Thomas Joseph Macon (1839-1917) was born in Hanover County, Virginia. His family owned a plantation near Richmond, which they eventually left. Macon worked as a clerk in the Richmond dry-goods firm Park, Nimms, & Co. and during the Civil War was a private in the First Company Richmond Howitzers. He wrote about his experiences in the war in his first book, Reminiscences of the First Company of Richmond Howitzers (1909). His autobiography, Life Gleanings was published in 1913.