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A. Thorndike

A. Thorndike

Federal (USV)


Albert Thorndike

(1837 - 1885)

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 19th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

He had been ship's clerk on the John Tucker from Boston to Calcutta in 1857, returning on the Hindostan in 1859-60. As a 24 year old machinist from Beverly, he enlisted as Private in Company I, 8th Massachusetts Infantry for three months on 30 April 1861 and mustered out on 1 August 1861 in Boston. He was then commissioned First Lieutenant, Company H, 19th Massachusetts on 25 October 1861.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

An article in the Salem Register describes it.

Lieut. Thorndike, Co. H, 19th Mass., who was wounded in the battle of Antietam, is now at his home in Beverly, in a fair way of recovery. His wound was made by a minie ball passing through his body; entering at the upper edge of his left waistcoat pocket and passing out at the lower part of the pocket on his right side. The direction of the ball was diagonal from side to side. Distance between the entrance and outlet about seven inches. The surface of the abdomen exhibits no marks of violence or inflammation except at the entrance and outlet of the ball. Ten days after the accident, about half the ball was extracted from its lodgment near the outlet of the wound. Six days after this an inch of his gold watch chain, which had been cut off and carried before the ball, was extracted from the same place. Lieut. Thorndike is a very spare man, and was stooping forward in a semi-erect position when he received the ball. Had it not been for these favoring circumstances of position and habit, it is hardly credible that a ball should traverse the abdomen between its external and internal walls for the space of seven inches, without doing violence to the peritoneum; or to the skin except at the point of entrance and exit.
He resigned his commission and was discharged 12 November 1862.

References & notes

Basic information from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines1. Further details from his gravesite at Findagrave and the Chronicle [pdf] of the Beverly Historical Society. The quote above, from the Register of 9 October 1862, page 2, and the photograph here kindly provided by Dave Hann.


10/10/1837; Beverly, MA


9/08/1885; in MA; burial in Central Cemetery, Beverly, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 1, pg. 540; Vol. 2, pg. 473  [AotW citation 12501]