A Crimean War veteran of the Royal Army, Thomas Rice was a Captain in the First Louisiana Infantry by July 1862.

He should be much more famous than he is. At the railroad cut at Second Manassas on 30 August 1862, after his men had shot off all their ammunition …

Nothing but a great quantity of rock was lying around, broken in fragments of moderate size as they had been blasted when the railroad was building. Captain Rice drew upon his experience in Crimea. He recalled that battle with stones fought in a rock quarry at Inkerman, close to the Redan – one of the bulwarks of Sebastopol – which had now come to him like a flash, born of the need. Quick as the thought, Rice picked up a piece of rock, and calling out loudly “Boys, do as we did at Sebastopol,” hurled the first stone … The company, the regiment – even other commands of the brigade – followed with more stone, pelting the enemy savagely … Excellent work was done with these rocks … Some of the enemy crawled up the bank and voluntarily surrendered themselves to escape the deadly stoning.

He led his Company at Sharpsburg in September and was wounded in the hip there. He was wounded twice more – at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where he was left for dead – but survived the war to return home to New Orleans.

Above is a page about him in The Lost Cause: A Confederate War Record, Vol. 10, No. 1 (August 1903). The quote here is from Volume X of the Confederate Military History (1899).

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