b. 1847 Victory, New York. d. ?
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 17/05/1870 Little Blue, Nebraska.
George Washington Thompson was born in Victory, New York in 1847. He enlisted in the Army from Syracuse, New York in March 1866, and was assigned to Company C of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Thompson was sent out west where he served on the frontier for most of his military career and took part in campaigns against the Plains Indians during the early 1870s.
On May 15, 1870, while searching for stray horses near the Little Blue River (near present-day Little Blue, Nebraska), Thompson and five other cavalrymen were ambushed by a hostile band of 50 Indians. He and his comrades distinguished themselves in battle, killing three and wounding seven of their attackers, before finally managing to drive them off after two hours of fighting. For his actions, Thompson was cited for "gallantry in action" and received the Medal of Honor, along with Privates Thomas Hubbard, Heth Canfield, Michael Himmelsback and Sergeant Patrick James Leonard, a month later.
On May 16, 1872, nearly two years to the day of the battle at Little Blue, Thompson attempted to desert from the regiment but was apprehended the next day. He made a second successful attempt two months later on July 2 and thereafter disappeared from public record.
Gallantry in action.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
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