Sunday, May 5, 2013

Memories of Tom Brooks

Mike Jones, left, and Tom Brooks at the 1993 Murfreesboro, Tn.

By Mike Jones
       I recently received the sad news of the death, on March 28, 2013, of my old friend and co-author of Lee's Foreign Legion: A History of the 10th Louisiana Infantry, Thomas Walter Brooks of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. While I live deep in rural South Louisiana and Tom lived in Canada, we became friends and correspondents through a mutual interest in the 10th Louisiana Infantry regiment. He belonged to the 10th Louisiana reenactment group and I was a descendant of one of the regiment's soldiers, Pvt. Armelin Linscombe of Co. K., and also a reenactor with the 28th Louisiana Infantry reenactment group.
       Tom loved doing historical research and so did I, so we collaborated through the mail on gathering information about the regiment with the hope of someday publishing a regimental history. I live in an area of Louisiana where Company K was raised, South Louisiana, and was made up mostly  of Louisiana French natives. However most of the regiment was made up of foreigners, predominantly Irish and German but with many Canadians, Italians, Greeks, Spaniards and numerous other nationalities. We decided to name the book Lee's Foreign Legion in recognition of the diverse makeup of the regiment.
       While I found many photographs of soldiers of the regiment from descendants that I had met in the course of my research, Tom wrote the final draft, had the excellent maps made, did all the statistical analysis that makes the book unique, and most importantly, published the work on his own in 1995. The book never would have happened without Tom. He was a man that could get things done.
      I finally got to meet Tom in person at the 125th anniversary  reenactment of Gettysburg in 1988. I found him to be a fine man, honorable, serious and an all around good friend. We also reenacted together again at a reenactment of the Battle of Pleasant Hill  in Louisiana, and the Battle of Murfreesboro reenactment in Tennessee. While we hadn't corresponded for years before his death, I have nothing but fond memories of this really good man and friend. God Bless You and Rest in Peace Tom!

The consolidated 7th Ky., 10th La. and 28th La. at the Murfreesboro
reenactment, 1993. Tom Brooks is fifth from right, front row.
(Photo by Mike Jones)

1 comment:

ccffpa said...

very sad to learn of the death of Tom Brooks, we had long corresponded there some years about the CW and the 10th of louisiana...RIP Tom ...

P.Ailliot former chairman of the CWRT of France