Ten days after the start of the Civil War, William sent his son Thomas to the Jesuit College, Spring Hill, at Mobile Alabama where he studied compounding medicines. A father’s attempt to keep his son out of the war failed and on August 7th, 2864, Tom ran away from the school to join Tobin’s battery, latter serving in the Confederate Cavalry.
The following photocopies are courtesy of Richard Weaver, Spring Hill College, Access Services Librarian.
Thomas O’Kelly Register of Students Spring Hill College 1859-1873 page 65
College at Spring Hill Vice President’s Diary 1859-1883 Aug 1864 page 70
August 6. The excitement of the students is greater to day. Many after the study of 2 o’clock ask in a body to go, the sameday, to Mobile to form their quarters but I President being about they consent to go to the first class. After the first class, they renew their petition and again we succeed to send them to class. A greater determination to leave the college was to be expected at bed time ans to prevent it the two principal leaders of the movement are sent away D. Harris and Barry
No bad spirit is remarked in that excitement so much so that all of them went to communion the same morning
August 7. J. Booth, T. O’Kelly go away to join the army. W. Miles and T. Miles go home