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Thomas Carlisle Herbert Collection: Biography
Thomas Carlisle Herbert
Photograph of Thomas Carlisle Herbert from Thomas Carlisle Herbert Collection.

Thomas Carlisle Herbert was born March 17, 1892. As the eldest son of a Methodist minister, Carlisle moved throughout the state of South Carolina with his parents, Reverend Walter Isaac and Constance Furman Herbert. His mother, Constance Furman Herbert, was the daughter of Charles Manning Furman and Frances Emma Garden, making Carlisle the great-grandson of James C. Furman. He attended Wofford College and was a member of the Debating team. After graduating in 1914, Carlisle taught school and in 1917 enrolled in the University of South Carolina Law School.

A few months later Carlisle was called into the service and was stationed in Oglethorpe, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. While in Georgia, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. In December of 1917 he was sent to France as a member of the Motor Transport Services and was in charge of the Advances M.T.C. Supply Depot 714. In October 11, 1918 Carlisle was promoted to First Lieutenant and in 1919 he was also appointed as a judge advocate. He was collecting evidence and statements for courts martial when he developed lobar pneumonia. It is said that he drove motorcycles long distances gathering this information and because of the terrible weather and a previous case of influenza, he developed this illness that eventually killed him.

Carlisle died February 20, 1919 and was buried February 22 in a military cemetery near Langres (Haute Marne), France with full Military honors. His body, along with the others buried in this cemetery, has been moved to the St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in Thiaucourt, France.

In 1924 Carlisle's family, including his mother, father, and sister Harriet, traveled to France to visit his grave. Then in 1933 Carlisle's mother traveled to Europe with other Gold Star Mothers who had lost their sons during World War I.