14 March 1848 - 28 August 1949

By Tonie Sue Manning Chambers

Lubbock, Texas, 79423

Enlisted in the Cavalry

Served in State Home Guard under Captain M. G. Suttle

Served January 1865 - April 1865

Buried in Charleston Cemetery,

Charleston, Delta County, Texas



Cooper, August 29, 1949 (AP) T. R. McGuyer, 101, Confederate veteran and retired farmer, died yesterday, His death left six Confederate veterans alive in Texas.

His funeral was to be held at Charleston, TX, at 2-30 p.m. today.

He had five children, 37 grandchildren 76 great grandchildren and 20 great-great grandchildren. Immediate survivors are sons Tom and Jim of Dallas, Alvin of Detroit, Lain of Cooper and a daughter Mrs. D. W. (Richie ldella "Della" McGuyer) Lile of Charleston.


Cooper, Texas March 13 (Special)

from the Cooper Review

The McGuyer family tradition, born in a British prison in Quebec, Canada during the American Revolution, Sunday moves into a new era.

The oldest living exponent, Thomas Rufus McGuyer, carries the family banner into a new age at the climax of a career which, in itself, is a lesson to Americanism.

McGuyer, Delta County pioneer and one of the twelve surviving Confederate War veterans in Texas, observes his 100th birthday anniversary.

This is the occasion for which the bemustached, white-haired, retired farmer has been waiting to take inventory of his personal history of rebellion followed by painstaking reconstruction.


McGuyer, like most of his contemporaries, regrets now that the South and the North went to war. But, unlike others, he refuses to argue the issue and prefers not to talk about it.

"We realized long ago that this is just one country," he smiled. "That's the way it should be."

Even now he apologizes for the stern handling against men who agreed with General Sam Houston in 1862 that Texas had no role on the side of the Confederacy.

"Some of those who disagreed that Texas should fight on the side of the South were hanged," he said. "These men shouldn't have been hanged. They were just expressing their own opinions, and they had a right."

When Father Cornelius McGuyer joined the Confederate army, young Rufus, at 13 the oldest son, inherited the task of caring for the family and making a crop on the homestead near the present site of the Charleston community ten miles east of here.


"I let the weeds take over more of the land than I should," McGuyer recalled. "You could tell that the South was getting weaker about 1863. One Northern victory followed another. Col. J. C. Suttle organized a home guard to stand by for action. I volunteered."

As McGuyer remembers the incident, he supposes it was inevitable that he should have been involved somehow in the Civil War. Family tradition demanded it.

McGuyer's great-grandparents were held prisoners by the British in Quebec during the first years of the American Revolution. His grandfather, Tom, was born in the prison. The family later was released through an exchange of prisoners and returned to a farm in Kentucky. His grandfather later joined the regular army.

Two of McGuyer's uncles, Bill and Ned, fought with Gen. Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Ned proceeded to Texas to fight against Mexico in 1836.

Father Cornelius served as a soldier in the Mexican War. He suffered a severe leg injury in the Battle of Monterrey.

"My dad always limped a little as a result of the wound," McGuyer said.

Several of McGuyer's descendants were on active duty in the Spanish American War, World War I and World War 11. This gives the family representation in all of this county's major conflicts.


McGuyer came from Bedford County, Tennessee, at the age of seven in 1855. His family first settled near Moore's Springs, five miles east of Paris, then moved to the farm which he still owns near Charleston.

Although he carries a cane, McGuyer insists that it's mostly a habit. His only ailment is a partial deafness. He continued to work on his farm until four years ago.

"All my life I'd been planning to quit work and rest some," he explained. "One day I remembered that I was 96. Then I retired."

His centennial celebration Sunday will be simple here at the home of a son T. L. McGuyer, with whom he has lived since retirement. The children will drop in for a fried chicken dinner. After a short nap, McGuyer will read his Sunday school lesson and the newspapers."

The following information on the family is from the family Bible of Thomas Rufus McGuyer, in possession of Harriet, daughter of Della. Children information given by Glenna Oats Scott.

Thomas Rufus McGuyer

Born: 14 March 1848 in Bedford County, Tennessee

Died: 28 August 1949, Texas

Married Harriet Oats


1. W. Thomas McGuyer

2. J. C. 'Neal' McGuyer

3. Richie ldella 'Delia' McGuyer

4. J. Lane McGuyer

5. Alvin Jackson 'lke' McGuyer

6. James 'Jim' McGuyer

7. Clarinda Virginia McGuyer

8. Mary Elizabeth McGuyer

©Ron Brothers and Tonie Sue Manning Chambers, All Rights Reserved, 1999.

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