewarded Green with a commission as a lieutenant. In early May he was promoted to majorand assigned as the aide-de-campto General Thomas J. Rusk. With hostilities over, Green resigned on May 30and returned to Tennessee to resume studying law.
In 1837, the legislature of the new
Republic of Texasgranted large tracts of land to leading veterans of the Revolution, including Thomas Green. After relocating to Fayette County, Green became a county surveyor at La Grange. That same year, fellow San Jacinto veteran William W. Gant nominated Green for the position of engrossing clerk for the Texas House of Representatives. He was subsequently elected and held the office until 1839, when he represented Fayette County in the House of Representatives in the Fourth Texas Congress. After a single term, he chose not to run again and resumed his clerkship. During the Sixth and Eighth Texas Congresses, he served as secretary of the Senate. From 1841 to 1861, he was clerk of the Texas Supreme Court, in both the republic and the subsequent U.S. state.Lamb's, p. 338.]
Between legislative and court sessions, Green served in military campaigns against the Indians and Mexico. In the fall of 1840, he joined John H. Moore in a foray up the
Colorado Riveragainst the Comanches. After Rafael Vásquez's invasion of San Antonio in March 1842, Green recruited and served as captainof the Travis County Volunteers, a unit that did not see battle. That fall he served as inspector general for the Somervell expedition after Adrián Woll's foray into San Antonio.
United Stateswent to war with Mexico, Green recruited and commanded a company of Texas Rangers in La Grange as part of the First Texas Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, led by John Coffee Hays. The Texans helped Zachary Taylorcapture Monterrey, Nuevo León, in September 1846.
After returning home from the
Mexican-American War, Green married Mary Wallace Chalmers, daughter of John G. Chalmers, on January 31, 1847. Five daughters and one son were born to them.
After Texas seceded in early 1861, Green was elected
colonelof the 5th Texas Cavalry, which, as part of a brigadeled by Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, joined the invasion of New Mexico Territoryin 1862. There, Green led the Confederate victory at the Battle of Valverdein February. After a difficult retreat into Texas, he led his men, aboard the river steamer "Bayou City", to assist in the recapture of Galveston on January 1, 1863. He was also involved in the seizure of the Union steamer "Harriet Lane" that same day.
In the spring of 1863, Green commanded the First Cavalry Brigade in Richard Taylor's division in the fighting along
Bayou Techein Louisiana. On May 20, he became a brigadier general. In June he captured a Union garrison at Brashear City, but failed to seize Fort Butler on the Mississippi River. Green's cavalry routed advancing Union troops under Godfrey Weitzeland Cuvier Groverat Koch's (Cox's) Plantation on July 13. In September, the First Cavalry Brigade captured another Union detachment at Stirling's Plantation. A similar success followed in November at the Battle of Bayou Bourbeux. In four victories, Green's men inflicted about 3,000 casualties and suffered only 600 losses. Green was subsequently assigned command of the cavalry division of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
Red River Campaign, Green commanded a brigade of Texas cavalry in the division of Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke. In April 1864, he led successful attacks against Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banksat the Battle of Mansfieldand against Maj. Gen. William H. Emoryat the Battle of Pleasant Hill.
A few days later, on
April 12, 1864, Green was mortally wounded by a shell from a Federal gunboatwhile leading an attack on the gunboats patrolling the Red River at Blair's Landing. He soon died on Blair's Plantation. [Lamb's, p. 339.] Upon his death, Admiral David Dixon Porterpaid tribute to the fallen Confederate cavalryman in saying that Green was "one in whom the rebels place more confidence than anyone else. He led his men to the very edge of the bank, they shouting and yelling like madmen—losing General Green has paralyzed them; he was worth 5,000 men to them." [DANFS.] He is buried in the family plot at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Tom Green County was named for him in 1874. There is also a Tom Green Street named after him in Austin. The
World War II-era U.S. Navy tank landing shipUSS|Tom Green County|LST-1159 was named indirectly for Green.
* Ayres, Thomas, "Dark and Bloody Ground : The Battle of Mansfield and the Forgotten Civil War in Louisiana", Cooper Square Press, 2001.
* Brown, John Howard, Ed., [http://www.archive.org/details/lambsbiodic03browrich "Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States"] , Volume III, Boston: James H. Lamb Company, 1900.
* Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., "Civil War High Commands", Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
* Warner, Ezra J., "Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders", Louisiana State University Press, 1959, ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/t6/tom_green_county.htm Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]
* [http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/Herzstein_Library/Veteran_Biographies/Browse_Biographies/biographies/default.asp?action=bio&id=3178 San Jacinto Museum]
* [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/GG/fgr38.html Handbook of Texas Online]
*findagrave|9071 Retrieved on
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