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Thomas James Churchill (March 10, 1824 March 10, 1905) was a Confederate major general during the American Civil War and a governor of the state of Arkansasmarker.


Thomas J. Churchill was born near Louisville, Kentuckymarker. He was educated at St. Mary's College and studied law at Transylvania Universitymarker. He served during the Mexican-American War and rose to the rank of lieutenant in a regiment of mounted infantry. He was captured by the Mexican Army and remained a prisoner of war until near the end of the conflict. In 1848, he moved to Little Rock, Arkansasmarker, married the daughter of Senator Ambrose Sevier, and became a planter.

At the start of the Civil War, Churchill offered his services to the state and was elected Colonel of the 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles. His first combat took place at the Battle of Wilson's Creekmarker near Springfield, Missourimarker. On March 4, 1862, he was promoted to brigadier general and soon thereafter took part in Kirby Smith's Kentucky Campaign. Churchill played an important role in the victory at Richmond, Kentuckymarker.

In the latter part of 1862, Churchill was transferred back to Arkansas and placed in charge of the fortifications at Arkansas Postmarker. In January 1863, the Post was attacked and seized in the Battle of Fort Hindmanmarker by an overwhelming Union force under Major General John McClernand. After his exchange, Churchill served in the Trans-Mississippi District and commanded a division during the Red River Campaign. He played a major role in the Battle of Jenkins Ferry and was promoted to Major General in March, 1865.

After the war, Churchill was Arkansas State Treasurer from 1874 to 1880 and was Governor of Arkansas from 1881 to 1883.

Churchill is buried at historic Mount Holly Cemeterymarker in Little Rock, Arkansasmarker.

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