From the 1938 centennial edition of The Times-Register
Completing his training in medicine, Dr. Thomas Neal Lewis, former well known Catawba citizen, who was living at Huntsville, Alabama, when the War Between the States started, immediately enlisted under the Confederate flag and served through four long years of civil strife between the North and South.
Joining the forces of General Robert E. Lee, Dr. Lewis became a prominent army surgeon and was first assigned to the base hospital at Old Point Comfort. Here he performed many operations on the boys in grey as they were brought to the hospital seriously wounded.
With the advance of the Union Army, Dr. Lewis was forced to leave his original post and took up his station at Stuarts Draft, Va., where he did valiant surgical work, and finally was sent to White Sulphur Springs which was made the location for a base hospital.
Here Dr. Lewis remained until the close of the war, and having visited the Catawba valley decided to locate there. He purchased land where the Catawba Sanatorium is now located and until the time of his death in 1879 was recognized as one of the outstanding physicians-surgeons in Roanoke and Craig Counties.
Dr. Lewis married Cynthia Barnette, at Catawba shortly after the close of the war, to whom four children were born, namely; Oscar G. Lewis, of Salem; Elizabeth L. Williams, deceased; James L. Lewis, Newcomerstown, Ohio, and David E. Lewis of Lynchburg.