Title: Army Private, Civil War, Killed in Action
Birthdate: October 1845
Death Date: August 30, 1862
Plot Location: Section 40, Lot 143
Thomas was born in October 1845 to Scottish immigrants who settled in Philadelphia. Many of the men who fought in the Civil War were just boys, and Thomas was just 15 when he exaggerated his age to enlist. He became a private with Company D of the 88th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. The 88th was organized in September, 1861 and was on duty at various locations throughout northern Virginia until August of 1862.
Then they took part in the Second Battle of Bull Run, where, only 30 miles west of Washington DC, the Confederate troops were victorious, as they were the first time they met there. Because of this, General Lee felt confident he could push farther north, into Union territory, which led to the deadliest battle of the war, at Gettysburg. However, Thomas was among roughly 1700 Union soldiers that lost their lives in this two-day fight named after a small stream near Manassas, Virginia.
Most of those who died, including Thomas, were buried there, just to the north of town, although some were re-buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The Muster-Out Roll says he died at age 19 but he was actually not quite 17. This gravestone is a cenotaph, a tribute to someone who is buried somewhere else. His parents and a sister are buried here next to his memorial marker, in Section 40, Lot 143.
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