b. 18/11/1844 Brooklyn, New York. d. 29/07/1920 Hampton, Virginia.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/01/1865 Dutch Gap Canal, Virginia.
Thorn was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 18, 1844. After completing his education, Thorn enlisted for the Civil War and served in the 13th New York Volunteer Infantry and 52nd New York Volunteer Infantry before receiving a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the 116th Infantry, United States Colored Troops.
Thorn received a medal for hand-to-hand combat in which he captured a Confederate officer, an action that was personally witnessed by General Ulysses S. Grant. He attained the rank of Major before his discharge at the end of the war.
Aside from the Medal of Honor awarded to him in 1898 for his deeds at Petersburg, Thorn was also awarded the Brooklyn War Fund Committee Medal of Honor in 1872 "for especial acts of bravery at Ferrows Island and Petersburg, Va." He also received the Brooklyn War Service Medal in 1866.
After his military service, Thorn became an attorney in Brooklyn and practiced for more than 30 years. He also held several federal, county and local government posts, including Deputy Sheriff; Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue; Deputy City Auditor; Assistant Assesor; Shore Inspector of the Port of New York; and Warden of the Raymond Street Jail.
In 1879 Thorn joined the New York National Guard as a Captain, and commanded a company before resigning his commission in 1883.
Thorn remained active in veterans' organizations including the Grand Army of the Republic. In the early 1900s he served as commander of the Medal of Honor Legion. He also served as President of the War Veterans and Sons Association. In his later years Thorn lived and worked at several soldiers' homes, including one in Bath, New York. Near the end of his life he donated many of his medals and other mementos to the American Numismatic Society. Thorn was the head librarian at the National Soldiers' Home in Hampton, Virginia, where he died on July 20, 1920.
After the fuze to the mined bulkhead had been lit, this officer, learning that the picket guard had not been withdrawn, mounted the bulkhead and at great personal peril warned the guard of its danger.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
Section 2, Grave 3689-WH
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