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Thomas Benton Thompson

By : Wayne Stinde 2005




  Thomas Benton Thompson
Born : January 24, 1842
Married : Adaline Jane Mills on March 6, 1867
Died : February 3, 1890
Burial : Richview Township Cemetery
      Thomas Benton Thompson was born on a farm near Richview in Washington County, Illinois, January 24, 1842. He was the first son, second child and one of eleven children born to William and Lily Jane (nee Livesay ) Thompson. As a young lad he helped his father on the family farm. When he was 20 years old our country was in the early stages of the American Civil War. One can only speculate about the patriotic atmosphere surrounding the small southern Illinois town of Richview, but emotions must have been running high and we do know that young Thomas decided to join the fight. The writer has Muster Records of Thomas's Company and the majority are from Richview with the remainder from the surrounding area. Thomas joined for service and was enrolled August 12th 1862 by Colonel P. Morriison for a term of three years, as a member of Company F, Forty Ninth Infantry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. His muster records state that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall with dark hair, blue eyes and of a light complexion.

      After enlistment, Thomas's Unit was moved by train to Bethel, Tennessee, near Pittsburg Landing where the terrible battle at Shiloh had taken place earlier in the year. At Bethel his unit was assigned to the Fourth Brigade. The Brigade moved into Arkansas and participated in the capture and occupation of Little Rock. From there the Brigade moved into Mississippi and was part of the Meridian Campaign around Vicksburg. Moving Further south, the Unit was assigned to the Red River Expedition and captured Fort De Russey in Louisiana. Next was the the battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, then the Oxford expedition and finally back to Memphis. From Memphis the Brigade embarked for Jefferson Barracks and engaged the enemy at Franklin. Thomas's Units last fighting was at the battle for Nashville and for the last few months of the war his unit was assigned Garrison Duty at Paducah Kentucky. During this time Thomas was promoted to the rank of Corporal. Thomas was discharged July 1st, 1865 at Paducah Kentucky, the war had finally ended.

      Thomas returned to Richview, back to the family farm, and to his family. He soon married Adaline Jane Mills, March 6, 1867 in Richview.

The couple had 4 children,from 1867 to 1875, all on the little farm near Richview.

      The war had not been kind to Thomas's health and these issues would be with him for the rest of his life.

      He died February 3, 1890 only a few days after his 47th birthday. He was buried in the Richview Township Cemetery. Adaline Jane, his wife of less than 23 years, would live as a widow for the next 34 years. She passed away December 31, 1924 in Richview and was laid to rest beside her husband.

Adaline Jane Mills
1841 - 1924
      As this short account of Thomas Benton Thompson's life is being written, 140 years after the Civil War, we must comment on what a tragedy it was for the folks living at that time. All of the above listed battles and campaigns mean little to us but stop for a moment and give this a little thought. Ten of the members of Thomas's Company were still in their teens with one being only 15 years old. Can you imagine sending your 15 year old son off to war? Thomas's Company formed in Illinois and for the next three years fought in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisana. Part of the time they were moved by rail or on our waterways, but most of the time they just simply walked or as the military called it marched. The Company endured three winters almost exclusively sleeping in tents. Imagine being outside in all kinds of weather for over three years. Is it any wonder that during the course of the war, more than twice as many men died of disease and sickness as died from enemy fire. All of this took such a toll on these young soldier's lives that many of them never regained their health and suffered for the rest of their time here on earth. What a debt of gratitude we owe to those young men.

Sons of Thomas Benton & Adaline Jane (nee Mills) Thompson


William Simeon THOMPSON

Charles Elbert THOMPSON


William Simeon Thompson's House

Richview Township Cemetery
Richview, Washington County, Illinois




2008    Wayne Hinton
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