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About 2nd Lieutenant George Thomson Mason
George Thomson Mason(VII) (17 August 1818–26 April 1846) was a United States Army Second Lieutenant killed in the Thornton Affair during the Mexican–American War. Mason was a scion of the prominent Mason political family of Virginia.
Early life and education
Mason was born on 17 August 1818 at Gunston Hall in Fairfax County, Virginia. He was the fourth child and second-eldest son of George Mason VI (11 August 1786–21 August 1834) and his wife Elizabeth Thomson Mason (1789–2 September 1821). Mason was a great-grandson of George Mason IV (11 December 1725–7 October 1792), a Founding Father of the United States.
Mason was a student in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York between 1 July 1838 and 1 July 1842.
Upon his graduation from West Point, Mason was promoted in the United States Army to Brevet Second Lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons. Mason then served at the School of Cavalry Practice at Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Following his service at Carlisle Barracks, Mason served at Fort Jesup in Louisiana between 1842 and 1843. From there, Mason served in an expedition to the Arkansas River in 1843. At Fort Leavenworth, Mason was transferred to the 1st U.S. Dragoons on 6 March 1843 and served at the fort between 1843 and 1844. Mason departed from Fort Leavenworth to participate in Scouting to Pawnee Villages in 1844 and then returned to Fort Leavenworth where he was again made a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons on 13 September 1844. Mason served in Fort Jesup between 1844 and 1845 and in the Military Occupation of Texas between 1845 and 1846.
Mason died on 26 April 1846 at age 27 near Fort Brown, Texas, 25 miles from Brownsville. Mason died of injuries sustained in the Thornton Affair (also known as the Skirmish of La Rosita), considered the first battle of the Mexican–American War. The two squadrons under the command of Captains May and Seth Thornton had marched out to reconnoiter Mexican movements when Thornton's command ran into a larger force of 500 Mexicans near La Rosita, and became surrounded. Mason and eight enlisted men were killed, along with two enlisted wounded.
It is believed that Fort Mason in Mason, Texas was named in honour of Mason. Although the fort's history dates as far back to 1845, official records indicate that Fort Mason was not established until 6 July 1851