NEWMAN, THOMAS (1837 ~ 1916). Confederate veteran Thomas Newman was born in Norway in 1837. He immigrated to Texas in 1858 and worked as a merchant and fisherman.
On October 13, 1861, Newman enlisted at Bolivar Point in Company F, 26th Texas Cavalry (Debray's Regiment, Davis' Mounted Battalion). He was transferred to Company G on June 15, 1862.
The 26th Texas Cavalry was considered to be one of the most disciplined regiments in Confederacy. The regiment was assigned to the Rio Grande area and later took part in the Red River Campaign. It is unknown if Newman was in the Red River Campaign. After the Confederates retook Galveston, Newman was detached from the 26th and was assigned to the captured Union gunboat, the Harriet Lane on January 8, 1863.
The Harriet Lane was a United States revenue cutter before the Civil War. Once the War began, it served as a gunboat enforcing the Union blockade of Confederate ports. In 1862 it was transferred to the coast of Virginia as the flagship for Commander David Dixon Porter's fleet of mortar schooners and took several prizes before serving at the Union taking of Galveston. The USS Harriet Lane was captured during the retaking of Galveston by Confederate forces and partially damaged. After its capture, the Harriet Lane was employed by the Confederate Army in Texas waters.
In early 1864, she was sold and converted to a blockade runner and renamed Lavina. It is unclear whether Newman stayed with the ship as he does not appear on any muster rolls for the 26th after February 28, 1863.
Following the War, he lived in Galveston and was a fisherman.
Newman was admitted to the Confederate Men's Home on June 14, 1910. He died on February 23, 1916, and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery the next day.
Information taken from Compiled Military Service Record; Confederate Home Roster; Confederate Pension Application, #01570 Galveston County; and Death Certificate. Ship information taken from the United States Navy, Naval History Web site at http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-h/har-lane.htm.