Monday, May 17, 2010

The Oklahoma Connection

Well, I have been perusing my copy of Ezra Warner’s Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders again and found another general with an Oklahoma connection. Edward Lloyd Thomas, a Georgian, graduated from Emory College in 1846 and then served in the Mexican War. Following that conflict, he returned to his plantation and then raised the 35th Georgia Infantry in the fall of 1861. A young nephew, Henry Andrew “Heck” Thomas, accompanied his uncle to Virginia where he had some exciting adventures. Edward Lloyd Thomas’ first combat action appears to have been at Seven Pines and then “he was wounded at Mechanicsville, and after his recovery, fought in every major engagement of the Army of Northern Virginia with the exception of Sharpsburg” (p. 305). He served from November 1862 as a brigadier general and was paroled at Appomattox. Thomas returned to his Georgia home after the war, but in 1885 President Grover Cleveland appointed him “to an office in the Land Department and subsequently in the Indian Bureau” (p. 305). One year later his nephew “Heck” Thomas was appointed as a U. S. Marshal and worked for Judge Isaac Parker of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Heck Thomas became one of the most famous law enforcement officers in Oklahoma State history and is buried in Lawton, Oklahoma. Edward Lloyd, meanwhile, lived in South McAlester, Indian Territory, until his death in 1893; he is buried in Kiowa, Oklahoma.