PRIVATE THOMAS JEFFERSON
9th Tennessee Cavalry
The military career of Private Thomas Jefferson Turnbow as a cavalry raider began with a disaster. His Unit, Company H of the 9th Tennessee Cavalry, was captured at the fall of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862. He was transferred as a prisoner to Camp Douglas near Chicago, Illinois.
John L. Turnbow, his half-brother, was also captured at Fort Donelson with Company E, 48th Regiment, Tennessee Infantry. John Turnbow died of pneumonia while in captivity at Camp Douglas.
Thomas Turnbow was freed in a prisoner exchange in October 1862, and he rejoined his unit. They subsequently participated in many skirmishes and battles. They defended against the siege of Port Hudson. They were in fighting around Natchez, Vicksburg, and Meridian. They fought in the Battles of Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Franklin. They finally surrendered in 1865 with General Joseph Johnston near Durham, North Carolina.
The Turnbow Family came to Texas by train in 1876. Thomas Turnbow farmed near Gibtown in Jack County, and he became a Baptist minister. He helped found over fifty churches. He died on April 2, 1924 at the age of ninety-three.
Randolph W. Baxter, Ph.D.
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