"He was a very private person, but he seldom turned down a speaking engagement. He sometimes chided southerners about being too regionally chauvinistic, but he always spoke with pride about being a child of Middle Tennessee. He relished traveling on the road with Tom T. Hall but was basically a homebody. He was proud of his many students and their accomplishments but sometimes found it difficult to share with them the glowing comments he wrote in recommendations to future employees. Tom Connelly's life mirrored the Army of Tennessee about which he wrote so eloquently. Quintessentially southern, tough, and courageous like that army of the lost cause, Tom Connelly struggled valiantly against all odds to defeat a formidable foe. And like that army, he lost."
--Walter B. Edgar, University of South Carolina