Biography of Thomas W. Howard

 Since Thomas Howard was not in the Confederate military, there is no biography of him in the National Archives service records. Below is my biography of the man

   There is almost nothing known about Thomas W. Howard, except what can be pulled from his work documents. In fact, there are only three documents identifying him as "Thomas;" all the others us only "T. W." His record starts with him being appointed by Major Gorgas to be receive freight coming from the South, June 10th, 1861. The following month, he was appointed the Transportation Agent at Lynchburg. He remained at that post throughout the war. In the Confederate Service Records file, there are a couple of documents that indicate that he was a Major in the Quartermaster Department and was paroled with Gen. Lee's forces. There are, however, no Confederate documents showing him in the Army at any rank.
   The only Thomas W. Howard in the 1860 Census is the 42 year old head of a family of a wife and 8 children, living in Moundsville, 12 miles south of Wheeling, now West Virginia. He is listed as a day laborer, though his vocabulary, penmanship and sentence structure in his documents makes it possible that this is not the right match. A move from Wheeling to Lynchburg at the start of the war is certainly a real possibility.
   Agent Howard was responsible for both railroad and canal boat transportation at Lynchburg. I'm sure his original posting was to help clear the mass of freight that was coming into Virginia on the Virginia & Tennessee RR. Since Lynchburg was the junction of the Virginia & Tennessee RR, the South Side RR, the Orange & Alexandria RR and the James River canal, someone was needed to make decisions about what was to go by which method of transportation and to expedite the supplies according to priorities provided to the agent. It is evident that Agent Howard did a satisfactory job, since he retained his position throughout the war. After Maj. Ashe left the service, Howard reported directly to the Quartermaster General.
   {Numerous notifications of freight shipments and pay receipts (after Maj. Ashe left) are not transcribed or not noted below since he was not longer under the control of the Railroad Bureau.}
June 10, 1861 Appointed by Gorgas to receive railroad shipments from the South
July, 1861 Appointed by Major Ashe to be a Transportation Agent and to proceed to Lynchburg to superintend the transportation of Government stores of all kinds
October 16, 1861 Ashe reports he has been appointed
NA, QMR 10-16-61
January 1, 1862 Salary paid by Maj. Ashe
January 5, 1862 Asked QM General to order Orange & Alexandria RR to more promptly move supplies from Lynchburg
NA, QMR 1-5-62
January 31, 1862 Salary paid by Maj. Ashe
March 31, 1862 Salary paid by Maj. Ashe
May x, 1862 Reports shortage of weight on a pig iron shipment
July 1, 1862 Requests wagons to deal with break in the canal
NA, QMR 7-1-62
August 29, 1862 Asks for salary increase
NA, QMR 8-29-62
December 3, 1862 Reports theft of shoes from a shipment
September 7, 1863 Reports his situation to the QM General
November 9, 1863 Arranging a coal shipment
January 4, 1864 Arranging coal cars
January 8, 1864 Dealing with ice
January 29, 1864 Deals with other claims for cars
January x, 1864 Requests promotion to Captain & AQM
NA, QMR 1-x-64
February 4, 1864 Notifies Richmond that leather must now be boxed
February 6, 1864 Receives shipping instructions
February 11, 1864 Requests order regarding shipping leather
NA, QMR 2-11B-64
February 29, 1864 Given a pay increase
March 24, 1864 Giving leather priority
Last document in the files is a December 31, 1864 pay statement.

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