TERRELL, THOMAS PETER (1833 ~ 1896). Thomas Peter Terrell, Confederate veteran, was born in 1833, in Coweta County, Georgia, to Dr. William Alexander and Sophia H. Wingfield Terrell and was the third of seven children. Terrell likely moved to Texas in the mid-to-late 1850s and settled in or around Grimes County. He married Mary P. Parnell, the daughter of Daniel and Asenath Averytt Parnell, in Grimes County on June 23, 1859
Terrell enlisted in the Confederate Army in the spring of 1862 at Waco, McClennon County, Texas. He was mustered into Company D of the 12th Texas Infantry, which was also known as the 8th Regiment and Young's Regiment.
The 12th Texas Infantry was commanded by Colonel Overton Stephen Young and was sent to Camp Nelson, near Austin, Arkansas, on August 8, 1862. Once there, the regiment was brigaded with four others to form the First Brigade, or Young's First Brigade. Shortly thereafter, the First Brigade was combined with the Second and Third Brigades to form the Texas Division, which was command by Brigadier General Henry Eustace McCulloch. On January 1, 1863, Major General John George Walker replaced McCulloch and the Division became known as Walker's Texas Division.
In the spring of 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant had made his way into Mississippi and laid siege on the city of Vicksburg. As he slowly tightened his grip on the area, the men of Walker's Division, who had traveled to Richmond, Louisiana, made plans to strike the Union Army and cut off their supplies at three key points: Milliken's Bend, Young's Point, and Lake Providence. McCulloch, who now commanded his own brigade, led his men to Milliken's Bend, while the 1st Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General James M. Hawes, moved against the forces stationed at Young's Point on June 6 and 7. Upon meeting the enemy, the 1st Brigade was completely overwhelmed and defeated.
Following the defeat at Young's Point, newly appointed brigadier general Thomas Neville Waul replaced Hawes as commander of the brigade and led his troops to stop Major General Nathaniel P. Banks' Red River Campaign. The Red River Campaign was devised to capture Shreveport, Louisiana, which was a supply depot and, ultimately, a gateway to Texas. On April 8, 1864, Waul led the 1st Brigade in an assault at Mansfield, near Sabine Cross-Roads. Though grossly outnumbered, the men were successful in forcing Banks to retreat to Pleasant Hill. The next day, April 9, the 1st Brigade met up with Banks again and the fighting continued. Though they were defeated, they were successful in ending the Campaign.
Following Pleasant Hill, the 1st Brigade was transferred to Arkansas to stop Major General Frederick Steele and his army from invading Texas. The two armies met at Jenkins' Ferry, on the Saline River, and clashed on April 30. The Texans repeatedly attacked Steele to keep him from crossing the river, but were repulsed. Steele, finally able to traverse the river, was allowed to retreat and regroup at Little Rock.
After being defeated at Jenkins' Ferry, the 1st Brigade returned to Texas. The unit spent the remainder of the War at Hempstead where it disbanded and was surrendered on May 26, 1865, by Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, Commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
After the War, Terrell eventually moved to Ellis County, where Mary Terrell had a son Edwin in 1873. Suffering from paralysis, Thomas Terrell moved to Austin on December 7, 1894, to live in the Texas Confederate Men's Home. He died at the Home on January 23, 1896 and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery the next day.
Mary Terrell moved to Calvert, Robertson County. Following her husband's death, she moved to McKinney, Collin County, where she successfully petitioned the State of Texas to receive her husband's Confederate Pension. Mary Terrell's date of death and burial location are currently unknown.
Information taken from: National Park Service website, http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss;
12th Texas Confederate Infantry Regiment website, http://www.bauer.uh.edu/~parks/tex/irg0120.html;
"WALKER'S TEXAS DIVISION." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Tue Apr 6 16:40:40 US/Central 2004].; "RED RIVER CAMPAIGN." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Tue Apr 6 16:41:27 US/Central 2004].; Confederate Pension Application # 05457; Confederate Home Roster; and information provided by Don C. Terrill and the Terrell Society of America.