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THOMAS THOMAS LAWLESS, (1), fourth son of John and Margaret Skirvin Lawless, was born on March 21, 1834, at Williamstown, Kentucky. In 1835 his parents moved to Adams County, Illinois. He lived on the farm with his parents until nineteen years of age. In 1853 he, with several other men, made an overland trip with ox teams to California, arriving there in September. He remained there four years, mining by placer and hydraulic methods for gold. During the last summer of the California drought, he, with others, dammed a river for the purpose of obtaining gold; but rain came earlier than usual and the summer’s work went down with the flood. He returned home by way of San Francisco, down the Pacific to Panama, walked across the Isthmus, and then took a ship across the Gulf of Mexico to Havana, Cuba. He went to New York and from there returned home by rail, which had been laid after he started west. He remained on the farm until September 1, 1862, when he enlisted in the Civil War. He was in Company F 78th Illinois Volunteers. On September 22, 1863, he was taken prisoner at Missionary Ridge and was taken to Richmond, Virginia, where he was held with many other prisoners in a large brick tobacco warehouse. He remained there image007until February 17, 1864. From there he was taken to Andersonville Prison in Georgia, remaining there until September 6, 1864, when he was taken to Savannah, Georgia, for seven months. Then he was transferred to Milan, Georgia, and after two months was paroled on November 22. He came home by way of Annapolis, and was furloughed for thirty days, arriving home on December 20, 1864. He returned to the service in South Carolina, but couldn’t reach the regiment until April 14, as they were on the march. He was discharged on June 7, 1865, at Washington, D. C., and took part in the two-day Grand Review. He returned home again and took up farming. He was an active Republican, holding several offices in Gilmer Township. He married Ann Marie Ferguson December 26, 1872. She was the daughter of John and Emily Jane Pollock Ferguson of Ohio, and was born April 11, 1846. He died on February 28, 1897, following a long illness of asthma, probably aggravated by his military service. She died on September 3, 1938. Both are buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Adams County, Illinois. They had four children: Ethel D., John Yeargain, Frank Elbridge, and Howard Henry.


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