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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Twenty-sixth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 10th, 1895.

 p14  Thornton A. Washington
No. 1439. Class of 1849.
Died July 10, 1894, at Washington, D. C., aged 67.

Thornton Augustine Washington was born at Berry Hill, (now Cedar Lawn), Jefferson County, Virginia, (now West Virginia), in 1827.a He was great grandson of Samuel, brother of George Washington, the latter of whom he greatly resembled in physical as well as moral and mental qualities. Well trained in early youth, he entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1845, and was graduated in 1849; assigned as Brevet Second Lieutenant to Sixth Infantry; promoted Second Lieutenant First Infantry in 1850; Assistant Instructor of Tactics at West Point 1855; Regimental Adjutant 1857; resigned 1861; was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, afterward Colonel of Staff, C. S. A.

 p15  His service during the war between the States was in the Trans-Mississippi Department, where there was comparatively little opportunity for the display of his exceptional military abilities.

Overshadowed by a great name, he was debarred from showing the grand qualities he possessed. They were hid from himself in his great modesty, and known but to the few, whom he favored with his friendship and intimacy.

At the close of the war he made his home in Texas, but more recently in Washington, D. C., where he died.

His disdain of the mean and sordid was too great and unconcealed to permit of his following the ordinary course of trade, and it is mainly due to this fact that he was persuaded to devote his intelligence and abilities to the service of the Government, from which service he was relieved at the summons of the Great Captain.

His accomplishments in art and music were delights to his friends, when he could be prevailed upon to show them. He was married in 1860 to Miss Olive Ann Jones, at San Antonio, Texas. His widow and seven children are now living. In his loss the few survivors of the class of 1849 feel more than ever the thinning of the ranks, to be replenished only at the final roll call.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.S. M. Barton.

Thayer's Note:

a His tombstone (q.v.) gives the year of his birth as 1826.

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Page updated: 13 Jan 11