About Brig. General Edward L. Thomas (CSA)
Edward Lloyd Thomas (March 23, 1825 – March 8, 1898) was a Confederate infantry general during the American Civil War from the state of Georgia. He was an uncle to famed American Old West lawman Heck Thomas who helped bring down the Doolin Dalton Gang.
Thomas was born in Clarke County, Georgia, to Edward Lloyd Thomas and Mary Hogue, the youngest of eleven children. He was a graduate of Oxford College of Emory University and served in the Mexican-American War from May 1847 until August 1848 as a second lieutenant in an independent company of Georgia mounted men. Before serving he farmed in Whitfield County, Georgia. Three of his brothers were Confederate officers: Henry Philip (b. 1810) a colonel in the 16th Regiment of Georgia was killed in battle at Fort Saunders in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1863; Lovick Pierce Thomas, I (1812–1878) captain and quartermaster of the 35th Georgia Infantry resigned in 1863 due to injury; Wesley Wailes (1820–1906) served as a major in Phillip's Legion of Cavalry.
After Georgia seceded, Thomas in October 1861 became colonel of the 35th Georgia Infantry. The regiment was assigned to Joseph R. Anderson's brigade, which became part of A.P. Hill's famed "Light Division." While commanding the regiment, Thomas was wounded at the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek (Mechanicsville) during the Seven Days Battles. However, the wound was not serious and Thomas remained on the field. When Anderson left to take control of the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Thomas was promoted to brigadier general to command the brigade. He retained this position for the rest of the war and was present at all of the major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia.
When division commander William D. Pender was mortally wounded at Gettysburg, Thomas was the senior commander left in the division. It was said he was not promoted to division commander because, as a Georgian, he was not favored in a division that contained two North Carolina brigades. Whatever the reason, Thomas remained a brigade commander until Appomattox.
After the war, Thomas returned to Georgia and farmed in Newton County near Covington. In 1885, President Grover Cleveland appointed him to a position as a Special Agent of the Land Bureau in Kansas. Later he was made Indian Agent at the Sac and Fox Agency, Indian Territory, Oklahoma. He died 1898 in South McAlester, Indian Territory, and is buried in Kiowa, Oklahoma.