11th TEXAS VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: Fall, 1861 Camp Reeves Grayson County, TX
Mustered In: 10/2/1861 Camp Reeves Grayson County, TX
Mustered Out: 4/26/1865 Durham, NC
Initial recruitment for the organization that became the 11th Texas Cavalry (It was also known as Young's Regiment or the 3rd Texas Cavalry) was undertaken in Gainesville Cooke County, TX. Originally, the unit was to serve for one year, but when Confederate forces were re-organized in the spring of 1862, it became a three year regiment. Its tenure was spent in the western theater of the American Civil War (ACW).
Mustered into Confederate service in early October, 1861, the 11th almost immediately received orders to report to Ft. Smith, AR to suppress a large band of dissident Creek and Seminole Indians. That December, under the command of W.C. Young, the unit engaged in two battles (Chustenahlah and Hopo-eith-le-yo-ho-la) in Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). In both conflicts the regiment inflicted many casualties on the enemy while suffering only one of its own.
From Indian Territory the 11th moved northward into Missouri before, in March, 1862, grappling with Union forces at Bentonville, AR. The following day the fighting continued at Pea Ridge (3/6 - 8). For the remainder of '62 the regiment was dismounted to fight at Corinth, MS and around Richmond, VA.
Remounted in 1863, the 11th fought at Chickamauga, GA (9/18 - 20). During 1864 it was involved in the Atlanta, GA campaign and continued to resist the armies of Union Gen. W.T. Sherman as they "marched to the sea."
In early 1865 the regiment contested the movement of Union armies northward through the Carolinas. When Confed. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the final Rebel forces on 4/26/1865, it is surmized that fewer than fifty officers and enlisted men remained in the ranks of the 11th.
Loss Numbers Not Available.
Residence: Gainesville Cook County, TX (est.) Age: 23+ yrs. (Est.)
Enlisted/Enrolled: 10/2/61 Camp Reeves Grayson County, TX Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: Inf. Not Avail.
Deserted: 8/2/1863 near Rome, GA
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Desertion: Pvt.
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Thomas Woolsey was created in December, 2021 during the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
Birth years vary for Thomas Jefferson Woolsey. It appears most likely, however, that he was born in January, 1838. His place of birth was somewhere in the state of North Carolina.
Parents of Thomas were Thomas Woolsey (b. 7/8/1803 Greene County, TN - d. 4/186? Rusk, TX) and Elizabeth (nee Tucker b. 5/3/1804 Washington County, TN) - d. 7/13/1881 Cooke County, TX) Woolsey. The Woolseys were a farm family.
As best as can be determined from U.S. Census data, Thomas was the fifth of nine children born to Thomas, Sr. and Elizabeth. Older than our Thomas were: Mary Wooley (b. 1830 Greene County, TN), Stephen Marion Woolsey (b. 1831 Buncombe County, NC), Jonathan R. Woolsey (b. 1834 NC) and Rovert Love Woolsey (b. 1836 NC). Younger than he were: Sarah Jane Woolsey (b. 1840 NC), Harriet Catherine P. Woolsey (b. 1843), Elizabeth Elvira Woolsey (b. 1845 NC) and Hester Ann Woolsey (b. 1848 NC).
By 1860 Thomas, Sr. had died. Eizabeth, with seven of her children including our Thomas, was farming in Gainesville Cook County, TX. It was likely there, the following year, that Thomas J. enlisted in the Confederate army.
According to available military service documents, on 10/2/1861 Thomas enlisted in the 11th Texas Cavalry for a period of one year. A company muster roll shows him almost immediately to have been "absent - sick."
By early 1862 it was evident to most that the existent civil war was not going to be a short one. As a result, enlistments for Confederate military units and individual soldiers were adjusted to be for three years or the duration of the conflict. Such was the case for the 11th Cavalry and Private Woolsey. Thus, by the latter part of 1862 our Thomas was still in the military. Further, his job description had been modified to reflect "extra duty as teamster". Whether this change was by choice or as a disciplinary action is not clear.
Private Woolsey's muster card for the period 12/31/1862 to 4/30/1863 show him as present for duty. The card for 7/1 through 12/31/1863, though, is different. It shows that our Private Woolsey deserted on 8/2/1863. No further service information is noted.
Post-War the first sighting of Thomas Woolsey comes from 1870. In that census tally he - alone - is residing in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington Territory (WT) working as a farm laborer. Whether or not that laboring was on a farm of his own is not known. Other unknowns include why he travelled from Georgia to the far Pacific Northwest and when he arrived here.
A census for 1883 again found Thomas in Yakima, WT. By that time, however, he was a husband and a father.
Thomas' bride was Ida M. Stedman. Ida had been born in the state of Illinois during the year 1857. It is surmised the two met out here in the northwest.
During their time together Thomas and Ida produced six children. The fact that the first was born in January, 1872 would suggest the couple married between late 1870 and early 1871.
Thomas and Ida's children were: Elizabeth Woolsey (b. 1/1872 WT), Ettie Woolsey (b. 11/12/1873 WT), Effie D. Woolsey (b. 10/1875 WT), Ellen "Ell" C. Woolsey (b. 2/1878 WT), Alvan Jefferson Woolsey (b. 1880 WT) and Charles P. Woolsey (b. 6/18/1884 Yakima Yakima County, WT).
Sometime between the birth of Charles in 1884 and the U.S. Census of 1900 Ida died. No details of her passing or her final resting place are known.
The U.S. Census for 1900 found widower Thomas in Walla Walla Whitman County, WA. At the dawn of the twentieth century he was apparently living by himself. A decade later, in 1910, he was still in Walla Walla, but then had daughter Ellen - and, apparently, her husband - under his roof.
Thomas Jefferson Woolsey died on 9/29/1922. In 1920 he had been in San Anselmo Marin County, CA, but at the time of his passing - at the age of 84 years - he was back in Walla Walla, WA. Burial was/is in that community's Mountain View Cemetery.
Buried at Mountain View Cemetery Walla Walla
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