Lebanon News, Lebanon, VA

January 1, 1915

Our Old People.

[Written by J. W. Bausell.]

Lieutenant Whitley Thomas was born 82 years ago in the Corner neighborhood, and was the oldest son of Abraham and Mattie Thomas. He was a grandson of Solomon Litton.

In 1862 he joined Co. H. 21st Virginia Cavalry, Wm. E. Jones Brigade. He was elected Lieutenant and commanded the company most of the time. In 1863 the command was in East Tennessee and was in several engagements. In the spring of 1864 the brigade was ordered east and met a large force of Federal Cavalry at Wytheville and repulsed them. The brigade was with General Early when he made a demonstartion on Washington city and was in the district of Columbia and could have taken Washington City but could not have held it. After the raid the brigade rested for a few days and then crossed the Potomac, and went to Chambersburg, Pa., and burned that town. In August 1864 four thousand Federals charged the camp, killed and captured 400 of brigade, but Lieut. Thomas made his escape, and in September was wounded at Fisher's Hill and was not able for service any more.

The writer was a member of Lieutenant Thomas' company and candor compells him to say that Russell county never had a braver soldier than was Whitt Thomas. He was always at the head of his company. He is going down the decline but is as jovial as a sixteen year old boy.