Thomas Lee, farmer, was born near St. Clair, Tenn. April 20, 1824, the son of James and Hannah (Hale) Lee, the former born in Hawkins County about 1786, and deceased in 1866. The ancestors of the Lees came from England, and James, a farmer, was in various battle of the war of 1812 The latter was well educated and held Democratic principles. The grandfather, Thomas, a farmer, also a native of Virginia, died in Hawkins County, in which he was among the earliest pioneers. The mother was born and died at dates corresponding nearly to those of her husband, and in the same county. Our subject, the tenth of fourteen children, was twenty years old when he left the old homestead and began as a farmer on rented land for himself. In 1861, he enlisted in Company B. Thirty-first Tennessee Confederate Infantry as third lieutenant, and remained in service until the close of the war, engaging in the actions at Oak Hill (Miss.) and Big Black River, where he was captured May 17, 1863, and taken to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Ind., then Fort Delaware, and after six months at these places, to Point Lookout, Md. In September 1864, he rejoined his company then in Virginia. He lost all he had during the war, but now owns 340 acres of land in this county, and has it greatly improved. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is a Democrat who favors prohibition. Lucy, a daughter of Jesse Spears, became his wife in 1843. She was born in Hawkins County, March 23, 1823, and is a Methodist. Their children are Eliza J., John B., Sallie, Thomas D., Edna V., and Samuel; those decease are Jesse J., who was also captured at Big Black River, and died in the war prison at Point Lookout; Joseph N., deceased in this county. Malenota, who died near Springfield, Mo, which State became their home for a while in 1850, and Christopher who died in Salem, Mo., in 1851, while they were en route back to Tennessee.
Transcribed by Betty Mize from Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee, 1886.