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Thomas Jefferson Chamberlain

Thomas Jefferson Chamberlain was born in Chambers County, Alabama on Oct. 24, 1842. Sometime after the death of his father (about 1849}, his mother moved with her children to Ouachita County, Arkansas. Thomas had three siblings: Guss (a minister) who married Carrie, daughter of Charles Turner Carr and his first wife, Francis Ann Carr, and who died without children; James and John who were killed in the Civil War. The family moved in the fall of 1850 to what is now Nevada County (Caney Township) where they homesteaded 320 acres.

When he was 19 years of age, Thomas J, Chamberlain enlisted in the Con- federate Army. His record as obtained from the War Dept. at Washington. “T.J. Chamberlain, name also borne as Thomas Jefferson Chamberlain, private, Captain Basden’s Company, Arkansas Inf. Confederate States Army, which subsequently became Company I, 37th Regiment Ark Confederate States Army, Inf., enlisted May 20, 1862, also shown as May 10, 1862, at Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, age 19 years. The company muster roll for Dec. 31, 1863, to Feb. 29, 1864, last on file, shows him absent, captured at Helena, Arkansas, July 4, 1863.” Union Prisoner of War Records show that he was captured July 4, 1863, at Helena, Ark. imprisoned at Military Prison, Alton, 111. and Fort Delaware, Delaware where he was paroled and forwarded to City Point, Virginia, for exchange March 7, 1865. He was received at Boulware's and Cox's Wharves, James River, Va. between March 10 and 12, 1865 by the Confederate Agent of Exchange. No later record of him has been found.

After his parole, T.J. Chamberlain walked from Virginia to his home in Nevada County, Arkansas in company with his comrades, Zack Bailey, Asa Waters and Azariah Bailey. These four men enlisted at the same time and place, were captured in the same battle, and were released all at the same time. On their way home, they paid a pilot $1000 in Confederate money to carry them across the Mississippi river in a dugout boat.

Sometime before the War, T. J. Chamberlain became attached to Mary Will Foster (daughter of John Foster) who was reared at Old Horse Head in Union County. While Mr. Chamberlain was away at War, John Foster moved his family to Fulton County, Arkansas. When he came home, Mr. Chamberlain drove a wagon 300 miles from what is now Nevada County to Fulton County and was married April 17, 1868 to Mary Willie Foster (born May 8, 1850). They lived together for a little over 50 years in Nevada County, Arkansas. He died July 28, 1918. She passed away, March 26, 1926. They were buried at Mt. Moriah. Both were members of the Methodist church.

Their children were:

John Byron (b.1869) married Leola Alford.

James Timothy (1872) married Georgia Alford.

Samuel Wayne (1817) married Lenora Atkins, Dec. 1, 190lby Rev. J.W. / Erwin.

Thomas William (1881) married Minnie Buston.

Fred Doyal (1884) married Bessie Kitchens.

Zollie Verda (1887) married Ed Reynolds.

Mary Willie (1892) married Abijah Overton.

(Information provided by Samuel Wayne Chamberlain, son of Thomas. Samuel, aged 68 years, died at his home in Rosston, Nevada County, Oct 11, 1947)

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