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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1837

Vol. I

(Born Va.)

Robert T. Jones

(Ap'd Va.)


Robert Tignall Jones: Born Oct. 8, 1815, Mecklenburg Co., VA.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1833, to July 1, 1837, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 1, 1837.

Served: in the Florida War, 1837‑38, being engaged against the Seminole Indians in the Action of Locha-Hatchee, June 24, 1838; and in

(First Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 7, 1838)

the Cherokee Nation, 1838, while transferring the Indians to the West.

Resigned, July 31, 1838.

Civil History. — Planter, Perry County, Ala., 1838‑60. Elected Professor of Mathematics, Central Masonic Institute, Ala., 1849: declined. Captain, Alabama Militia, 1849‑50. President of Cahawba, Marion, and Greensborough Railroad, Ala., 1853‑57.

Joined in the Rebellion of 1861‑66 against the United States,​a and was

Killed, May 31, 1862, at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Va.: Aged 46.

Buried: Marion, AL.​b

Thayer's Notes:

a As with other Confederate officers, Cullum's Register omits his war record. Since he was killed in action early in the war, there's not much to say about it; he was the Colonel of the 12th Alabama Regiment. The following is his entry in Alabama, her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men: from 1540 to 1872, by Willis Brewer (Montgomery, Ala., 1872), pp492‑493, under Perry County:

 p492  Robert Tignall Jones was a citizen of this county. He was born in Mecklenburg county, Virginia, October 8, 1815, and was the son of a farmer; his mother being a Miss Hall. The son received a good education, and was graduated at West Point in 1837. Receiving a commission as lieutenant, he was sent to Florida, where he saw active service in the Indian war. In 1838 he resigned and settled in Perry county as a planter. He was here noted as a prominent citizen, and one who surveyed and constructed the Cahaba & Marion Railroad. In 1861 he declined the rank of brigadier general and a seat on the military board of the State, tendered by Gov. Moore. Repairing to Fort Morgan, he was placed in command of a battalion of artillery, and at one time was in command of the fortress. In July he was appointed colonel of the Twelfth and the Twentieth Alabama regiments, and accepted the former. Col. Jones was a strict disciplinarian, yet, so great was the confidence of his men, that he was re-elected colonel at the re-organization of the regiment in 1862. At Seven Pines he fell, towards the close of the day, while  p493 turning the guns of a captured battery on the enemy. The ball pierced his breast, and his death was immediate.

Col. Jones was endowed with sound judgment, inflexible will, and a lofty sense of honor. He was of upright character, and so practical that he preferred deeds to words. When Gen. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Beauregard sent the new battle-flag to the regiments, most of the colonels made addresses, and now, said the men of the Twelfth, Colonel Jones will make a long speech. He mounted his horse and had the regiment drawn up. "Unfold that flag," said he to the orderly. "Men!" he continued, pointing to the bunting, "there is your new battle-flag. Wherever you see it moving, do you follow." He then dismissed the regiment as usual, and rode off. His first wife was a Miss Jones of this county; his second a sister of Capt. J. J. Sewell, also of this county. He left several children, who reside in Perry.

See also my next note.

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b The burial place I give here, in the absence of fuller and more certain information, is my deduction based on Powhatan Lockett's Memorial Day Address Honoring Confederate Dead that appeared in the Marion Commonwealth, April 26, 1871: once to be found online, but now vanished with the continued shrinking of the Web. In it Lockett, praising two of his commanders, Col. Jones and Gen. Isham Warren Garrott, states that "[t]he one sleeps scarce a stones throw from this spot, the other reposes on the banks of the Mississippi" — and Gen. Garrott's grave is in Vicksburg. Lockett's address is worth reading, and the version online includes a detailed footnote on the life of Col. Jones, compounded of various carefully cited sources.

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Page updated: 26 Dec 14