Thomas F. Carrick
21st (Wilson's) Tennessee Cavalry
Company H

Submitted by Greg Curtis

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Thomas Carrick was born September 24, 1845 in Bedford County, TN. His parents were Jason Carrick and America West both born in Bedford County.

Thomas went to a school that was made of logs and the seats were made of split logs. During his schooling he was taught economics and manners. The school term was 3 to 4 months out of the year. The nearest schoolhouse was 2 miles from his home.

Growing up, he and his parents lived in a comfortable log home. His father farmed and ran a blacksmith shop while his mother spun and wove the clothing for the family. Thomas' parents didn't own any slaves but his grandparents did.

When the War for Southern Independence started, Thomas Carrick was 15 years old. His father was working in the fields when a Yankee Cavalry unit rode up and told him if he wanted to live he should start running. When Jason Carrick ran, they shot him in the back. Then the Yankees burned his grandfather's house to the ground.

Thomas had taken the oath of allegiance before they had done all of this to his family. This is when he tried to join the 18th Tennessee Infantry but was too young. In the year 1863 he ran away and joined the 21st Tennessee Cavalry. He was considered a scout and was in fights daily with the enemy. Thomas was in the battle of Shoal Creek and was in Hood's invasion of Tennessee. His company was in General Forrest's corps during the campaign. After the Army was defeated at Nashville, the 21st Cavalry was cut off by Hood's retreat. Thomas refused to give up and paddled his own canoe across the Cumberland River. He had three recruits with him Jason Bynum, George Moore, and Newton Low. He became a guerrilla fighter with a number of other men that refused to surrender or leave with the army as it retreated. His band of men ranged in the counties of Cannon, Coffee, Warren, and Rutherford. His Guerilla Unit fought the Yankees and never lost a single fight. Thomas and Jason Bynum attacked and drove off 18 Yankees from Jimmie Jameson's still house. The Federals reported that 40 men had attacked them but only the two of them made the assault. Shortly after March, in Cannon County, Thomas and 5 other men attacked a colored company at Taylor's Campground killing several and wounding others; the rest ran off. The Federals claimed that Thomas and his guerilla unit killed or captured 40 of their men. Mrs. Doctor Hoover of Hoovers gap in Cannon County was their go between.

Thomas kept his arms until May 31, 1865. He hated the Yankees so much that he went north until the Yankees had left Tennessee then returned. After the war he moved to Tracy City and bought a house valued at $200. Thomas Carrick married Francis Young and both are buried beside each other in Oak Grove Cemetery. Thomas Carrick died in January of 1933. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

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