Sometimes our own stories are interesting, but we’re so used to them that we don’t realize their importance until we are questioned by others. I was talking to a friend about the Caddo Civic and Cemetery Club’s Veteran’s Memorial project and she mentioned that they plan to honor any and every soldier they can document, even the Civil War ones. I suddenly remembered that my great-great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier and might be buried in the cemetery. She’s going to check the records for me, but in the meantime here is what I know about Thomas Anderson Alexander, “the one-armed sheriff of Caddo”.
We believe Thomas was born in May of 1848 (or 47) in Wayne Co. Tennessee. His father was Albert Richard Alexander, possibly listed on the 1850 census as A.R. Alexander and his mother’s name looks like Hindy (?). He was married to Rhoda Pricilla Whitworth in Poplar Bluff, MO. Her Confederate widow’s pension application says they were married in 1870, but a copy of their marriage license that I obtained says 1868.
In her pension application Rhody states that her husband enlisted in the Confederate infantry in 1863 at Cape Girardeau, MO and served under General Jeff Thomas and Colonel Lowe. He was discharged at New Madrid, MO at the close of the war. National Archives records show that Adam Lowe was a colonel and M. Jeff Thompson was a Lt. Col. of the 3rd MO Infantry Division. There are no rolls on file for them. I was able to obtain a file number for Private Thomas Alexander of the Co. F, Perkins Battalion, Missouri Infantry. Records also show that Pvt. Thomas Alexander, Boone Co., MO appears on a prisoner of war list for the Perkins Battalion commanded by Captain Geo. W. Rowland. Sometime during the war Thomas lost his arm. My grandmother said she remembered her grandfather talking about the war, but couldn’t remember details.
The 1900 census for Caddo, Choctaw Nation lists Thomas (53) and Rhody (49) as the owners of a restaurant. However, by 1910 he is listed as a police officer and Rhody is still in the restaurant. Their eighteen year old son, Thomas Jr. is living with them. The Caddo Herald has a few little notices and news items mentioning T.A. Alexander. In 1921 he is listed as the arresting constable at a murder scene. He was 74 years old!
Thomas died May 13, 1925. I haven’t located an obituary yet, but will keep looking. Rhody died in 1931 of burns suffered in a house fire.
That’s all I have for now. If anyone has any more information I would appreciate it.