BELL, THOMAS J. (1842~1918) Thomas J. Bell, Confederate veteran, was born in Austin County, Texas in 1842. On May 9, 1861, Bell, a farmer, enlisted in the Confederate Army at Fort Chadbourne on May 9, 1861. He was mustered into service as a private in Company B of the 8th (Taylor?s) Texas Cavalry.
Taylor?s Cavalry was consolidated with the 3rd (Yager?s) Battalion Texas Cavalry and Captain Ware?s Company Texas Cavalry to form the 1st Regiment Texas Cavalry, in which Bell served in Company K. The unit was under General Hamilton P. Bee?s command of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division. The regiment was dismounted in 1863, but was again quickly re-mounted. The 1st Cavalry surrendered with General Kirby Smith on May 26, 1865. In all, the unit took part in eleven battles and engagement, which included Matagorda Peninsula, the Red River Campaign, and Pleasant Hill.
Upon his return to Texas, Bell eventually settled in San Antonio, where he again worked as a farmer.
On March 5, 1917, Bell entered the Confederate Men?s Home in Austin. On August 17th of that same year, Bell was moved to the Austin Lunatic Asylum, now called the Austin State Hospital. He also had a brother, Abb, who was living in the hospital.
Bell lived in the Asylum for another year until he died on July 3, 1918. His body was turned over to the Confederate Men?s Home and he was buried in the Texas State Cemetery that same day.
Information taken from Compiled Military Service Record; History of the 1st Texas Cavalry under Col. A. Buchel website at http://home.t-online.de/home/karl-josef.schmeink/1sthist.htm; Confederate Home Roster; Records, Austin State Hospital, Austin, Texas; Death Certificate # 29985.