Pvt. Gillespie Robbins Thornwell (CSA)

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Pvt. Gillespie Robbins Thornwell (CSA)'s Geni Profile

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Gillespie Robbins Thornwell

Death: May 04, 1863 (18)
1st Division General Hospital "Mansion House", Alexandria, Virginia, United States (mortally wounded in the Battle of Williamsburg (gun shot))
Immediate Family:

Son of Doctor James Henley Thornwell and Nancy White Thornwell
Brother of Jennie Thornwell and Brevet 2nd Lieut. James Henley Thornwell

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Pvt. Gillespie Robbins Thornwell (CSA)


Gillespie Robbins Thornwell, 43rd Virginia Cavalry

Gillespie Robbins Thornwell was born August 15, 1844 in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of James Henley Thornwell and Nancy White Witherspoon.

On July 17, 1861, Gillespie Thornwell was enlisted in Company H, 2nd South Carolina Cavalry Regiment for one year by Thomas Taylor at Columbia.

Thornwell was involved in the May 3, 1863 skirmish at Warrenton Junction, Virginia where he was severely wounded receiving six saber thrusts to the chest. Gillespie Thornwell was captured by the Federal Cavalry and taken along with five other wounded Confederates to Mansion House General Hospital in Alexandria. He died there the next day. A Federal report of POW's who died at Mansion House Hospital indicated under Gillespie Thornwell: "body taken away by his friends". Gillespie Thornwell's body was taken to his home at Columbia, South Carolina where he was interred in Elmwood Cemetery.

"May 3, 1863 in Warrenton Junction, Virginia - On May 3 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders had been heading to the Orange & Alexandria Railroad at Warrenton. At 6:00 A.M., the Confederates struck the Union garrison, composed partly of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry. At first, the Federals thought that the Confederates were fellow Union soldiers. Once they realized their mistake, they scattered into a house and outbuildings. The Confederates were slightly delayed because their horses became stuck in a nearby stream. By the time they finally came upon the Union campsite, the Federals unleashed several volleys at them. Mosby divided his force, sending some to attack the house, some to attack the outbuildings, and the rest to gather up all of the usable horses in the area. The Federals in the outbuilding surrendered with little resistance. The 100 Federals in the house decided to put up a fight. Mosby ordered the house to be set on fire. While doing this, 4 Confederates battered their way inside. After a brief fight, the Federals decided to surrender. While gathering up the prisoners, a squadron of the 5th New York Cavalry came riding from Cedar Run. They attacked the Confederates, forcing them to abandon their prisoners. Mosby and his men rode off towards Warrenton."

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Pvt. Gillespie Robbins Thornwell (CSA)'s Timeline

August 15, 1844
May 4, 1863
Age 18
Alexandria, Virginia, United States