Biography of Thomas J. Mock

Thomas J. Mock, farmer and Constable, Sec. 25; P. O. Oakland; born in Hocking Co., Ohio, March 22, 1845, where he lived until 1854, when he removed with his parents to Coles Co., where he lived until Aug. 1, 1862, when he enlisted at the age of 17 years in Co. A, 123d I. V. I., and at once went into camp at Mattoon, where they remained until Sept. 6, when they were mustered in and at once sent to the front, going to Louisville, they joined the army of Gen. Buell, which had been defeated and driven to that point by the army under the rebel Gen. Bragg; marching South, he was engaged in the battle of Perryville Oct. 8; then to Mumfordsville, where, being prostrated by sickness, he was sent to the hospital at Louisville, remaining four weeks, at which time, Morgan having got in the rear of the Union army, he volunteered in a convalescent regiment, and went out guarding bridges, etc.; returning to Louisville, he was forwarded to his regiment at Murfreesboro, Tenn., where he arrived January, 1863, and performed scout duty until spring, being in many severe engagements; they were then formed into a cavalry regiment, armed with Spencer seven-shooter rifles, and attached to Wilder’s Brigade, which was afterward noted for the good fighting qualities, daring and courage of its officers and men, being nearly always in advance upon any important engagements of the Army of the Tennessee; in the spring, they led the advance in the two-days fight at Hoover’s Gap, where, after getting the rebels fairly engaged, made their way to the rear of the rebel army, and, after cutting off their supplies and communications and destroying their railroad depots and cars and tearing up the railroad, etc., returned to help the Union army to win the battle; they then went across the mountains to Chattanooga, where they were engaged for nineteen days skirmishing with the rebels, previous to the arrival of the balance of the Union army, and upon its arrival, the above place was captured without a battle; following this, was the battle of Chickamauga, in which the brigade suffered severely in killed, wounded and prisoners, and, after the defeat, covered the retreat of the Union army to Chattanooga; Mr. Mock expressed himself to the writer as its being the first time he had even unconsciously been whipped; they were then placed on duty guarding fords, etc.; while performing this duty, the rebel Gen. Wheeler crossed above them to destroy their communications, when they followed them for two weeks, fighting continually,. and, upon reaching Farmington, had a severe fight, in which his regiment suffered severely in killed and wounded, among the former being their Colonel; after this, he went to Maysville, Ala., where his regiment was detailed in squads as scouts, which duty he performed until the close of the war; he expressed himself as being pleased with this arduous and dangerous duty, preferring it to the monotony of camp life; after being engaged in the siege and capture of Atlanta, their horses were turned over to Kilpatrick, and they went to Louisville, drew fresh horses, and, early in the winter of 1864, went to Graverly Springs, Ala., where they were organized in a corps of cavalry under Gen. Wilson; going South, skirmishing daily, until reaching Selma, at which place, after the 4th United States Regulars had made charge and been driven back, this brigade were dismounted and made the charge, when, after severe fighting, they captured the fortifications, in which they suffered severely, some of their men being killed upon the breastworks; they continued south until reaching Macon, which place they captured; when hearing of the surrender of Johnson and his army, he was detailed in command of a force and sent out to-capture Jeff Davis, traveling day and night for four days; he heard of the capture of the rebel chief when within less than, thirty miles of his camp; he then returned to Macon, where he was again detailed with one other to learn the location of a. band of rebels, who were collecting horses, mules, wagons and other articles to take further south; he made their camp, took supper with them, and, after satisfying them he was no spy by his papers as paroled prisoner of a rebel guerrilla force, he made his way back to camp, and at daylight the whole force was captured; he was mustered out of service at Nashville, Tenn., and received his discharge at Springfield, Ill., July 10, 1865, having been in the Union army nearly three years; returning home, when he followed farming until 1867, when he again engaged in the United States service, going with the army through some of the Western Territories as far as Ft. Union, New Mexico, having charge of Government stores. He removed upon his present place in 1871, where he has since continued to live, with the exception of a few months prospecting in Nebraska during the year of 1873. He married Dec. 1, 1868, Nancy J. Dollar; she was born in Coles Co., III., March 31, 1850; they have three children now living by this union-John T., Sarah R. and Ralph; Mrs. Mock is a daughter of John Dollar, whose biography appears in this work, is one of the settlers of Coles Co.

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