Major Thomas J. Goree, Longstreet's Aide

AUG

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
7,426
Location
Texas
#1
Major Thomas J. Goree 1.jpg

(Photo from the Newton Gresham Library, SHSU)

Thomas Jewett "T.J." Goree was born in Marion, Perry County, Alabama on November 14, 1835 to Dr. Langston James and Sarah Williams (Kittrell) Goree. The eldest of five brothers and a sister, he was educated at Howard Colledge in Marion. In 1850, when T.J. was fifteen, the family moved to Huntsville, Walker County, Texas. There he attended Baylor College (then at Independence, Texas), where he earned both his academic and law degree. In 1858 he formed a law partnership with William P. Rogers, later colonel of the 2nd Texas Infantry.

At the commencement of the war T.J. set out for Virginia in May 1861, not wanting to miss out on the first and possibly only major action. While on the way there he happened to cross paths with James Longstreet, who had just resigned from the U.S. Army and was also travelling east. As Longstreet wrote in his memoir: "At Galveston we took a small inland sailing-craft. . . . Aboard this little vessel I first met T. J. Goree, an intelligent, clever Texan, who afterwards joined me at Richmond, and served in faithful duty as my aide-de-camp from Bull Run to Appomattox Court-House."

Appointed his aide-de-camp, T.J. followed Longstreet throughout every battle and campaign. He was never wounded, but often riding through the thick of the fight, had several horses shot from under him and came out with bullet holes through his clothing. His saddle and accouterments were struck 17 times in the battle of Williamsburg alone. At Antietam he helped man the Washington Artillery's guns with other members of Longstreet's staff; and at Chattanooga T.J. led a detail of sharpshooters from Longstreet's Corps. Brig. Gen. G. Moxley Sorrel, Longstreet's chief of staff, said of Goree: "The General was fortunate in having an officer so careful, observing, and intelligent. His conduct on all occasions was excellent and his intrepidity during exposure in battle could always be counted on."

He also corresponded with many other officers and generals in Lee's army. Goree's letters written during the war have been published in Longstreet's Aide: The Civil War Letters of Major Thomas J. Goree edited by Thomas W. Cutrer.

With the surrender at Appomattox, T.J. accompanied Longstreet in the trek to Greensboro, Alabama, where the two finally parted, Longstreet going to Mississippi and T.J. back to Texas. They did, however, remain close friends and often corresponded with one another in postwar years.

After his return home, T.J. oversaw Raven Hill Plantation near Huntsville, which his mother had purchased from Sam Houston in 1858. He married Elizabeth Thomas Nolley, the acting principal of Andrew Female College, on June 25, 1868. Together they had five children. Continuing to practice law in 1873, he was later appointed superintendent of the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville in 1877; and eventually superintendent of penitentiaries, serving in that position for fourteen years. In 1891 he became the general agent for the Birmingham Iron Company in New Birmingham, Texas; and in 1893 he was assistant general manager of the Texas Land & Loan Company of Galveston.

Thomas J. Goree died of pneumonia in Galveston on March 5, 1905, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville.
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

AUG

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
7,426
Location
Texas
#2
Goree Family 1.jpg

Family photo of all six Goree siblings with portraits of their parents, probably taken sometime after the war. (Newton Gresham Library, SHSU)

From left to right, seated: Susan Margaret "Sudy" Goree, Edwin King "Ed" Goree, portrait of Sarah Williams Kittrell Goree, Langston James "Toby" Goree Jr., and Thomas Jewett Goree

Standing: Pleasant Kittrell "Scrap" Goree, portrait of Langston James Goree Sr., and Robert Daniel "Bobby" Goree.


All four of Thomas' brothers and a half brother also served in the Confederate Army.

In 1861, both Langston James "Toby" and Edwin King "Ed" Goree enlisted in Co. H "Texas Polk Rifles" of the 5th Texas Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade.

Toby, 20 years old when he enlisted, was promoted to fourth corporal in May 1862. He was later wounded at Second Manassas and a second time at Antietam, losing two fingers on his left hand. Discharged on Dec. 20, 1862 due to his wounds, he returned home. After the war he studied medicine in Baltimore, returning to Texas and practicing dentistry until his death in Nov. 1887.

Ed, 18 years old, was detailed as a surgeon's orderly in July 1862 and received a sixty days' furlough to Texas on Jan. 21, 1863. He was, however, present in every major battle with the regiment until severely wounded in the leg at the Wilderness, May 6, 1864 (he is holding crutches in the above image). Paroled at Lynchburg on April 15, 1865, he had to hobble all the way back to Texas on a "forked peach tree" crutch, not arriving there until May 1866. In postwar years, Ed was associated with the Sam Houston State Normal School and Huntsville State Penitentiary. He died in April 1914.

Capt. E. K. Goree, The Houston Post, 07 Jun 1914.jpg

From the Houston Post, June 7, 1914. I think "captain" must a postwar honorary title, for he was only an enlisted man throughout the war.


Pleasant Kittrell "Scrap" Goree was the youngest of the five brothers. At only 16 by May of 1861, he was too young to go to war, so he stayed at home with his widowed mother and helped run the family plantation, Raven Hill. Eager to fight, however, he eventually departed to join his brothers in Lee's army in spring of 1863. Initially joining Co. H, 5th Texas, T.J. later made Pleasant a courier, a position he held til the end of the war. Afterwards he entered Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, where Robert E. Lee was college president. Lee recognized Pleasant as a courier who had once delivered to him a message from Longstreet. Unfortunately, Pleasant was unable to complete his studies due to financial reverses on the Goree Plantation. For 20 years he served as the commissioner of Midway, Texas, and as justice of peace. He died in Midway on April 22, 1933.

Robert Daniel "Bobby" Goree, second oldest brother, enlisted on March 25, 1862 in Co. B of Col. Robert Gould's 6th Texas Cavalry Battalion. The battalion saw service in the Trans-Mississippi as part of Walker's Texas Division. Robert was appointed quartermaster sergeant on Aug. 9 and later promoted to captain. He served until the end of the war, mustering out in Hempstead, Texas. Later entering the cattle business and real estate development, he lived until June 23, 1923.

A half brother from their father's first marriage, Samuel Escridge "Eck" Goree, served as a sergeant in Co. K of the 8th Texas Cavalry "Terry's Texas Rangers." Returning home mid war, he then enlisted in the Texas state troops for six months.

Pleasant K., Edwin K. and Robert D. Goree.jpg

Photo of Pleasant K., Edwin K. and Robert D. Goree in later years. (Texas Heritage Museum, Hill College)
 
Last edited:

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
32,884
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
#14
If you're as obsessed with T.J. as I am, you might venture down to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and visit the Thomason Reading Room in the Gresham Library. There are some neat source materials. The Goree home is also still there in Huntsville. Hood's Brigade members were recipients of a special invitation to visit during our annual symposium. I didn't get to go :cry:

John Thomason was Goree's grandson. https://laststandonzombieisland.com...e-martial-art-of-col-john-w-thomason-jr-usmc/

Goree's diary is in the Thomason Reading Room. https://digital.library.shsu.edu/digital/collection/p243coll3/id/2993

We probably have T.J. to thank for the existence of what's known as the Steamboat House, where Sam Houston died. It's on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum (a must-visit!) and is beautifully restored. That's where the Senior Rings for SHSU students are brought, guarded by ROTC members during the night, and then presented in a ring ceremony. Hey, we're not far from Aggieland...had to get creative. :D

Here's his Find A Grave pages...he's buried right down the path from Sam.https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8672270/thomas-jewett-goree

And here's his photo in later years.
tjgoree.jpg
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
32,884
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
#16
I'm slow and disorganized today. Here's the book cover for Lone Star Preacher by John Thomason...his artwork plus his writing. We had a great session on who the real subject was, but that was during the time the doctor was trying to kill me, so I have only fuzzy memories. Maybe @bdtex or someone will remember
 

bdtex

Brigadier General
Moderator
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
7,649
Location
Houston,TX area
#18
@bdtex, did you go on the house tour? Can you remember the name of the cute old doctor who invited us? I kept the little handwritten scrap of paper with the address for a long time.
No ma'am. I did not go on the house tour. I regret that now too.
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
6,262
#20
In the winter (early April) of 1864, Lee issued an order for each brigade to raise sharpshooter battalions. Longstreet's Corps was in winter camp away from the ANV (they fought at Knoxville). Would Lee's order have reached Lee? Does Goree say anything?

BTW, I ordered the book yesterday.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top