Washington Co., TN - Col Thomas H. Reeves Biography

Biography - Col. Thomas H. Reeves

Biography - Col. Thomas H. Reeves

Washington County, Tennessee

Col. Thomas H. Reeves, attorney at law and farmer, near Jonesboro, was born February 24, 1843, in Iredell County, N. C. At the age of fifteen he came to Tennessee, and located at Fall Branch, fifteen miles northwest of Jonesboro, and entered the Fall Branch Seminary, at that time one of the best schools in the country. This school was broken up by the war in 1861, and having secured a copy of "Scott's Military Tactics," he soon displayed such knowledge of the military art, as to cause a demand for his services as "drill master" for the home guards organized by the Union men for home protection. November 15, 1861, several hundred Union men of East Tennessee assembled at Chimney Top Mountain, in Greene County, to organize a regiment for the Federal Army, then in Kentucky. In this organization he was elected captain of a company of eight-six men. This command being without arms, equipments or communication with the Federal Army was soon dispersed, and he made his way through the rebel lines to Kentucky, where he entered the Union Army as a private soldier, in which capacity he rendered service until February 19, 1863, when he was promoted to first lieutenant of Company D, Fourth Tennessee Infantry Volunteers. May 29 he was promoted to captain; August 10, 1864, to major; June 5, 1865, to lieutenant-colonel; and July 29, 1865, to colonel of his regiment, at the age of twenty-two years, being one of the youngest men during the war who passed through all the grades from a private soldier to colonel of a regiment. He was honorably mustered out of service with his regiment August 2, 1865, and studied law with Judge A. J. Brown, being admitted to the bar in August, 1866. On reorganization of the regular army in 1866 he was tendered the position of captain, which was accepted November 23, and he went on duty at New Orleans. From there he went to Ship Island, Miss., as commander of the post, at which place he contracted disability, upon which he was retired from active service June 5, 1868. March 2, 1867, he was brevetted major and lieutenant-colonel in the regular army for faithful and meritorious services during the war. He resides one mile east of Jonesboro on a fine farm of 275 acres, with a magnificent residence surrounded by a beautiful grove of trees. His family consists of wife, three sons and two daughters. His father, Ira Reeves, died in Iredell County, N. C., July 19, 1844; his mother is living in Jonesboro. He has been Master of the Masonic Lodge, Dictator of the K. of H. lodge, Commander of the G. A. R. post, justice of the peace, chairman of the county court, county attorney, mayor of Jonesboro, assistant clerk of the Legislature, and United States marshall for East Tennessee. He is now president of the Jonesboro graded school board, superintendent of the Baptist Sunday-school, and devotes his time and means to promote the interests of both. Col. Reeves is a Republican, and served eight years as chairman of the congressional district committee for his district, and for the same length of time, as a member of the Republican State committee. In 1876 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention at Cincinnati. He was president in 1886 of the Republican State Judicial Convention, and has the reputation of being one of the best parliamentarians in the State. He started in life without a dollar or an influential friend to help him--working at the blacksmith's trade from the age of eight years until fifteen, but now enjoys the comforts of life, and attributes all his blessings and success to the Bible promise, "That all things work together for good to them that love God,"

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