Thomas Turner Fauntleroy

Thomas Turner Fauntleroy was born on October 8, 1795, in Richmond County, Virginia, the son of Joseph and Betsy (Fauntleroy) Fauntleroy. During the War of 1812 Fauntleroy was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After that war Fauntleroy studied law in Winchester and practiced in Warrenton. In 1823 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses to represent Fauquier County. In 1836 Fauntleroy rejoined the regular army as major of the 2nd Dragoons. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 2nd in 1846 and colonel in 1850. Fauntleroy fought Indians in the Second Seminole War. In the Mexican War he first commanded the post of San Antonio, Texas. Later he served in Taylor's army on the Rio Grande and in Scott's army on the route to Mexico City. After the war Fauntleroy commanded Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Union, New Mexico. Fauntleroy led several expeditions against the Apaches in company with the legendary Kit Carson. The "brave and chivalric" Fauntleroy was officially thanked by the New Mexico Legislature for his efforts in those expeditions.' From 1859 to 1861 he commanded the Department of New Mexico.

Upon the secession of Virginia he returned to his native state. In May, 1861, Fauntleroy resigned his U.S. Army commission and was appointed by the governor brigadier general in the Provisional Army of Virginia.4 A Richmond newspaper commented that "no officer in the country is better qualified, and in none have the people of his native State more confidence." Fauntleroy was placed in command of Richmond and its defenses, succeeding future Confederate Major General John B. Magruder. From this position he was relieved, at his own request, on August 25,1861. The old regular was never an enthusiastic Rebel, and when such men as Robert E. Lee, junior to him in the old army, were given higher rank in the Virginia and Confederate armies, his enthusiasm disappeared. Fauntleroy never held Confederate rank. However, he was tendered an appointment as brigadier general of the PACS from Adjutant General Samuel Cooper on July 9, 1861, to command the Virginia militia in the Shenandoah Valley. Fauntleroy declined the preferred appointment and returned to his Winchester estate. The continuing military action in that area led Fauntleroy to flee to Caroline County and finally to Charlotte County, Virginia, where he spent the last part of the war.

After the war General Fauntleroy lived with his son, Judge Thomas Fauntleroy, in Winchester. On September 12, 1883, he passed away at the home of his granddaughter in Leesburg, Virginia. He is buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery in Winchester.

Fauntleroy is listed as a general by Heitman and SHSP. Being tendered an appointment by the president as brigadier general of the PACS by itself would appear to qualify Fauntleroy as a general, despite his prompt refusal of the appointment.

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.