662 History of Wake Forest College
Of General Thomas Fentress Toon, we have already given an
account under the head of "Teachers." He was first Captain of
Company K, and through the favor of the regiment was advanced to
Colonel on February 26, 1863.8 In May, 1864, he was appointed
Brigadier General, According to North Carolina Regiments, his office
was that kind peculiar to the Confederate States Army known as
"temporary," and he had charge of the Brigade only during the
absence from May until August of General R. D. Johnson, who was
recovering from a wound.9
Richard Gaines, the fourth Wake Forest man to attain the rank of
Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army, was from
Petersburg, Virginia, and was a student in the College in the years
1845-47. He was a Civil Engineer, and in 1861 became an Aide to
General Stonewall Jackson. He was afterwards an Aide-de-Camp of
General Price. He was a Major and a Colonel of infantry. In 1865 he
was appointed Brigadier General. He died, Paris, Texas, 1879.10 We
have no detailed record of his services.
8 The following account of his election is given in the history of the regiment by
Colonel Toon in North Carolina Regiments:
"Major Slough and Captain Brooks waived their rights to promotion and re-
quested the board to recommend Captain T. F. Toon for Colonel of the regiment.
After the examination was over, the appointment was made. When this
recommendation was endorsed by the officers of the regiment, the office was
accepted, for it was held that the regiment had the right to elect their own officers,
notwithstanding the effort of the Brigadier-General to have one of his own selection
9 Op. cit., IV, 523; I, xii and note.
The following is General Toon's account of himself, op. cit., II, 125 f.
"Thomas Fentress Toon was born in Columbus County, N. C., 10 June, 1840.
Son of Anthony F. Toon, Esq., of Irish and Welsh extraction, and Mary McMillan
Toon, daughter of Ronald McMillan, of Scotland. 20th of May, 1861, he enlisted as
a private in Columbus Guards No. 2, a cdmpany raised by his halfbrother, Captain
William H. Toon, who was afterwards Major and LieutenantColonel of the
Twentieth North Carolina. After enlistment he returned to Wake Forest College and
graduated June, 1861 [May 28, 18611. June 17, 1861 elected First Lieutenant of his
company. July 22, 1861, elected Captain of his company, vice Captain W. H. Toon,
elected Major. 26 February, 1863, elected Colonel of the Twentieth Regiment. 31
May, 1864, appointed Brigadier-General, and 4 June assigned to command of
Johnson's North Carolina Brigade. He followed the fortunes of Lee, Jackson,
Gordon, Early and Ewell in all important engagements, unless deterred by some of
the five wounds received in battle. Lived in Robeson County, N. C., from 1891 until
elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction."
10 General Catalogue, p. 89.