Thomas Jefferson Brookshire Henry County Indiana Civil War Veteran
Thomas Jefferson Brookshire was born 26 November 1844 at the "Brookshire Settlement," located about 3 miles northwest of New Castle. He was the 6th child of the Reverend Emsley and Elizabeth Shelley Brookshire family.
The Henry County Brookshire's and their relatives, were ardent abolitionists thus, when Fort Sumter was fired on and President Lincoln called for volunteers, Tom's older brothers, Will and Eli, quickly answered the call. Will served in Company D, 36th Indiana Infantry and Eli, in Company G, 84th Indiana Infantry.
Tom later enlisted, 29 December 1863, for a period of three years and reported for duty at Indianapolis, 8 January 1864, serving in Company E, 9th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. His enlistment papers notes his physical attributes: age 19 years; height 5 feet 7½ inches; complexion fair; eyes blue; and hair brown.
The 9th Indiana Cavalry left Indiana for Pulaski, Tenn., 3 May 1864, attached to the District of North Alabama, Department of the Cumberland, saw action at Florence, Ala., Elk River, Lynnville, Sulphur Branch Trestle, Richland Creek, Pulaski, Owen's Cross Roads, Franklin, Battle of Nashville, pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River, West Harpeth River, Hollow Tree Gap, Franklin, Lynnville, Anthony's Hill, and Sugar Creek.
Pvt Brookshire was on detached service by order of Brig. Gen. Johnson through September and October, 1864, and "missed" combat and skirmishes with his unit during that period. The purpose of the detached duty is not known.
Action in 1865 include: Gravelly Springs, move to Vicksburg, Miss., thence to New Orleans, La., return to Vicksburg duty, expedition from Rodney to Port Gibson, garrison duty at various points in Mississippi. Tom was injured on a charge at Port Gibson and was in the Vicksburg hospital after 15 May 1865.
Tom received a $60 bounty at enlistment, an additional $140 on 31 August 1864, leaving $160 due when mustered out at Vicksburg, 31 August 1865.
Brookshire applied for and received a pension beginning 23 December 1914 in the amount of $21.50 per month. The amount increased to $27.00 per month beginning 26 November 1919 and $72.00 commencing 5 June 1920.
Tom married Nancy Clementine Akers, daughter of Cornelius and Susan Risk Akers, 9 October 1866, with the Rev. Emsley Brookshire officiating. Four years later, the young couple purchased 80 acres (6 June 1870) about 3 miles southwest of Fairmount, IN., , and moved to Grant Co., around January or February 1872. Tom and Clementine did not sever Henry County connections for when a son (Lucius) died, 26 October 1888, his body was returned and laid to rest in the Brookshire Cemetery - an indication the family may have planned to return to Henry County.
After the move to Grant County, Tom affiliated with the Hackleman Post, No. 238, G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) and maintained contacts with Civil War buddies. Grandchildren have related stories of veterans visiting from the Marion Soldiers Home and the numerous war stories told. Tom also attended veteran reunions and maintained a link with his comrades in arms.
Clementine passed away, 13 May 1921, with Tom following her, 1 November 1922. They are buried in Park Cemetery, Fairmount, Indiana.
Researched and compiled by:
Carl A. Brookshire