(1821 - 1906)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Command Billet: Battery Commander
Branch of Service: Artillery
Unit: Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Independent Battery C
see his Battle Report
Born in Ireland, Thompson had served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, having enlisted in 1844. He was discharged as Sergeant in 1856, and then emigrated to the US. He was a painter in Pittsburgh and was appointed Captain of light artillery 24 September 1861.
On the Campaign
Of the ferocious combat in and near Miller's Cornfield on the 17th, Capt Thompson later remembered details -
"Loss in this engagement thirteen men, two of whom were detailed from the 150th New York Infantry, father and son, from the effects of their wounds they died in Smoketown Hospital, Maryland; eighteen of twenty-four horses under fire killed, the right gun disabled from musket balls, nine balls pass through the lid of the limber chest while up serving ammunition and the felloes of this gun were cut to pieces; the gun carriage and limber were condemned and we draw another in their place."
"Another strange incident of this engagement was that Private Michael Sullivan while carrying a shell from the limber chest to the gun, a Confederate shell exploded near him, the flash of which ignites the fuses in the shell he was carrying, it exploded tearing all his clothes off and wounding him severely. He got well, though never able to return to the service."1
The rest of the War
He continued in command of the battery for the duration of the war with further combat at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg (where he was wounded) and in the Virginia actions of late 1863 - early 1864. Battery C served the remainder of the War in the defenses of Washington. He was honored by brevets to Major and Lieutenant Colonel on 13 March 1865 and mustered out with his battery on 30 June 1865.
After the War
He returned to Pittsburgh.
References & notes
05/08/1821; County Down, IRELAND
03/13/1906; Ingram, PA; burial in Union Dale Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA
1 From Capt Thompson's sketch of the Battery's history, given at the dedication of their monument at Gettysburg, PA, 1904. Transcribed online by Gary V. Hoover.
Hoover, Gary V., A Short History Of Independent Battery "C" Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, Thompson's Independent Battery, Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, Published 2004, first accessed 22 June 2005, <http://www.thompsons-battery-c.org/thompsonhistory1.htm>, Source page: /thompsonwrittenhistory.htm [AotW citation 109]
2 Hoover, Gary V., A Short History Of Independent Battery "C" Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, Thompson's Independent Battery, Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, Published 2004, first accessed 22 June 2005, <http://www.thompsons-battery-c.org/thompsonhistory1.htm>, Source page: / [AotW citation 110]
3 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 21225]