Born 25 April 1824 Baldwin, Randolph Co. Illinois Died 3 Oct 1890 Dunnegan, Polk Co. Missouri Buried Dunnegan Cemetery





Researched and Prepared by Carolyn Whitaker, great great granddaughter

18 May 2011

Grandfather Arch grew to manhood on the farm where he was born and learned the cooper trade from his father, Archibald Thompson, Jr and Elizabeth Anderson. Later he went to New Athens and ran a cooper shop there. With his brother, James, he owned and operated a steamboat on the Mississippi River for several years. The boat was named the "WILD DUCK". He was nicknamed "TOWNY" by his family and was always called that at home. He was the only Republican in his family and the only one of his brothers to serve in the Civil War. It’s little wonder why they didn’t, due to their staunch Southern Presbyterian (old Scottish Kirk) heritage, both parents were born in Abbeville, South Carolina where his great grandparents, Robert Thompson and Mary Dorris, had settled when they immigrated at Charleston Harbor from Northern Ireland with his family in the middle 1760’s. He was the 3rd Archibald Thompson in his direct line of descent.

I guess his fate to fight against his Southern brothers was set from the beginning of his regiment’s mission when they boarded the boats at Cairo, Illinois. His military service records and his pension file give a bird’s eye view of the plight that they would endure on this journey in the middle of winter. While on the swollen Ohio River their boat nearly sunk and they were exposed to the winter elements. By the time they landed just outside of Fort Henry, he was totally exhausted and caught a bad cold and he went downhill from that point. It appears he may have been with them on the march of troops for the attack on Fort Henry by roads that were knee deep in mud and sick as a dog trying to lead his men as their Captain. However, he never made it to another battle. On February 12, 1862 when his regiment was ordered to Fort Donelson he was unable to travel, left behind, and laid sick and unattended for days in a tent at Fort Henry on the Tennessee River in the middle of a snow storm. He was finally forced to resign his command due to ill health on March 28, 1862 at Savannah, Tennessee, on the recommendation of William H Medcalfe, Surgeon. How he got home is a wonderment to me. Sort of a blessing in disguise, he missed the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh, but lay in a tent listening to the roar of the navy's guns and cries of his comrades going on around him. Some of them burned to death in the fires. The soldier, Private OWEN HANOWEN, who attended him while he was sick drowned after the Battle of Fort Donelson on 20 Feb 1862, and his Colonel, William Ralls Morrison was wounded and carried off the battlefield at Fort Donelson.



On February 3, 1862 nine transports carrying some 15,000 troops, animals, supplies, and artillery batteries slipped away from their moorings at Cairo and steamed slowly upstream against the rain-swollen current of the Ohio. Picking up Foote's escort of four ironclad and three timberclad gun boats, they reached Paducah and turned southward, up the Tennessee River.

February 4th and 5th boats land north of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River

Capture of Fort Henry, Tennessee February 6, 1862 1st Union victory on Western Theatre

Capture of Fort Donelson, Tennessee February 11-16, 1862 Union victory

War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, October 30, 1882

It appears from the rolls on file in this office that ARCHIBALD W THOMPSON was mustered into service of the United States as Captain Co “I” 49th Regiment of Illinois Vols, to date December 31, 1861, to serve 3 years or during the war.

On the Muster roll of Company I of that Regiment for the months of to December 31, 1861, he is reported Captain Present.

January and February 1862 Present

Company left Fort Henry February 12, 1862

The following is a copy of the Surgeon’s certificate upon which his resignation accepted March 28, 1862 was based.

This will certify that I have carefully examined Capt Archibald W Thompson of Cobb, Randolph Co Ill now commanding Company I 49th Regiment Illinois Volunteers

And find that in consequence of his declining health he will be totally incapacitated from longer remaining in the army of the United States. Dated at Savannah Dep in Tenn, this 20th day of March 1862.

Sd) Wm H Medcalfe, Surgeon 49th Regt ILL Vols

Regimental records furnish no evidence of disability.

M Q???, Assistant Adjutant General, The Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D. C.

National Archives, Washington, D.C, Soldier’s Certificate No 436058

Declaration for an original Invalid Pension

State of Illinois, County of Randolph

On this 19th day of November A.D. 1880 personally appeared before me Clerk of the County Court, a Court of Record within and for the county and State aforesaid, A. W. THOMPSON, aged 56 years, who being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical A. W. THOMPSON who was enrolled on the 31th day of December, 1861, in Company “I” of the 49th regiment of ILL inft vol COMMANDED BY Col Wm R Morrison, and was honorably discharged at Savannah, Tenn, on the 28th March, 1862, that his personal description is as follows: age 56 years; height 5 feet 8 inches; complexion dark; hair black; eyes hazel. That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and to the time of his duty at Ft Henry, in the State of Tennessee on or about the 12th of February, 1862 he was attacked with chronic diarrhea and heart disease and also affection of the kidneys, all of said diseases have continued from said date, until the present time, and that said diseases are growing worse from year to year, all of which was caused by exposure while on transports at Ft Henry and while landing at said place as above stated.

That he was treated in hospitals as follows: was treated by the Rigimental Surgeon but was not treated in hospital. That he has not been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than as stated above. Enlisted Dec 31, 1861 and was discharged March 28th, 1862. That since leaving the service this applicant has resided in the County of Randolph & State of Illinois & in the State of Missouri, and his occupation has been that of a farmer. That he is now totally disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor, by reason of his injuries, above described, received in the service of the United States; and he therefore makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the Invalid pension roll of the United States. He hereby appoints with full power of substitution and revocation, R. P. THOMPSON of Chester, Illinois his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. That he has not received nor applied for a pension; that his residence now Missouri and that his post office address is now Baldwin, Randolph Co ILL and he wishes his mail matter sent to said P.O.

A.W. THOMPSON, Late Capt Co I 49th ILL Vol

General Affidavit

State of Illinois, County of Randolph,

In the matter of Invalid Pension Claim No of ARCHIBALD W THOMPSON, late Capt Co. I, 49th ILL Inf.

On this 7th day of April A.D. 1888, personally appeared before me a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid County duly authorized to administer oaths, A. B. BEATTIE (ANDREW BOWERS BEATTIE) aged 52 years, a resident of Red Bud in the County of Randolph and State of Illinois whose Post Office address is Red Bud, Illinois, is well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declared in relation to aforesaid case as follows:

I was the Surgeon in charge of the 49th Regt Illinois volunteers, commanded by Col Wm R Morrison when transferred up the Tennessee river in February 1862 to the siege of Fort Henry, Tennessee; I was well acquainted with ARCHIBALD W THOMPSON, Capt of Company I of said reg- continuously and had been acquainted with him over ten years, and knew he was a sound and healthy man prior to that trip. On this trip in the night, and on the Ohio river, the boat came near sinking, and Capt Thompson was fatigued and exposed to the cold, and the next day, about February 12th, 1862, he became sick, but remained with the company until it landed and camped near Fort Henry. The regiment was ordered, I believe the next day, to Fort Donelson, Tennessee, but Capt Thompson was sick and unable to travel, and by my advise and, I believe Col. Morrison’s order, he remained in the Fort Henry camp. There he was sick ten days without medical attention—regiment being engaged before Fort Donelson. He continued sick and resigned on account of said sickness at Savannah, Tennessee.

I have known Capt Thompson since our return from the army,, and know he has remained diseased and sickly man, unable to perform meanal labor more than one half, and I believe the diseases were contracted as above stated, when in the army. I further declare, Capt Thompson was taken with a very severe cold, cough and congestion of the skin, and then diarrhea and finally congestion of the kidneys.

Affiant further declare that he has no interest in said case and is not concerned to its prosecution, and that it is impossible for him to remember the treatment given to Capt Thompson, the claimant and that he is a practicing physician since the last 28 years.



State of Missouri, County of Polk

In the matter of Pension Claim of Capt Archibald W Thompson No 422086 Personally came before me a Notary public in and for aforesaid County and State, ARCHIBALD W THOMPSON aged 65 years citizen of the Town of Dunnegan, County of Polk, State of Mifsouri, well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn, declare in relation to the aforesaid case, as follows:

That for me to furnish positive evidence now that I suffered with heart and kidney disease while in the military service of the United States is out of the question at this date, for the only person that staid in the tent with me and waited on me while sick at Ft Henry, Tenn in Jan & Feb 1862 was private OWEN HANOWEN who was drowned at Ft Donelson Tenn shortly afterwards before the regt left there, and Dr Medcalf our head surgeon being dead before or about the time that I made application for a pension, and on his advice I tendered my resignation, I know of no other person living that could testify positive to the above. But I am fully convinced in my mind that I have both heart and kidney disease, of kidnies from the terable pain all the time in my back and two free discharge of water of heart from the fact that at short intervals my heart stops beating or my breathing stops and it is difficult for me to tell just which; but as the board of Surgeons at Springfield MO has decided against me I demand an appeal from them to the pension department and rest the case there.


Affadavit Dr William Denby, M.D. of Walnut Grove, Greene Co. Missouri

10 Dec 1890

In the matter of the Pension Claim of Ellen E Thompson late widow of Captain Archibald W Thompson, I would say, that I lived in the same village – Dunnegan Springs – with said Captain Archibald W Thompson from November 3rd 1889 to October 2nd, 1890 and that I prescribed for him during that time, he was suffering with chronic diarrhea and ulceration of the bowels as a sequence of chronic diarrhea. I regarded him, also, as suffering with blood poison.

Some 10 days before his death he stuck the point of his knife in the back of his left hand not far from the first joint of the forefinger, inflammation from the cut began almost immediately, which I regarded as a sequence of his existing disease. I have been a practioner of medicine 31 years. I have no interest in the prosecution of this claim. My P.O. address is Walnut Grove, Mo. Greene County.

William Denby, M.D.

Soldiers and Sailors


49th Regiment, Illinois Infantry

Organized at Camp Butler, Ill., and mustered in December 31, 1861. Moved to Cairo, Ill., thence to Fort Henry, Tenn., February 8-10, 1862. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, District of Cairo, February, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, District of West Tennessee, and Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1862. 3rd Brigade, District of Jackson, Tenn., to November, 1862. Post of Bethel, District of Jackson, 13th Army Corps (Old), Department of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. Post of Bethel, District of Jackson, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1863. 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps, to May, 1863. 4th Brigade, District of Memphis, Tenn., 5th Division, 16th Army Corps, to July, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps, to August, 1863. True's Brigade, Arkansas Expedition, to November, 1863. Gilbert's Brigade, District of Memphis, Tenn., 5th Division, 16th Army Corps, to January, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to June, 1864, and Dept. of the Tennessee to November, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Smith's Detachment, Army of the Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to December, 1864. Garrison, Paducah, Ky., Dept. of Kentucky, to September, 1865.

SERVICE.-Investment and capture of Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 12-16, 1862. Moved to Savannah, thence to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., March 5-25. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. March to Bethel, Tenn., June 4, and Post duty there till March, 1863. Moved to Germantown and White's Station, Tenn., March 10-12, and guard R. R. till August 10. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., thence to Helena and Brownsville, Ark., August 21-September 2. Steele's Expedition against Little Rock September 2-10. Bayou Fourche and capture of Little Rock September 10. Moved to Duvall's Bluff, thence to Memphis, Tenn., November 15-21, and duty there till January, 1864. Regiment veteranize January 15, 1864. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., January 27-February 2. Meridian Campaign February 3-March 2. Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Fort De Russy March 14. Occupation of Alexandria March 16. Battle of Pleasant Hill April 9. About Cloutiersville, Cane River, April 22-24. Occupation of Alexandria April 26-May 13. Governor Moore's Plantation and Bayou Roberts May 3-7 and 11. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Yellow Bayou May 18. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., thence to Memphis, Tenn., May 22-June 10. Old River Lake (or Lake Chicot), Ark., June 6. Skirmish near Lafayette June 29. Smith's Expedition to Tupelo, Miss., July 5-21. Near Camargo's Cross Roads, Harrisburg, July 13. Harrisburg, near Tupelo, July 14-15. Tishamingo Creek (or Old Town), July 15. Expedition to Oxford, Miss., August 1-30. Hurricane Creek August 13-14. Abbeville August 23. Moved to Jefferson Barracks, Mo., and in pursuit of Price through Missouri September to November. Franklin, Mo., October 1 and October 30. Moved from St. Louis, Mo., to Nashville, Tenn., November 21-December 1. Battle of Nashville, Tenn., December 15-16. Pursuit to Tennessee River December 17-28. Ordered to Paducah, Ky., December 29, and garrison duty there till September, 1865. Mustered out September 9, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 7 Officers and 72 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 5 Officers and 170 Enlisted men by disease. Total 254.

18 May 2011-2012 Copyright Carolyn Whitaker