senator, see Tom
Thomas “Tom” Green (June 8,
1814– April 12, 1864) was a Texas landowner,
politician, and soldier who served as a brigadier
general in the Confederate
Army during the American Civil
He was considered as one of the finest cavalry
leaders in the Trans-Mississippi
Early life and career
born in Amelia
County, Virginia, to Nathan and Mary (Field) Green.
moved to Tennessee in 1817 when Green was still an infant.
attended Jackson College in Tennessee and Princeton College in
Kentucky before he
received a degree from the University of Tennessee in 1834.
He then studied law with his
father, a prominent judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
When the Texas Revolution
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 major
assigned as the aide-de-camp
Thomas J. Rusk
. With hostilities over, Green resigned
on May 30 and returned to Tennessee to resume studying law.
In 1837, the legislature of the new Republic of Texas
granted large tracts of
land to leading veterans of the Revolution, including Thomas Green.
relocating to Fayette County, Green became a county surveyor at La
That same year, fellow San Jacinto veteran
William W. Gant nominated Green for the position of engrossing
clerk for the Texas House
. 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.
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 River against the Comanches. After Rafael Vásquez's invasion of San
Antonio in March 1842, Green recruited and served as
captain of the Travis County
Volunteers, a unit that did not see battle.
That fall he
served as inspector general for the Somervell expedition after
's foray into San
States went 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 Taylor capture 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 colonel
5th Texas Cavalry, which, as part of a brigade
led by Brig. Gen. Henry
, joined the invasion
of New Mexico Territory
1862. There, Green led the Confederate victory at the Battle of Valverde
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
Bayou Teche Campaign
spring of 1863, Green commanded the First Cavalry Brigade in
Richard Taylor's division in the fighting along Bayou Teche in Louisiana.
On May 20, he became a brigadier
. In June he captured a Union garrison at Brashear City,
but failed to seize Fort Butler on the Mississippi River
. Green's cavalry routed
troops under Godfrey Weitzel
and Cuvier Grover
at 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
Red River Campaign
During the 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. Banks
at the Battle of Mansfield
and against Maj.
Gen. William H. Emory
at the Battle of Pleasant Hill
days later, on April 12, 1864, Green was mortally wounded by a
shell from a Federal gunboat while leading
an attack on the gunboats patrolling the Red
River at Blair's Landing.
He soon died on Blair's
Plantation. Upon his death, Admiral David Dixon Porter
paid 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." He is buried in the family plot at Oakwood
Cemetery in Austin,
County was named for him in 1874.
There is also a
Tom Green Street named after him in Austin and a Tom Green Avenue
named for him in Odessa. The World War
-era U.S. Navy tank
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., Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United
States, Volume III, Boston: James H. Lamb Company,
- 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
- Eicher, p. 265, and Warner, p. 117, cite January 8, 1814, as
the birth date. His gravestone, Confederate Military
History, vol. XV, p. 231, and Lamb's Biographical
Dictionary of the United States, Volume III, p. 388, cite June
- Lamb's cites April 14 as his death date, page 339.
- Eicher, p. 265; Warner, p. 117.
- Lamb's, p. 338.
- Lamb's, p. 339.