About Thomas Jewett "T. J." Goree
Thomas Jewett "TJ" Goree (November 14, 1835 – March 5, 1905) was a Confederate Lieutenant in the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. By the end of the War he was promoted to the rank of Captain. He was one of Lt. General James Longstreet's most trusted aides.
Thomas J. Goree was born on November 14, 1835 in Marion, Alabama. At age 15, he and family moved to Huntsville, Texas. At age 18, he attended Baylor College, from which he graduated with a Law degree. With other partners, he formed a law firm in Montgomery, Texas in 1858, later moving it to Houston. At the start of the American Civil War in 1861 he left his law firm and headed for Virginia to volunteer for the Confederacy.
Civil War Service
On the boat from Galveston, Texas to New Orleans, he met Maj. James Longstreet, who had resigned his commission in the United States Army and was also traveling to Virginia to offer his services to the Confederate states. Lt. Goree, who was eventually promoted to captain, served as Longstreet's aide throughout the war and was involved in almost every battle in which Longstreet's division took part, from Blackburn's Ford to Appomattox. He was never wounded, although he had several horses shot out from under him and his clothing was riddled with bullet holes.
After Appomattox, Goree accompanied Longstreet home to Alabama. Goree returned to Texas in 1865 and took over operations at the Raven Hill Plantation near Huntsville, which his mother had purchased in 1858. He ran the plantation and continued to practice law until 1869.
On June 25, 1868, Goree married Elizabeth Thomas Nolley who was head of Andrew Female College at Huntsville. The couple spent a year at the Raven Hill Plantation and then moved to the Moffattville Plantation near Midway in Madison County. In Midway, Goree operated a general mercantile business, Goree and Wakefield, while his wife organized a school.
In 1873, the Goree family returned to Huntsville, where he formed a law partnership with Col. Leonard Anderson Abercrombie. That year, Goree was appointed a member of the board of directors, later board of commissioners, of the Texas State Prisons. In 1877, Governor Richard B. Hubbard appointed Goree superintendent of the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, a title that was later changed to superintendent of penitentiaries. He served in that position for the next fourteen years.
In 1891 he became the general agent for the Birmingham Iron Company, New Birmingham, Texas, and in 1893 he was named assistant general manager of the Texas Land and Loan Company at Galveston.
The Goree Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, was named in honor of TJ Goree in 1935. The unit houses the state's Sex Offender Treatment Program and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The unit is accredited by the American Correctional Association.
Thomas Jewett Goree died of pneumonia in Galveston on March 5, 1905. He and Elizabeth had five children. One grandchild was the noted Texas artist and author John W. Thomason, Jr. Thomas J. Goree and Elizabeth Goree are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas.
In popular media
Goree was portrayed by Ivan Kane in Gettysburg the 1993 film version of Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels.