Born ca. 1835, Jesse Green Thomas is the son of Benjamin Thomas Jr. and second wife Betsy Brown Traywick. Betsy is the daughter of Berryman Traywick and Dorcas Hyatt. Jesse's father died shortly after his birth. Following the death of her first husband Benjamin, Elizabeth maried Edmond Kiker. In the 1850 Union County Census, Jesse Green Thomas is listed as 16 years old and living at the household of Edmond Kiker. Edmond wrote a Last Will and Testament on 31 Dec 1850 and later died on 26 May 1853. He mentions Jesse Green Thomas in the will.

By occupation a carpenter, Jesse G. Thomas enlisted for war on 12 Mar 1862. He joined up with CSA Co. C, 10th Bat. NC, which was better known as the "Monroe Heavy Artillery." This unit was responsible for garrison duty and the construction of defensive works surrounding the port of Wilmington NC. The unit later served in the battle of Ft. Sumpter, SC.

During his short service in the military, four survivng letters home indicate that Jesse Green Thomas wrote many letters home from the war. Written in the summer of 1862, two of these letters plead for people to write him and tell of life and sickness in the "Breast Works." He also requests for "Jacob" to write him. It is known that the only Jacob in the family was the older half brother Jacob Thomas. Yet, later Jesse is visted by Ja Austin. Was Jesse seeking to communicate with Jacob Austin? The third letter was written after he retuned from a furlough. Jesse was likely sent home to recover from his illness. In this letter, he mentions love for a sweet heart and confirms that he has not gotten better. The final letter was written at a hospital in August 1862. In this letter, it appears he is joined by friends from home and the old squire Ja. Austin. Jesse tells his mother that he is not well and pleads for her not to get "messy" over him, as he will keep her informed as to his condition. From the the combined CSA service records, it is known that Corporal Jesse Green Thomas died at Wilmington on 19 Oct 1862 from Yellow Fever.

These letters provide so much information as to who Jesse Green Thomas was. Just starting out in life, Jesse never appeared in deed books or other official records or the County or State. But these letters tell of courage, sadness, and of the war efforts that took his life.


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