Charles Mynn Thruston

Last updated
Charles Mynn Thruston
Charles Mynn Thruston (1798-1873).jpg
Born(1798-02-22)February 22, 1798
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedFebruary 18, 1873(1873-02-18) (aged 74)
Cumberland, Maryland, U.S.
Place of burial
Rose Hill Cemetery, Cumberland, Maryland
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service18141836, 18611862
Rank Brigadier General
Battles/wars War of 1812
Seminole Wars
American Civil War
Juliana Hughes
(m. 1820)
Relations Buckner Thruston (father)
Charles Mynn Thruston (grandfather)

Charles Mynn Thruston (February 22, 1798 February 18, 1873) was a career U.S. Army officer who retired to Maryland where he became a farmer and politician, then returned to service as a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He served as the mayor of Cumberland, Maryland, from 1861 to 1862.


Early and family life

Thruston was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Kentucky U.S. Senator Buckner Thruston. He was named for his grandfather, Col. Charles Mynn Thruston, who served in the American Revolutionary War and in the Virginia General Assembly. He had at least four brothers and two sisters.

In 1820, he married Juliana Hughes (1798-1881) of Baltimore, and they had at least six sons and two daughters. Their eldest son, William Sydney Thruston (1828-1864), fought for the Union Army as a captain of the 18th U.S. Infantry during the Civil War, but drowned after falling from a boat into the C&O Canal in June 1864.

Military career

In 1814, 16-year-old Thruston graduated from the United States Military Academy, and served during the War of 1812 as an engineer on Governors Island, New York City. After the war, Thruston was promoted to the rank of captain in the artillery branch. He later fought in the Seminole Wars of the 1830s. In 1836, Thruston resigned from the Army and became a farmer in Maryland. Nonetheless, he or a relative owned one 15-year-old Black female slave in Louisville in 1850. [1] In 1860, Thruston owned a 50-year-old enslaved man in Cumberland, Maryland, and his son George's wife Elizabeth owned four slaves (including a boy). [2]

When the Civil War broke out, Thruston was mayor of Cumberland, Maryland, which was a critical railroad hub, as well as start of the National Road and on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal).

On September 7, 1861, Thruston accepted a commission as Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers, with military authority to protect the B&O Railroad from Confederate raiders such as McNeill's Rangers. Being 63 years old at the time, he was one of the oldest generals to serve during the Civil War. However, Thruston had little success at stopping the Confederate raids from destroying railroad track. In April 1862, he resigned his commission and allowed a younger commander to assume the responsibility of protecting the B&O Railroad from the enemy cavalrymen.

Death and legacy

Thruston died in Cumberland, Maryland in 1873, survived by his widow, who in 1881 would be buried beside him in Rose Hill Cemetery on Cumberland's West Side.

See also

Related Research Articles

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Rail system in the United States of America

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the United States, with its first section opening in 1830. Merchants from Baltimore, which had benefited to some extent from the construction of the National Road early in the century, wanted to do business with settlers crossing the Appalachian Mountains. The railroad faced competition from several existing and proposed enterprises, including the Albany-Schenectady Turnpike, built in 1797, the Erie Canal, opened in 1825, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. At first, the B&O was located entirely in the state of Maryland, its original line extending from the port of Baltimore west to Sandy Hook, opened in 1834. There it connected with Harper's Ferry, first by boat, then by the Wager Bridge, across the Potomac River into Virginia, and also with the navigable Shenandoah River.

Border states (American Civil War) Slave states that did not officially secede from the Union during the American Civil War

In the context of the American Civil War (1861–65), the border states were slave states that did not secede from the Union. They were Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, and after 1863, the new state of West Virginia. To their north they bordered free states of the Union and to their south they bordered slave states of the Confederacy, with Delaware being an exception to the latter.

James H. Wilson

James Harrison Wilson was a United States Army topographic engineer and a Union Army Major General in the American Civil War. He served as an aide to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan during the Maryland Campaign before joining Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's army in the Western Theater, where he was promoted to brigadier general. In 1864, he transferred from engineering to the cavalry, where he displayed notable leadership in many engagements of the Overland Campaign, though his attempt to destroy Lee’s supply lines failed when he was routed by a much smaller force of Confederate irregulars.

Jefferson C. Davis American general

Jefferson Columbus Davis was a regular officer of the United States Army during the American Civil War, known for the similarity of his name to that of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and for his killing of a superior officer in 1862.

James Guthrie (Kentucky politician) American politician and businessman (1792–1869)

James Guthrie was an American lawyer, plantation owner, railroad president and Democratic Party politician in Kentucky. He served as the 21st United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin Pierce, and then became president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. After serving, part-time, in both houses of the Kentucky legislature as well as Louisville's City Council before the American Civil War, Guthrie became one of Kentucky's United States Senators in 1865. Guthrie strongly opposed proposals for Kentucky to secede from the United States and attended the Peace Conference of 1861. Although he sided with the Union during the Civil War, he declined President Abraham Lincoln's offer to become the Secretary of War. As one of Kentucky's Senators after the war, Guthrie supported President Andrew Johnson and opposed Congressional Reconstruction.

Charles Champion Gilbert American general

Charles Champion Gilbert was a United States Army officer during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War.

William "Bull" Nelson 18th-century American naval officer and Army general

William "Bull" Nelson was a United States naval officer who became a Union general during the American Civil War.

Samuel P. Carter

Samuel Perry "Powhatan" Carter was a United States naval officer who served in the Union Army as a brevet major general during the American Civil War and became a rear admiral in the postbellum United States Navy. He was the first and thus far only United States officer to have been commissioned both a general officer and a Naval flag officer. C.f.: Joseph D. Stewart, Major General, and Vice Admiral, the USMS being a civilian agency. C.f. also: Rear Admiral and Brigadier General Raphael Semmes, Confederate States Navy and Army.

George Gibbs Dibrell American politician

George Gibbs Dibrell was an American lawyer and a five-term member of the United States House of Representatives from the 3rd Congressional District of Tennessee. He also served as a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and as a railroad executive.

Kentucky in the American Civil War Involvement of the U.S. state of Kentucky in the American Civil War

Kentucky was a border state of key importance in the American Civil War. It officially declared its neutrality at the beginning of the war, but after a failed attempt by Confederate General Leonidas Polk to take the state of Kentucky for the Confederacy, the legislature petitioned the Union Army for assistance. After early 1862 Kentucky came largely under Union control. In the historiography of the Civil War, Kentucky is treated primarily as a border state, with special attention to the social divisions during the secession crisis, invasions and raids, internal violence, sporadic guerrilla warfare, federal-state relations, the ending of slavery, and the return of Confederate veterans.

Louisville, Kentucky, in the American Civil War

Louisville in the American Civil War was a major stronghold of Union forces, which kept Kentucky firmly in the Union. It was the center of planning, supplies, recruiting and transportation for numerous campaigns, especially in the Western Theater. By the end of the war, Louisville had not been attacked once, although skirmishes and battles, including the battles of Perryville and Corydon, took place nearby.

William Preston (Kentucky soldier) Confederate Army general

William Preston was an American lawyer, politician, and ambassador. He also was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

McNeills Rangers Military unit

McNeill's Rangers was an independent Confederate military force commissioned under the Partisan Ranger Act (1862) by the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War. The 210 man unit was formed from Company E of the 18th Virginia Cavalry and the First Virginia Partisan Rangers. After the repeal of the Act on February 17, 1864, McNeill's Rangers was one of two partisan forces allowed to continue operation, the other being 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry. Both of these guerrilla forces operated in the western counties of Virginia and West Virginia. The Rangers were known to exercise military discipline when conducting raids. However, many Union generals considered Captain John Hanson McNeill (1815–1864) and his men to be "bushwhackers," not entitled to protection when captured, as was the case with other prisoners of war.

Confederate Heartland Offensive Confederate military campaign during the American Civil War

The Confederate Heartland Offensive, also known as the Kentucky Campaign, was an American Civil War campaign conducted by the Confederate States Army in Tennessee and Kentucky where Generals Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith tried to draw neutral Kentucky into the Confederacy by outflanking Union troops under Major General Don Carlos Buell. Though they scored some successes, notably a tactical win at Perryville, they soon retreated, leaving Kentucky primarily under Union control for the rest of the war.

Jeremiah Boyle American politician

Jeremiah Tilford Boyle was a successful lawyer and noted abolitionist. He served as a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

George B. Anderson Confederate States Army officer

George Burgwyn Anderson was a career military officer, serving first in the antebellum U.S. Army and then dying from wounds inflicted during the American Civil War while a general officer in the Confederate Army. He was among six generals killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862.

George Baird Hodge American politician

George Baird Hodge was an attorney, Confederate politician, colonel and acting general from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He commanded a cavalry brigade at various times and was paroled as a brigadier general at the end of the war but his appointment as a brigadier general by Confederate President Jefferson Davis was rejected twice by the Confederate States Senate.

Buckner Thruston United States federal judge (1763–1845)

Buckner Thruston was an American lawyer, slaveowner and politician who served as United States Senator from Kentucky as well as in the Virginia House of Delegates and became a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia.

Thruston is a surname and may refer to:

Charles Mynn Thruston was an American farmer, priest, military officer, politician, slaveowner and judge. He represented Frederick County, Virginia in the Second, Third and Fourth Virginia Conventions, then fought as an officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, then represented Frederick County in the Virginia House of Delegates for several terms before moving to the Louisiana Territory, dying in New Orleans.


  1. 1850 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule for Louisville Ward 7, Jefferson County, Kentucky
  2. 1850 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule for Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland p.1 of 1
Preceded by Mayor of Cumberland
Succeeded by