From: Daily Gazette Times; Corvallis, Benton County, OR
Submitted by Randy Fletcher; transcribed by Mrs. Fletcher
Publication Date - July 27, 1915
WAR VETERAN ANSWERS
General Thorp, Hero of Many
Civil War Battles, Passes Away.
One of the last of the nation’s great heroes of the Civil War passed away yesterday morning and will be laid to rest tomorrow afternoon in Crystal Lake cemetery. The funeral, which will be held at the Presbyterian church at two o’clock, will be remarkable in that the minister, as a Confederate soldier, fought against the New York Dragoons at Cedar Creek at the time of Sheridan’s raids, and was captured by General Thorp’s command. The two old warriors have fought the battle over and over again, and while they had no knowledge one of the other at the time of the battle, each one’s story fitted so well and the other’s that there is little doubt that Dr. J.R.N. Bell was captured by the venerable soldier whose death came yesterday.
General Thos. J. Thorp was a native of New York and molded his career as a New Yorker. He was born at Granger, in Alleghany County in 1837. While a senior at Union College the war broke out and he enlisted in the 85th New York Regiment of Infantry, which organization became a part of the Army of the Potomac. He received his college degree in the field with his regiment. He became a captain and as such won fame at Fair Oaks where he was wounded in the Peninsular Campaign. At the conclusion of several days in battle, Captain Thorp was selected by Governor Morgan of New York to fill the position of Lieutenant Colonel of the 130th New York regiment. He became Colonel of the regiment on the promotion of Col. Gibbs. This regiment was afterwards changed in name to the First New York Dragoons having been transferred to the cavalry corps after the battle of Gettsyburg.
One of the most notable events of the New York Dragoons was when his regiment was drawn up in a hollow square and before the regiment the Col. was married to Lamanda, daughter of Colonel John Major. Rev. Dr. Wakeman, who was one of the captains of the regiment, performed the ceremony.
The colonel was wounded again at Trevelian Stations, made a prisoner by the Confederates and sent to Macon, Georgia. On the 4th of July he addressed the 1600 officers imprisoned there in the most fiery Independence Day speech of his career. His speech was considered insubordination by the prison commander and Colonel Thorp was placed on a train to be shipped to Charleston. In the night he jumped from the train and escaped.
When the war closed Colonel Thorp was brevetted a Brigadier General by the War Department for his valuable service and gallantry. He spent a number of years in educational work following the war, later, taking up the study of mechanics and has patented a great many devices. A part of this time was spent in New York and a few years the family lived in Chicago. In 1891 the family moved to Forest Grove, Oregon, where they lived until they moved to Corvallis fifteen years ago.
General Thorp is survived by his widow, a daughter, Miss Maybelle Bessie Thorp, and a son Stephen Montgomery Thorp. The son went recently to England and when last heard from was employed by the British War Department.