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of March, 1846, General Taylor made a forward movement to Point Isabel, which commanded the mouth of the Rio Grande. In spite of a protest and some acts of hostility committed by the Mexicans, a fortification was erected opposite Matamoras, afterward known as Fort Brown. On the 12th of April General Ampudia addressed a letter to General Taylor, requiring him to withdraw to the left bank of the Nueces, or that arms alone must decide the question. A little later, the Mexicans captured Captain Thornton and 60 men, and committed other overt acts of war; and, finally, threatened General Taylor's communications with Point Isabel, his base of supply. To reestablish his communications and secure his base, General Taylor marched with his army to Point Isabel, leaving a small but sufficient garrison in the fort. The Mexicans opened upon the fort with a heavy bombardment, by which the commander, Major Brown, was killed; but the garrison held out until relieved by the successes of the Ameri
other defenses, as they advanced; and, after a series of desperate charges, they were compelled to fall back. In this charge, the Sixth Mississippi, under Colonel Thornton, lost more than 800 killed and wounded out of an effective force of 425 men. It was at this point that Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Bate fell, severely wolonel Hill, the Twenty-fourth Tennessee, under Colonel Peebles, and the Second Tennessee, under Colonel Bate, passing to the left; and the Sixth Mississippi, Colonel Thornton, and the Twenty-third Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Neil, attacking on the right, with the Fifteenth Arkansas, Lieutenant-Colonel Patton, which was deployed h Mississippi and Twenty-third Tennessee suffered a quick and bloody repulse, though the Sixth Mississippi made charge after charge. Its two field-officers, Colonel Thornton and Major Lowry, were both wounded. The impetuous courage and tenacity of this magnificent regiment deserved a better fate. The fighting had been murderous
refreshed ourselves. But ere I attempt to give details of the important engagement of the morrow, I must be permitted, in a short digression, to speak of important movements that were taking place all night long within the Federal lines. Mr. Thornton, an English gentleman, possessed of a very large and handsome estate about a mile northward of Centreville, and, being of Southern sentiments, left his plantation on the approach of McDowell's forces, (on Wednesday night,) and fled with his frred at repeatedly. Penetrating the woods by cow-paths well known to him, (being an extensive stock-raiser,) he finally succeeded in crossing the Run, and set off post-haste for the nearest Headquarters. It was past two. A. M. on Sunday when Mr. Thornton ushered himself into the presence of Colonel Nathan Evans, who commanded a brigade near Stone Bridge. Evans listened to the narration, asked important questions,--and, arriving at conclusions, maliciously showed his white teeth with a wicked
ch of forest that had been gallantly defended. But the grim Stonewall soon rallied his men, and, having been reinforced, drove back the Yankees in his turn for several miles with great slaughter. About mid-day I was sent by General Stuart to our cavalry with orders that they should press forward, in corresponding movement with the infantry, up the bank of the Potomac. At the moment of passing the 3d Virginia Cavalry, as I was exchanging some friendly words with its gallant commander, Colonel Thornton, a piece of a shell tore off his left arm very near to the shoulder, from which wound he died in great agony a few hours afterwards. By the time I had returned to my general, the fighting in Jackson's front had ceased a little, and both the combatants seemed to be taking breath after the terrible struggle that had been maintained with such resolution for hours; but on our right, where, up to this moment, all had been comparatively quiet, the firing grew louder and more continuous. Lon
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Advance of the Army-crossing the Colorado-the Rio Grande (search)
s reached. The work of fortifying was commenced at once. The fort was laid out by the engineers, but the work was done by the soldiers under the supervision of their officers, the chief engineer retaining general directions. The Mexicans now became so incensed at our near approach that some of their troops crossed the river above us, and made it unsafe for small bodies of men to go far beyond the limits of camp. They captured two companies of dragoons, commanded by Captains [Seth B.] Thornton and [William J.] Hardee. The latter figured as a general in the late war, on the Confederate side, and was author of the tactics first used by both armies. Lieutenant Theodric Porter, of the 4th infantry, was killed while out with a small detachment; and Major [Trueman] Cross, the assistant quartermaster-general, had also been killed not far from camp. There was no base of supplies nearer than Point Isabel on the coast, north of the mouth of the Rio Grande and twenty-five miles away.
The Atlanta (Georgia) Campaign: May 1 - September 8, 1864., Part I: General Report. (ed. Maj. George B. Davis, Mr. Leslie J. Perry, Mr. Joseph W. Kirkley), chapter 22 (search)
a, Ga., September 11, 1864. Captain: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-eighth Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry in the campaign: The regiment left Chattanooga May 28, on its return to the field from veteran furlough, and reported at Rossville, by order of General Steedman, to take charge of and escort a drove of cattle to IResaca. Arrived at Resaca June 2, 1864. There the drove, numbering over 1,200 head, was transferred to Captain Thornton, commissary of subsistence. He called upon me for guard to the front, showing authority from General Sherman for his demand. Addition had been made to the drove, making over 1,700 head, thereby entailing very heavy guard upon the regiment, which numbered only 180 effective men. Arrived at Acworth, Ga., June 8. June 9, were relieved and reported to the brigade. June 10, moved with the brigade, and participated in the operations before Pine Top and in the advance upon the Kenesaw line.
nd on many occasions the family bought of him at his own prices. He shipped, and indeed sometimes purchased, the fruit crops of the Davis families, and also of other people in The bend; and, in one instance, credited one of us with $2,000 on his account. The bills were presented by him with promptitude and paid, as were those of others on an independent footing, without delay. He many times borrowed from his master, but was equally as exact in his dealings with his creditors. His sons, Thornton and Isaiah, first learned to work, and then were carefully taught by their father to read, write, and cipher, and now Ben Montgomery's sons are both responsible men of property; one is in business in Vicksburg, and the other is a thriving farmer in the West. A letter from Isaiah is given in another part of this memoir. After the war the Montgomery family purchased our two plantations, The Hurricane and The Brierfield, and the preference was given to them over a Northern man, well en
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 13: the capture of New Orleans. (search)
ell. Commodore Farragut, in the mean time, was having a rough time of it, as he said. While battling with the forts, a huge fire-raft, pushed by the Manassas, came suddenly upon him, all a-blaze. In trying to avoid this, the Hartford was run aground, and the incendiary came crashing alongside of her. In a moment, said Farragut, the ship was one blaze all along the port side, half way up to the main and mizzen tops. But thanks to the good organization of the fire department, by Lieutenant Thornton, the flames were extinguished, and at the same time we backed off and got clear of the raft. All this time we were pouring shells into the forts, and they into us, and now and then a rebel steamer would get under our fire and receive our salutation of a broadside. The Hartford. Before the fleet had fairly passed the forts, the Confederate gunboats and rams appeared and took part in the battle, producing a scene at once awful and grand. The noise of twenty mortars and two hun
st encounter of the war took place at Philippi, a small town two hundred and ten miles from Richmond. On the 2d of June, General Morris determined to endeavor to drive from this town the rebel force there, under Colonel Porterfield. The attacking force consisted of five regiments, formed in two columns,--the first under Colonel Kelley, the second under Colonel Dumont, accompanied by Colonel (afterwards the lamented General) Lander. Colonel Kelley's column moved towards Philippi by way of Thornton, a distance of twenty-seven miles, partly by railroad. The other column moved directly on Philippi in front. This one reached its destination early on the 3d, notwithstanding deep mud and heavy rain, and at once opened fire from two pieces of artillery upon the enemy, who began a retreat, which was turned into a complete rout when Colonel Kelley, (who had been greatly impeded by the state of the roads) came up and joined in the attack. The enemy left behind them their camp-equipage, seve
William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman ., volume 1, Chapter 4: California. 1855-1857. (search)
o prevent collision if possible, and the newspapers boiled over with vehement vituperation. This second committee was composed of such men as Crockett, Ritchie, Thornton, Bailey Peyton, Foote, Donohue, Kelly, and others, a class of the most intelligent and wealthy men of the city, who earnestly and honestly desired to prevent bloof the Conciliation party, who had come up in the same steamer with me, asked for admission and came in. I recall the names of Crockett, Foote, Bailey Peyton, Judge Thornton, Donohue, etc., and the conversation became general, Wool trying to explain away the effect of our misunderstanding, taking good pains not to deny his promiseollowers denounced them as no better than Vigilantes, and wanted the Governor to refuse even to receive them. I explained that they were not Vigilantes, that Judge Thornton was a Law-and-order man, was one of the first to respond to the call of the sheriff, and that he went actually to the jail with his one arm the night we expec
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