Discussion Colonel Stephen D. Thruston 3rd North Carolina (Spotsylvania Conflicting Information)

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AlexPensFan86

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Hi all,

Over the past few years I have been working on creating a comprehensive and detailed regimental order of battle book series comprising every major battle of the war for both armies. I am currently working on Spotsylvania and have come across some conflicting information relating to Colonel Thruston of the 3rd North Carolina infantry. The primary source Clark's North Carolina regimental histories lists Thruston as being severely wounded at Spotsylvania on May 10, with both the Lieutenant Colonel and Major being captured May 12. Robert Krick's "Lee's Colonels" also lists Thruston as being wounded at Spotsylvania. However, the Compiled Service Records entries on Thruston do not list him as being wounded but present with the regiment from December 63 to his wounding at 3rd Winchester in September 64. Additionally, Allardice's "Confederate Colonels" biographical register makes no mention of a wounding. To sum up 1 primary source and 1 secondary source list Thruston as wounded at Spotsylvania and 1 primary source and 1 secondary source make no mention of a wounding at Spotysylvania. Up to this point I have been able to figure out similar issues on my own but I must confess I am at a loss to make sense of this one.

Lastly, assuming Thruston was wounded, I am having trouble making sense of the command succession. The Lieutenant Colonel and Major both are listed in all sources as captured May 12. Also, all senior Captains, Adjutants, and 1st Lieutenants thus far appear to have been either absent, killed, wounded, or captured. So now I am trying to determine likely successor by attempting to figure out who the most senior 2nd Lieutenant present for would be. Is it possible I am missing something, or was the regiment just that badly decimated? Even with the 1st North Carolina, I was able to find the most senior captain present and that regiment was supposedly decimated down to company size after May 12.

Any help that anyone may be able to offer on this conundrum would be greatly appreciated. Apologize for the rambling nature of my post. I tend to do that a lot. Also, mods if this is in the wrong forum feel free to move.
 

AlexPensFan86

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Managed to find a potential command successor according to Compiled Service Records Captain Kinchen B. Powers promoted to Captain May 1863 is the most senior officer. Still trying to make sense as to whether Thruston was actually wounded in action May 10
 
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Bruce Vail

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Hi all,

Over the past few years I have been working on creating a comprehensive and detailed regimental order of battle book series comprising every major battle of the war for both armies. I am currently working on Spotsylvania and have come across some conflicting information relating to Colonel Thruston of the 3rd North Carolina infantry. The primary source Clark's North Carolina regimental histories lists Thruston as being severely wounded at Spotsylvania on May 10, with both the Lieutenant Colonel and Major being captured May 12. Robert Krick's "Lee's Colonels" also lists Thruston as being wounded at Spotsylvania. However, the Compiled Service Records entries on Thruston do not list him as being wounded but present with the regiment from December 63 to his wounding at 3rd Winchester in September 64. Additionally, Allardice's "Confederate Colonels" biographical register makes no mention of a wounding. To sum up 1 primary source and 1 secondary source list Thruston as wounded at Spotsylvania and 1 primary source and 1 secondary source make no mention of a wounding at Spotysylvania. Up to this point I have been able to figure out similar issues on my own but I must confess I am at a loss to make sense of this one.

Lastly, assuming Thruston was wounded, I am having trouble making sense of the command succession. The Lieutenant Colonel and Major both are listed in all sources as captured May 12. Also, all senior Captains, Adjutants, and 1st Lieutenants thus far appear to have been either absent, killed, wounded, or captured. So now I am trying to determine likely successor by attempting to figure out who the most senior 2nd Lieutenant present for would be. Is it possible I am missing something, or was the regiment just that badly decimated? Even with the 1st North Carolina, I was able to find the most senior captain present and that regiment was supposedly decimated down to company size after May 12.

Any help that anyone may be able to offer on this conundrum would be greatly appreciated. Apologize for the rambling nature of my post. I tend to do that a lot. Also, mods if this is in the wrong forum feel free to move.
My guess is that the description of Thruston's wounding as 'severe' was an exaggeration and that he remained in charge, even though he was lightly wounded on May 10. These kinds of errors are common in Clark's histories.
 

AlexPensFan86

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My guess is that the description of Thruston's wounding as 'severe' was an exaggeration and that he remained in charge, even though he was lightly wounded on May 10. These kinds of errors are common in Clark's histories.
Checked Wood's memoir and found no mention of Thruston's wounding. I'm inclined to lean towards your assessment as the Compiled Service Records seem to be a more accurate source of information. Thank you for your help!
 
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Bruce Vail

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Checked Wood's memoir and found no mention of Thruston's wounding. I'm inclined to lean towards your assessment as the Compiled Service Records seem to be a more accurate source of information. Thank you for your help!
I faced a similar dilemma in examining the war record of Lt. George W. Ward. He is recorded in several secondary sources as being wounded at Gettysburg but there is no record of such a wound in the CSR (there are ample records of three other wounds). Finally, I was able to find a primary source that stated he he survived Gettysburg unhurt -- so the CSR was the more reliable source.
 
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novushomus

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This one might be a difficult question to answer, though Bruce Vail has pointed you towards some good primary sources. Both Thruston's brigade commander, Steuart, and Thruston's division commander, Johnson, were captured in the affair at the Mule Shoe. And shortly after the battle, the 3rd North Carolina was transferred to Ramseur's Brigade of Rodes's Division in the reorganization of Second Corps.

I did a quick check in the official records. There was no report for Steuart (who would have mentioned wounded regimental officers), and Johnson's report did not mention Thruston. Likewise, a query search of that O.R. turned up only Thruston in the Table of Organization for Second Corps.

Thruston survived the war, as evidenced by his papers and by his correspondence with Ezra Carmen over the Antietam Campaign. At this point, you would have to look at his personal papers to verify the information.

I will add that you can check Manarin and Jordan's roster of North Carolina troops and North Carolina Newspapers to see if they mention a wounded Thruston.
 
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novushomus

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I did some quick looking at Alfred C. Young's Lee's Army During the Overland Campaign. Though Young didn't say whether or not Thruston was wounded, he noted the losses of the North Carolina regiments at Spotsylvania and the strength they mustered when they were to transferred to Ramseur's Brigade.

The 3rd North Carolina (p. 275) -
Wilderness:
KIA - 7
WIA - 53
W&C - 0
MIA - 1
Total - 61

Spotsylvania
KIA - 2
WIA - 29
W&C - 1
MIA - 242
Total - 272

Musket strength when reassigned to Rodes's Division - ~30 men.

Based on those numbers, I would say it was highly likely that Thruston was wounded during Spotsylvania.

Both regiments combined (1st and 3rd) numbered only around sixty men in the ranks when they reported to Ramseur.
 

Bruce Vail

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I did some quick looking at Alfred C. Young's Lee's Army During the Overland Campaign. Though Young didn't say whether or not Thruston was wounded, he noted the losses of the North Carolina regiments at Spotsylvania and the strength they mustered when they were to transferred to Ramseur's Brigade.

The 3rd North Carolina (p. 275) -
Wilderness:
KIA - 7
WIA - 53
W&C - 0
MIA - 1
Total - 61

Spotsylvania
KIA - 2
WIA - 29
W&C - 1
MIA - 242
Total - 272

Musket strength when reassigned to Rodes's Division - ~30 men.

Based on those numbers, I would say it was highly likely that Thruston was wounded during Spotsylvania.

Both regiments combined (1st and 3rd) numbered only around sixty men in the ranks when they reported to Ramseur.
That makes sense. An additional source might be the papers of William DeRosset.
 
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CSA Today

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Hi all,

Over the past few years I have been working on creating a comprehensive and detailed regimental order of battle book series comprising every major battle of the war for both armies. I am currently working on Spotsylvania and have come across some conflicting information relating to Colonel Thruston of the 3rd North Carolina infantry. The primary source Clark's North Carolina regimental histories lists Thruston as being severely wounded at Spotsylvania on May 10, with both the Lieutenant Colonel and Major being captured May 12. Robert Krick's "Lee's Colonels" also lists Thruston as being wounded at Spotsylvania. However, the Compiled Service Records entries on Thruston do not list him as being wounded but present with the regiment from December 63 to his wounding at 3rd Winchester in September 64. Additionally, Allardice's "Confederate Colonels" biographical register makes no mention of a wounding. To sum up 1 primary source and 1 secondary source list Thruston as wounded at Spotsylvania and 1 primary source and 1 secondary source make no mention of a wounding at Spotysylvania. Up to this point I have been able to figure out similar issues on my own but I must confess I am at a loss to make sense of this one.

Lastly, assuming Thruston was wounded, I am having trouble making sense of the command succession. The Lieutenant Colonel and Major both are listed in all sources as captured May 12. Also, all senior Captains, Adjutants, and 1st Lieutenants thus far appear to have been either absent, killed, wounded, or captured. So now I am trying to determine likely successor by attempting to figure out who the most senior 2nd Lieutenant present for would be. Is it possible I am missing something, or was the regiment just that badly decimated? Even with the 1st North Carolina, I was able to find the most senior captain present and that regiment was supposedly decimated down to company size after May 12.

Any help that anyone may be able to offer on this conundrum would be greatly appreciated. Apologize for the rambling nature of my post. I tend to do that a lot. Also, mods if this is in the wrong forum feel free to move.
Below information for this volume and other volumes in the series was compiled from records in the state's archives in Raleigh, NC.

Thurston, Stephen D. [Service Record]

Transferred from Company B of this regiment upon appointment to Major to rank from July 1, 1862. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel March 26, 1863, to rank from December 10, 1862. Wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia May 3, 1863. Promoted to Colonel to rank from October 3, 1863. Wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia May 10, 1864, and at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864. Absent wounded in the hospital in Wilmington until returned to duty on January 8, 1865. Detailed for court marshal duty at Wilmington on February 25, 1865. Examined at Raleigh on April 10, 1865, and declared permanently disabled for field service.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. III Infantry, 1st - 3rd Regiments, Misc. Units, page 487.

From the Addenda, page 715.

Middle name is Decatur. Wounded in the chest by a shell at Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, but remained on duty. Wounded in the left foot at Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863. Wounded in the left lung at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 10, 1864. “Shot through from hip to hip” at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864.
 

Bruce Vail

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Below information for this volume and other volumes in the series was compiled from records in the state's archives in Raleigh, NC.

Thurston, Stephen D. [Service Record]

Transferred from Company B of this regiment upon appointment to Major to rank from July 1, 1862. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel March 26, 1863, to rank from December 10, 1862. Wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia May 3, 1863. Promoted to Colonel to rank from October 3, 1863. Wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia May 10, 1864, and at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864. Absent wounded in the hospital in Wilmington until returned to duty on January 8, 1865. Detailed for court marshal duty at Wilmington on February 25, 1865. Examined at Raleigh on April 10, 1865, and declared permanently disabled for field service.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. III Infantry, 1st - 3rd Regiments, Misc. Units, page 487.

From the Addenda, page 715.

Middle name is Decatur. Wounded in the chest by a shell at Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, but remained on duty. Wounded in the left foot at Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863. Wounded in the left lung at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 10, 1864. “Shot through from hip to hip” at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864.
That's pretty thorough. Does the same source have an entry for Lt. George W. Ward?
 
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AlexPensFan86

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Below information for this volume and other volumes in the series was compiled from records in the state's archives in Raleigh, NC.

Thurston, Stephen D. [Service Record]

Transferred from Company B of this regiment upon appointment to Major to rank from July 1, 1862. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel March 26, 1863, to rank from December 10, 1862. Wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia May 3, 1863. Promoted to Colonel to rank from October 3, 1863. Wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia May 10, 1864, and at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864. Absent wounded in the hospital in Wilmington until returned to duty on January 8, 1865. Detailed for court marshal duty at Wilmington on February 25, 1865. Examined at Raleigh on April 10, 1865, and declared permanently disabled for field service.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. III Infantry, 1st - 3rd Regiments, Misc. Units, page 487.

From the Addenda, page 715.

Middle name is Decatur. Wounded in the chest by a shell at Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, but remained on duty. Wounded in the left foot at Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863. Wounded in the left lung at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 10, 1864. “Shot through from hip to hip” at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864.
Thank you so much for the information. You all have been a wonderful help. Lung wound sounds pretty serious I wonder why it's not mentioned in his compiled service record. Unless I totally missed it. Will have to look again.
 

CSA Today

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That's pretty thorough. Does the same source have an entry for Lt. George W. Ward?
Ward, George W., 1st Lieutenant, Co. B., 3rd Regiment N.C. State Troops.

Resided in Duplin County and appointed 3rd Lieutenant to rank from May 16, 1861. Wounded at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862. Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 0n September 21, 1862, and to 1st Lieutenant on October 9, 1862. Wounded at Paynes Farm, Virginia, November 27, 1863, and at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 12, 1864. Returned to duty on August 27, 1864. Present or accounted for on company muster rolls through December 1864. Furloughed for 18 days on February 25, 1865.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. III Infantry, 1st - 3rd Regiments, Misc. Units, page 502.

From Addenda page 716.

Wounded in the forearm (flesh)at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862.
 

CSA Today

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Thank you so much for the information. You all have been a wonderful help. Lung wound sounds pretty serious I wonder why it's not mentioned in his compiled service record. Unless I totally missed it. Will have to look again.
It was from information later found and may not have been in the record you referred to.
 
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Bruce Vail

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Ward, George W., 1st Lieutenant, Co. B., 3rd Regiment N.C. State Troops.

Resided in Duplin County and appointed 3rd Lieutenant to rank from May 16, 1861. Wounded at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862. Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 0n September 21, 1862, and to 1st Lieutenant on October 9, 1862. Wounded at Paynes Farm, Virginia, November 27, 1863, and at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 12, 1864. Returned to duty on August 27, 1864. Present or accounted for on company muster rolls through December 1864. Furloughed for 18 days on February 25, 1865.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. III Infantry, 1st - 3rd Regiments, Misc. Units, page 502.

From Addenda page 716.

Wounded in the forearm (flesh)at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862.
Many thanks!

Two of the more senior lieutenants in his company were killed Sept. 17, 1862, accounting for the quick promotion.
 
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