Thursday, May 22, 2014

The First Killed

The first Union soldier killed by a Confederate soldier was Thornsbury Bailey Brown; he was killed May 22nd 1861 in Taylor County, Virginia.

Thornsbury Bailey Brown was born May 15th 1829.  He lived in the Taylor County, Virginia.

Union Lieutenant Daniel Wilson and Brown, both members of the Grafton Guards; which would become a part of the 2nd West Virginia Infantry, on May 22nd 1861 attended a recruiting rally in Pruntytown, Virginia.  The two men were returning to Grafton, Virginia in the evening when they encountered three members of the Confederate Letcher Guards; which would become of the 25th Virginia Infantry, George E Glenn, Daniel Knight, and William Reese.  The three men where on picket duty at the Fetterman Bridge, a crossing located on the Northwestern Turnpike and the tracks of the Baltimore of Ohio Railroad.

The three pickets ordered Brown and Wilson to halt; instead Brown fired a pistol at the Confederates.   The shot apparently hit Knight in the ear.  The Confederates then opened fire on Brown and Wilson, killing Brown.  The Letcher Guards took Brown’s body to their camp and turned it over to their commander Colonel George A Porterfield.  The commander of the Grafton Guards Captain George R Latham led his men toward the Confederate camp planning to take the body back, by force if necessary.  They met the Confederates returning Brown body.


Brown was buried at first in a family plot.  His body was moved the Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia in 1903.

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