Thornsbury Bailey Brown
|Born||May 15, 1829|
|Died||May 22, 1861 32) (aged|
Fetterman, West Virginia
|Allegiance|| United States of America |
|Service/||Grafton Guards militia (Union Army)|
|Years of service||1861|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Thornsbury Bailey Brown (May 15, 1829 – May 22, 1861) of Taylor County, Virginia (now West Virginia) is generally considered the first Union soldier killed by a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War. Brown, a member of a Virginia militia or volunteer company which supported the Union with the grade of private, was killed by a member of a Virginia militia or volunteer company which supported the Confederacy at Fetterman, Virginia (now West Virginia) on May 22, 1861. The members of both companies were from the same general vicinity of Taylor County.
Taylor County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,895. Its county seat is Grafton. The county was formed in 1844. and named for Senator John Taylor of Caroline.
During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the Union, also known as the North, referred to the United States of America and specifically to the national government of President Abraham Lincoln and the 20 free states and four border and slave states that supported it. The Union was opposed by 11 southern slave states that formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the Confederacy" or "the South".
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.
On May 22, 1861, two members of the Grafton Guards,Lieutenant Daniel Wilson and Private Thornsbury Bailey Brown went from Grafton, Virginia to a rally in Pruntytown, Virginia to recruit men for the Union army. When they returned that evening, they encountered three members of a Virginia militia company with Confederate sympathies, George E. Glenn, Daniel W. S. Knight, and William Reese of the Letcher Guards, who were on picket duty at the Fetterman Bridge. The Letcher Guards would become a company of the Confederate 25th Virginia Infantry Regiment. The bridge was located at the crossing of the Northwestern Turnpike with the tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The pickets ordered Wilson and Brown to halt. Brown responded, possibly at Wilson's order to test the Confederates, by firing his pistol. The shot injured Knight's ear. Knight, and perhaps his two companions, then fired at Brown and killed him. According to the official and more generally accepted story, T. Bailey Brown thus became the first Union combat death of the American Civil War, or perhaps more precisely, the first Union soldier to be killed by a Confederate soldier during the Civil War.
Grafton is a city in — and the county seat of — Taylor County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 5,164 at the 2010 census. Both of West Virginia's national cemeteries are located in Grafton. Mother's Day was founded in Grafton on May 10, 1908 and the city is home to the International Mother's Day Shrine.
Pruntytown is an unincorporated community at the junction of the Northwestern Turnpike and U.S. Route 250 in Taylor County, West Virginia, USA. It is the site of the former West Virginia Industrial Home for Boys, now the Pruntytown Correctional Center.
Fetterman is an unincorporated community or populated place located in Taylor County, West Virginia. The elevation is 1,024 feet (312 m). Fetterman appears on the Grafton U.S. Geological Survey Map. Taylor County is in the Eastern time zone (UTC-5) and in postal zip code 26354. Fetterman was one of the early settlements in what became Taylor County, Virginia,. It was located at the crossing of the Tygart Valley River by the Northwestern Turnpike.
At the Fort Sumter surrender ceremony, on April 14, 1861, Union Private Daniel Hough was killed and Private Edward Galloway was mortally wounded when a Union cannon or shells near the cannon accidentally exploded while the Union garrison was giving a cannon fire salute to the American flag. These deaths were accidents, however, and were not due to enemy fire.The famous death of the first Union Army officer to be killed during the war, Union Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, who was killed at Alexandria, Virginia while taking down a secessionist flag by hotel owner James W. Jackson, who was a Confederate sympathizer, occurred two days later than the incident in which Brown was killed, May 24, 1861. Assuming the incident at Fetterman was not a battle, the first Union soldier to be killed in battle was a Private Saintclair of the 2d U.S. Cavalry Regiment who was killed at the Battle of Fairfax Court House (June 1861) on June 1, 1861. The web site of a Civil War re-enactor group states with respect to the picket duty performed by the regiment in the early days of the war, and obviously with reference to the Battle of Arlington Mills, also on June 1, 1861: "21-year-old Henry S. Cornell of Company G, a member of Engine Co. 13, was killed and another man wounded one night on the picket line." Eighteen Union soldiers were killed at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861.
The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina by the South Carolina militia, and the return gunfire and subsequent surrender by the United States Army, that started the American Civil War. Following the declaration of secession by South Carolina on December 20, 1860, its authorities demanded that the U.S. Army abandon its facilities in Charleston Harbor. On December 26, Major Robert Anderson of the U.S. Army surreptitiously moved his small command from the vulnerable Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island to Fort Sumter, a substantial fortress built on an island controlling the entrance of Charleston Harbor. An attempt by U.S. President James Buchanan to reinforce and resupply Anderson using the unarmed merchant ship Star of the West failed when it was fired upon by shore batteries on January 9, 1861. South Carolina authorities then seized all Federal property in the Charleston area except for Fort Sumter.
Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth was a law clerk and United States Army soldier who was the first conspicuous casualty and the first Union officer to die in the American Civil War. He was killed while removing a Confederate flag from the roof of the Marshall House inn in Alexandria, Virginia.
James W. Jackson was an ardent secessionist and the proprietor of the Marshall House, an inn located in the city of Alexandria, Virginia, at the beginning of the American Civil War. He is known for flying a large Confederate flag atop his inn that was visible to President Abraham Lincoln from Washington, D.C. and for killing Col. Elmer Ellsworth in an incident that marked the first conspicuous casualty and the first killing of a Union officer in the Civil War. Jackson was killed immediately after he killed Ellsworth. While losing their lives, both gained fame as martyrs to their respective causes.
At least two accounts add an aspect to the story of Brown's death which has raised questions about its combat status or even whether it was war related. The first account states that at an earlier date Brown had turned Knight over to the sheriff for stealing a cow.This may suggest a personal motive for the shooting and call into question whether Knight's killing of Brown was in fact combat related or perhaps was instead a matter of revenge. Another account states that Knight had vowed revenge at the time of his earlier arrest and that at the confrontation on May 22, 1861 Brown was agitated that a known trouble-maker such as Knight was blocking his path. Regardless of the technicalities of transfer of militia units to Union and Confederate forces or whether the confrontation of Brown with Knight was a combat situation or had a personal aspect, Brown and Knight encountered each other as soldiers, at least militia, for their respective causes and Brown was the first Northern or Union supporting soldier to be killed by a Southern or Confederate supporting soldier in the Civil War.
The Confederates took Brown's body to their camp and their commander, Colonel George A. Porterfield at first refused to return the body. When they learned of this refusal to return Brown's body, a group of the Union-oriented Grafton Guards militia company, under Captain George R. Latham, started for the Confederate camp in order to take the body by force if necessary when it was met by a group of Confederates who were returning the body to Grafton.Initially, Brown was buried in a family plot.
George Alexander Porterfield was a junior officer of United States forces in the Mexican–American War, colonel, in the Confederate States Army during the first year of the American Civil War and longtime banker in Charles Town, West Virginia after the war. He was in command of Confederate forces at Philippi in northwestern Virginia, later West Virginia, when they were surprised and routed, though with only a few soldiers wounded or captured, by Union Army forces on June 3, 1861 near the beginning of the Civil War. After serving in staff and temporary field positions for 11 more months, Porterfield resigned from the Confederate Army because he lost his position in a regimental election. In 1871 he helped found a bank at Charles Town, West Virginia which he served for many years. At his death, he was the third-last surviving veteran officer of the Mexican–American War.
George Robert Latham was a 19th-century Virginia farmer, lawyer and politician who helped found the state of West Virginia during the American Civil War, during which he served as a colonel in the Union Army. He later served one term in the United States House of Representatives representing West Virginia's 2nd congressional district(1864-1866), as well as became U.S. Consul in Melbourne, Australia (1867-1870) before returning to West Virginia to farm and hold various civic offices.
Brown's body was moved to the Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia in June, 1903.A 12-foot-high obelisk commemorating Private Brown as the first Union combat casualty of the war was placed on his grave in the national cemetery in 1928 by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War and a marker also was placed near the spot where he died.
Grafton National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in Grafton, West Virginia. It encompasses a total of 3.2 acres (1.3 ha). Along with West Virginia National Cemetery, it is one of two United States Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries in West Virginia, both of which are located in Grafton. The first interments took place in 1867 for casualties of the American Civil War in West Virginia.
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States, and is also considered to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic Southeast Region. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, and is ranked 38th in population. The capital and largest city is Charleston.
Turner Ashby Jr. was a Confederate cavalry commander in the American Civil War.
The Battle of Philippi formed part of the Western Virginia Campaign of the American Civil War and was fought in and around Philippi, Virginia, on June 3, 1861. A Union victory, it was the first organized land action of the war, though generally viewed as a skirmish rather than a battle. However, the Northern press celebrated it as an epic triumph and this encouraged Congress to call for the drive on Richmond that ended with the Union defeat at First Bull Run in July. It brought overnight fame to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and was notable for the first battlefield amputations. It also encouraged more of the western counties of Virginia to join the Union. Roughly half had already sent delegates to the May Wheeling Convention, which called for the creation of New Virginia and voted to repeal the Commonwealth's ordinance of secession.
The Battle of Big Bethel was one of the earliest land battles of the American Civil War. It took place on the Virginia Peninsula, near Newport News, on June 10, 1861.
The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, also known as "Duryée's Zouaves", was a volunteer infantry regiment of the Union Army, during the American Civil War, led by Colonel Abram Duryée. Modeled, like other Union and Confederate infantry regiments, on the French Zouaves of Crimean War fame, its tactics and uniforms were different from those of the standard infantry.
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The 1st West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. During its period of service, the regiment was known as the 1st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, but often referred to with, "Union," "Loyal" or "West" in front to distinguish it from Virginia regiments.
The 7th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment from the State of Indiana that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
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The 135th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
The First Light Division of Maryland Volunteers was a militia unit based in Baltimore and formed in around 1841. Its commander was the militia general George H. Steuart. Elements of the division participated in the suppression of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859, but its members found themselves in a difficult position at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. Many of the citizen volunteers, especially the senior command, wished to secede from the Union and join the Confederate States of America. However, Maryland remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War and as a consequence of this the division was disbanded. Many of its members left Maryland and went south to fight for the Confederacy.
The 152nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
The 153rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
The 3rd Infantry, Arkansas State Troops (1861) was an Arkansas State infantry regiment that served during the American Civil War. The regiment was designated as the 2nd Infantry, Arkansas State Troops, by the State Military Board, but it was named the 3rd Arkansas by Brigadier General Nicholas Bartlett Pearce, Commander, 1st Division, Provisional Army of Arkansas. The regiment is generally referred to as the "3rd Regiment, Arkansas State Troops", or "Gratiot's Regiment" in contemporary accounts. This unit is distinguished from the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment which served in the Eastern Theater of War in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The unit is also distinguished from a later state organization known as Adams' 3rd Arkansas State Troops, which was organized in 1862 and participated in the Battle of Prairie Grove before being disbanded.
John Quincy Marr was a Virginia militia company captain and the first Confederate soldier killed by a Union soldier in combat during the American Civil War. Marr was killed at the Battle of Fairfax Court House, Virginia on June 1, 1861. Previously one of Fauquier County's two delegates to the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861, Marr initially opposed his state's secession from the Union but ultimately supported secession, as did voters shortly before his fatal skirmish.
The 82nd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the "Second Militia," "Second Regiment N. Y. S. Light Infantry," or "State Guards", was an infantry regiment of the Union Army during the American Civil War.
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The 6th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia was a peacetime infantry regiment that was activated for federal service in the Union army for three separate terms during the American Civil War. The regiment gained notoriety as the first unit in the Union army to suffer fatal casualties in action during the Civil War in the Baltimore Riot and the first militia unit to arrive in Washington D.C. in response to President Abraham Lincoln's initial call for 75,000 troops. Private Luther C. Ladd of the 6th Massachusetts is often referred to as the first Union soldier killed in action during the war.