George W. Thompson (Medal of Honor)
|George W. Thompson|
Victory, New York, United States
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1866 - 1872|
|Unit||2nd U.S. Cavalry|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
George Washington Thompson (1847 – unknown) was a Private in the U.S. Army who served with the 2nd U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars. He was one of five men received the Medal of Honor for gallantry fighting the Plains Indians at the Little Blue River in Little Blue, Nebraska on May 15, 1870.
George Washington Thompson was born in Victory, New York in 1847. He enlisted in the Army from Syracuse, New York in March 1866, and was assigned to Company C of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Thompson was sent out west where he served on the frontier for most of his military career and took part in campaigns against the Plains Indians during the early 1870s.
On May 15, 1870, while searching for stray horses near the Little Blue River (near present-day Little Blue, Nebraska), Thompson and five other cavalrymen were ambushed by a hostile band of 50 Indians. He and his comrades distinguished themselves in battle, killing three and wounding seven of their attackers, before finally managing to drive them off after two hours of fighting. For his actions, Thompson was cited for "gallantry in action" and received the Medal of Honor, along with Privates Thomas Hubbard, Heth Canfield, Michael Himmelsback and Sergeant Patrick James Leonard, a month later.
On May 16, 1872, nearly two years to the day of the battle at Little Blue, Thompson attempted to desert from the regiment but was apprehended the next day. He made a second successful attempt two months later on July 2 and thereafter disappeared from public record.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Little Blue, Nebr., 15 May 1870. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Victory, N.Y. Date of issue: 22 June 1870.
Gallantry in action.
- Rodenbough, Theo F. From Everglade to Canyon with the Second United States Cavalry: An Authentic Account of Service in Florida, Mexico, Virginia, and the Indian Country. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1875. (pg. 392-393, 497)
- Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1973, 93rd Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1973.
- Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 400) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
- O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 26) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
- Paul, R. Eli, ed. The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader, 1865-1877. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998. (pg. 219, 225) ISBN 0-8032-8749-6
- Wilson, D. Ray. Terror on the Plains: A Clash of Cultures. Dundee, Illinois: Crossroads Communications, 1999. (pg. 58) ISBN 0-916445-47-X
- Nunnally, Michael L. American Indian Wars: A Chronology of Confrontations Between Native Peoples and Settlers and the United States Military, 1500s-1901. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2007. (pg. 125) ISBN 0-7864-2936-4
- Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for George Thompson". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. HomeofHeroes.com. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: George Washington Thompson". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. MilitaryTimes.com. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009.