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Thompson, James Knox Polk


Posted By: Linda Linn (email)
Date: 10/13/2011 at 20:45:43

Many Iowa veterans have looked back across the years and recalled the sad experiences of Vicksburg. Not the least of these men was James K. Polk Thompson, who was severely wounded at that battle.
Thompson was born near Carey, Ohio, on August 21, 1845, and came to Clayton County, Iowa, in the fall of 1857. In August, 1862, he enlisted as a musician in Company D, Twenty first Iowa Infantry, and rendered service in some of the most decisive battles of the war, including Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, and Black River Bridge. Wounded at Vicksburg, he was sent to the hospital at Jefferson Barracks where he remained until Feb wary, 1864. He rejoined his regiment at Matagorda Bay in time to participate in the assaults on Fort Blakely, Spanish Fort, and Mobile.
Comrade Thompson, after the war, was much interested in the welfare of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was a charter member of Dunlap Post No. 147, at Rock Rapids, Iowa. In 1895 he was elected Department Com mender. He was one of the first to advocate the establishment of a National Park at Vicksburg. He was also among those who favored a legislative appropriation to erect a monument at Vicksburg in honor of Iowa veterans.
Never physically strong and vigorous, Thompson did not reach old age, but died on January 15, 1903, before he had attained the age of three score years.
Source: The Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic Page 95


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