DAY, THOMAS FRANKLIN (1834~1925) Thomas Franklin Day, Confederate veteran, was born August 25, 1834, near Woodstock, Shenandoah County, Virginia, to John Day and Elinor Tanner. According to information provided by his descendants, the Day family operated a mine at the foot of ?Three-Mile Mountain,? and immigrated to Virginia from Pennsylvania. While a great deal of Thomas? early life is currently unknown, it is believed that he was one of 16 children and moved to Texas in 1856, and settled in Guadalupe County, where he worked as a farmer.
After settling in Texas, Thomas married Minnie Otillia Altwein, a German native, who was born December 24, 1835, and spent her early childhood in Labes Kreis Dramburg (County) in Pomerania, Germany. She left Bremen, Germany, on September 9, 1851 aboard the Franciska. She arrived in Texas on November 4, 1851, at Galveston. Thomas Day and Minnie Altwein were married February 18, 1857, in Comal County, but resided in Guadalupe County and had ten children, Mary L., Frances Otilla, Lucinda, George W., Martha C., John Henry, Sarah Ellen, Josephine F. (Josie), Walter Mark, and William T.
Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate Army and was mustered into Company B of the 36th Texas Cavalry, as a sergeant. The 36th, which was also known as the 32nd Texas Cavalry, was assigned to the Department of Texas to maintain order, protect ports, and prevent deserters and draft evaders from crossing into Mexico. However, on February 28, 1864, after two years of patrolling Texas, the men were sent east, to Louisiana, to help block Union general Nathaniel P. Banks? Red River Campaign.
Once in Louisiana, the regiment was attached to General Thomas Green?s cavalry division and, almost immediately, encountered Banks? forces. Some accounts of the regiment?s involvement in the Campaign state that the men skirmished almost daily, from mid-March through the end of May, taking part in the battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and Yellow Bayou. Following 36th Cavalry?s success in the Red River Campaign, the men returned home and were assigned to provost duty in Galveston.
After the Confederate surrender in June 1865, the men of the 36th Cavalry were paroled and it is believed that Thomas returned to his family in Guadalupe County. However, by February 1901, he and Minnie had moved to Carrizo Springs, Dimmit County, to help their son, John Henry, care for his children after the death of his wife, Blanche. During this time, Thomas also successfully applied for a Confederate Pension from the State of Texas.
On March 10, 1917, while still living in Carrizo Springs, Minnie died and, Thomas moved to San Antonio to live with his son, John, and his new wife, Ella. However, on November 19, 1923, at the age of 89, Thomas moved to Austin to live in the Texas Confederate Home, where he died on January 14, 1925. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery the next day.
Information taken from: 1860 U.S. Census; Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System website, http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/; 36th Texas Cavalry website, http://www.angelfire.com/tx3/RandysTexas/36thcav.html; Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. ?WOODS, PETER CAVANAUGH,? http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/WW/fwo16.html (accessed January 7, 2005).; Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. ?RED RIVER CAMPAIGN,? http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/RR/qdr1.html (accessed January 7, 2005). Confederate Pension Application #08671; 1920 U.S. Census; Confederate Home Roster; Death Certificate #4191 and descendent, Dena Burnum.