Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 01/10/1847 Sandy Creek, New York.  d. 27/02/1906 Denver, Colorado.

 

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/04/1865 White Oak Road, Virginia.

 

Allen and his brother James Granville would both be awarded the Medal of Honor. Both brothers enlisted as privates in the 4th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment; Allen joined from Port Jarvis, New York in June 1863, and was assigned to Company I, while James joined from Sandy Creek, New York in February 1864, and was assigned to Company K; both brothers claimed to be 18 years old at the time of their enlistments. Allen mustered out with the regiment in September 1865. James, who was wounded 2 days after their MOH actions, was discharged the following month.

 

During the Appomattox Campaign of March and April, 1865, their regiment served as infantry rather than artillery and was attached to a brigade in the 1st Division, II Corps, under division commander General Nelson A. Miles.

 

On April 2, 1865, the Thompsons' brigade was pursuing Confederate forces outside of Petersburg, Virginia, following the Union victory at Five Forks the previous day. Upon coming across seemingly deserted enemy fortifications at White Oak Road and fearing an ambush, General Miles called for volunteers to reconnoiter the area. Seven men, including both Thompson brothers, stepped forward. Miles instructed them to advance through the trees to a designated spot in the distance and, once there, to signal back that the way was clear. If they encountered Confederate soldiers, they were to alert the brigade of the enemy's presence by opening fire immediately. The seven men advanced through the trees and were approximately one-fourth of the way to the designated spot when they were surprised by a group of about 50 Confederate soldiers. Ordered to lay down their guns and surrender, the Union men instead chose to fire, even though they were less than 100 feet from the numerically superior enemy force.

 

Five of the group of seven were killed by the Confederate return fire, only the Thompson brothers survived. Allen Thompson retreated back to the Union lines, uninjured, while James Thompson lay severely wounded. Alerted by the rifle fire, the Union forces commenced an attack; the Thompsons' brigade held its position while the 2nd Division flanked and routed the enemy force. A burial detail sent to inter the dead of the small reconnaissance party found James Thompson still alive.

 

Thirty-one years after the battle, on April 22, 1896, Allen and James Thompson were each issued the Medal of Honor for their actions at White Oak Road.

 

MOH CITATION:

 

Made a hazardous reconnaissance through timber and slashings preceding the Union line of battle, signaling the troops and leading them through the obstruction.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: LAKEVIEW CEMETERY, CHEYENNE, WYOMING.

Lot 367

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allen Thompson

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