Jeff Thompson's cattle on ten thousand hills - less one

SWMODave

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General_M_Jeff_Thompson_at_Fort_Del_during_Civil_War.jpg

General Jeff Thompson
Courtesy Arkansas Guest House
(1 August 1861) Brigadier-General Jeff. Thompson, Commandant of the Missouri State Guard of the first
military district, headquarters at Bloomfield, Stoddard County, issued a characteristic pronunciamento, in which he exhorted the people of Missouri to strike while the iron was hot ; to leave their plows in the furrow, their ox to the yoke, and rush like a tornado upon their invaders, and sweep them like a hurricane from the face of the earth ; adding : "We have plenty of ammunition, and the cattle on ten thousand hills are ours."

Ten thousand ! Just nine thousand more than the Psalmist claimed as the Lord's.*

A short time after the publication of this proclamation, Gen. Thompson, being in great need of beef cattle for his troops and not one on the " ten thousand hills" coming at his call, seized upon the only cow of a widow in the vicinity and was in the act of driving her to his camp. The widow went to him and protested : "Why, General, is it possible you intend to rob a widow of the only cow she has in the world, when, as you have said in your proclamation, the cattle on ten thousand hills are yours? " The General, who always enjoyed a joke, retreated from the widow and her cow.

Source - The Commonwealth of Missouri

Alternative title - The Swamp Fox out foxed

 

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John Hartwell

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A year later, M. Jeff Thompson held a Confederate command just north of New Orleans. Following his capture in the fall of 1862,, Thompson was accused of being a guerrilla (which he certainly had been) and threatened with hanging. He wrote to Ben Butler asking for his help. Butler wrote Secretary of war Stanton, in part, “Gen. Thompson is now a prisoner at Johnson s Island, near Sandusky, Ohio. If not inconsistent with public service, I most earnestly ask that Gen. Thompson may be released upon his parole. While I can testify to the uniform urbanity and courtesy with which all the operations of General Thompson were conducted, I am most decidedly of the opinion that the kindness which he showed to Capt. Thornton (Butler’s wounded and captured aide) alone should entitle him to every possible consideration. ... As I am not much in the habit of asking leniency for rebels, I trust the War Department will take it as a guaranty that this is a proper case for the extension of every indulgence.” The officer was promptly paroled.

In asking for help, Thompson had said he was encouraged to expect a favorable response because: “no one more surely than myself knows that the ‘acts’ for which my Government blamed you were untruly reported, and unjustly construed. What your intentions were, when you issued the ‘order’ which brought so much censure upon yourself, I of course cannot tell, but I can testify, and do with pleasure, that nearly all of the many persons who passed through my lines, to and from New Orleans during the months of August and September 1862, spoke favorably of the treatment they had received from you, and with all my enquiries, which were constant, I did not hear of one single instance of a lady being insulted by your command.” Butler's Military Correspondence, vol. 3

Thompson was an interesting figure. One source says of him, "Between 1861 and 1865 he was a guerrilla leader and a regular commander of Confederate forces, a combatant and a prisoner of war, a cavalryman and a sailor; Thompson was an actor in the military struggle for Missouri and a shrewd writer in the political fight to win the support of its people."
 

SWMODave

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Thompson was definitely a unique character. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done with a regiment in the AONV, but he was dealt a guerilla war. Considering he was always short of everything but heart, he did well.

Not a fan of his politics, but I enjoy studying him and can't help but like him.
 
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M. Jeff Thompson was an unusual character. He came from a strong military background, and he had training in military tactics from Charleston, South Carolina. He was the prewar (1957-1860) mayor of St. Joseph Missouri. His rank as General came from his Missouri State Guard service. He was most famous as being the Swamp Fox of the Confederacy for his service in Southeast Missouri, which the First Military Division of the Missouri State Guard. It ran from St. Louis to the Arkansas border. He was captured later while serving in Louisiana and exchanged. Later in the war during Price's Raid he took over command of General Jo Shelby's Iron Brigade.
 

kholland

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View attachment 166620
General Jeff Thompson
Courtesy Arkansas Guest House
(1 August 1861) Brigadier-General Jeff. Thompson, Commandant of the Missouri State Guard of the first
military district, headquarters at Bloomfield, Stoddard County, issued a characteristic pronunciamento, in which he exhorted the people of Missouri to strike while the iron was hot ; to leave their plows in the furrow, their ox to the yoke, and rush like a tornado upon their invaders, and sweep them like a hurricane from the face of the earth ; adding : "We have plenty of ammunition, and the cattle on ten thousand hills are ours."

Ten thousand ! Just nine thousand more than the Psalmist claimed as the Lord's.*

A short time after the publication of this proclamation, Gen. Thompson, being in great need of beef cattle for his troops and not one on the " ten thousand hills" coming at his call, seized upon the only cow of a widow in the vicinity and was in the act of driving her to his camp. The widow went to him and protested : "Why, General, is it possible you intend to rob a widow of the only cow she has in the world, when, as you have said in your proclamation, the cattle on ten thousand hills are yours? " The General, who always enjoyed a joke, retreated from the widow and her cow.

Source - The Commonwealth of Missouri

Alternative title - The Swamp Fox out foxed

That is an interesting expression on his face in the print.He does look determined.
 
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Belle Montgomery

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JPK Huson 1863

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Missed this from last month! It's a wonderful thread - a little proving a weird theory I have on engineers in the war. Some of the most interesting people you'd put on your ' like to have met list ' list, no? Thanks for introducing one more ( who must have liked his mother- hence returning that cow ).
 

John Hartwell

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From being a "notorious" Partisan Ranger, M. Jeff became quite popular among some in the North, for acts of kindness to captured Yanks. His own capture and exchange seems to have mellowed him. The Boston Transcript spoke highly of him in this article from the fall of 1864:
thompson1 - Edited.jpg
thompson2 - Edited (2).jpg

[as appeared in the Manchester Weekly Union (NH), Oct.4, 1864]
thompson3.jpg
 



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