Thomas T. Fauntleroy (soldier)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Thomas Turner Fauntleroy (6 October 1796 in Richmond County, Virginia – 12 September 1883 in Leesburg, Virginia) was a lawyer, state legislator, Regular U.S. Army officer, briefly a Virginia military officer at the beginning of the American Civil War.

Early life[edit]

Fauntleroy was born in Richmond County, Virginia. His parents were Joseph and Betsy Fauntleroy.[1] He was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.[1]

After the War of 1812, Fauntleroy studied law in Winchester, Virginia, then practiced law in Warrenton, Virginia.[1] He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from Fauquier County, Virginia in 1823.[1][2]

Regular U.S. Army service[edit]

Commissioned a major of dragoons, June 8, 1836, Fautleroy served in the Second Seminole War.[1] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel, Second Regiment of Dragoons, June 30, 1846. In the Mexican–American War he first served in Major General Zachary Taylor's command at the Rio Grande.[1] Later, he commanded the cavalry of Major General Winfield Scott's army in the campaign to capture Mexico City.[1] In 1849 he was in command of the First Regiment of Dragoons, commanding troops on frontier duty in Texas. From here, he was assigned to the Post at Mission San Diego de Alcalá at San Diego and was promoted to colonel, July 25, 1850. In the winter of 1854-1855 he conducted a campaign against the hostile Utes of the Rocky Mountains and made another mid-winter campaign against the Apache in New Mexico. He led several expeditions against the Apaches in the company of Kit Carson and from 1859 - 1861 commanded the Department of New Mexico.[3]

American Civil War: Virginia service[edit]

After the Battle of Fort Sumter that began the American Civil War, in May 1861, Fauntleroy resigned his commission and returned to Virginia. There he was appointed by the Governor of Virginia John Letcher as brigadier general of the Provisional Army of Virginia. But after the organization of the Confederate States Army and the inclusion of the Provisional Army of Virginia into the CSA in June 1861, Fauntleroy refused to accept a commission in the CSA, which was offered to him by General Samuel Cooper on July 9, 1861.[4] He was relieved of that rank on his request on August 25, 1861, having never held Confederate rank.[4]


Fauntleroy's eldest son, C. M. Fauntleroy was a U. S. Navy officer that joined the Confederate Navy and commanded the CSS Rappahannock. His second son, also named Thomas T. Fauntleroy, was a Virginia politician and judge of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Another son Archibald Magill Fauntleroy was a surgeon in the Confederate army and later a physician. A daughter, Mary Thurston Fauntleroy, married Surgeon General of the United States Army Joseph Barnes.[5] The Army biography for Joseph Barnes says Mary was the daughter of Judge Fauntleroy which would indicate Thomas, Jr., rather than Thomas, Sr., as Mary's father as Appleton's does. Allardice, 1995, p. 85 states that Barnes was Fauntleroy, Sr.'s son-in-law.


Fauntleroy was buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Allardice, Bruce S. More Generals in Gray. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-8071-3148-0. p. 84.
  2. ^ Allardice erroneously refers to this legislative body as the House of Burgesses, its name during the colonial period.
  3. ^ Utley, Robert M. Frontiersmen in Blue: The United States Army and the Indian, 1848-1865. New York: Macmillan, 1981. ISBN 978-0-8032-9550-6. First published: Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1967. (Pages 210-349 are on the Civil War period.)
  4. ^ a b Allardice, 1995, p. 85.
  5. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Fauntleroy, Thomas Turner". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.  which also reports that it was the CSA that refused to confirm his commission in the Confederate army rather than he refusing to accept it. On the other hand, in his 1995 book, More Generals in Gray, at page 85, historian Bruce S. Allardice agrees with other sources that state that Fauntleroy refused to accept the commission.
  6. ^ WO1 Mark J. Denger, Post at Mission San Diego de Alcalá, California Center for Military History. Note 6