U.S. Army officer, Thomas Flournoy (1775-1857), sometimes referred to as "John Thomas Flournoy," was born in North Carolina and, before the War of 1812, practiced law in Augusta, Georgia. In March 1804, Flournoy was involved in a duel with John Carter Walton (1741-1804), nephew of former Georgia Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice George Walton, over the judge's decisions for the Thomas Flournoy vs. George Walton and Matthias Maher vs. George Walton cases. Flournoy shot and killed John Walton in the duel.
Though he had no prior military experience, on June 18, 1812, Flournoy was commissioned a brigadier general in the United States Army. He commanded the 3rd United States Infantry, stationed along the Carolina-Georgia frontier, and was involved in raising troops, securing the coasts, and defending Americans in East Florida. In March 1813, he succeeded General Wilkinson as commander of the 7th Military District, comprising Mississippi Territory, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Flournoy's major responsibility was fighting the Creek Indians, who were supplied and armed by the Spanish and British in Florida and Alabama (1813-1814). Flournoy was an ineffective commander and often clashed with his fellow officers and the local governors. He resigned from the army on September 13, 1814, after being passed over for promotion, and Andrew Jackson succeeded him as commander of the 7th Military District. In 1820, Flournoy was appointed United States commissioner to the Creek Indians, and moved to the Alabama frontier. Flournoy retired from service in 1836, after the Creek removal, and died in North Carolina in 1857.