Alexander Ramsay Thompson

From Main Street Museum Catalog Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Three Generations of Thompsons

Captain Alexander Thompson (1759-1809) was born in New York City to James Thompson and Margaret Ramsay. Alexander married Abigail Amelia DeHart in 1784, [She was grand-aunt to Rensselaer Foote —dff] and they had six children. Thompson fought in the American Revolution, first in a militia company commanded by Silvanus Seely (1777), and later as a lieutenant in John Lamb's artillery (1779-1783). In 1786, Thompson became a captain in the New York Militia Regiment of Artillery, and in 1794, President George Washington commissioned him to the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers stationed at Governor's Island (1795). His next posts were at Fort Niagara (1798) in New York, and Fort Lernoult in Michigan Territory (1800). He returned to New York City in 1802, and in 1806 became the military storekeeper at West Point, where he aided in the construction of the military academy there. He died at West Point on September 28, 1809.

Colonel Alexander Ramsay Thompson (1793-1837) was born in New York and was the youngest son of Captain Alexander Thompson and Abigail DeHart. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1812, and was commissioned 1st lieutenant in the 6th Infantry. During the War of 1812, Thompson fought in Canada under General James Wilkinson, and participated in the Battle of Plattsburg. After the war, Thompson served as captain at Fort Niagara, and in 1816 he married Mary Waldron Nexsen (1790-1858). They had one son who died in infancy. Over the next 20 years, Thompson rose to the rank of colonel and served at forts in New York, Michigan, Kansas, Louisiana, and Florida. He was killed in the Battle of Okeechobee during the Seminole War in 1837, and his death is memorialized in a historic marker on the battlefield. "Charge the hammock and remember the regiment you are a member of!" A second cousin to Rensselaer Foote, through his mother's, De Hart, family, he may have been instrumental in the assignment of the young soldier to Florida and the 6th, U.S. Infantry, his own regiment.

Reverend Alexander Ramsey Thompson (1822-1895) was born to Janette Nexsen and William Robert Thompson, brother of Colonel Alexander R. Thompson. He graduated from New York University in 1842 and soon after entered the seminary at Princeton. In 1846, he was ordained a Presbyterian minister, and later that year married Mary Carpenter. They had eight children. For the next 15 years, Thompson preached at various churches in New York and New Jersey before settling in Bridgeport, Connecticut. During the Civil War, Thompson served as chaplain of the 17th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers. In 1862 he moved his family to New York City and took up a ministry at the 21st Street Dutch Reformed Church. There, he devoted much of his energies to supporting the New England Soldiers' Relief Association. At the end of the war, Thompson was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from New York University, and in 1871 became the chaplain of the Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. Thompson died in 1895.

The Papers and letters of this family are in the Manuscript Division, Clemson Library, Universtiy of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Alexander Thompson (1759 - 1809) and Amelia DeHart Thompson (1765 - 1855) Had: Col. Alexander Ramsay Thompson (1793 - 1837), Amelia Christina Thompson (1795 - 1878), Margaret A. Thompson (1800 - 1871), Catherine Kingsland Thompson (1805 - 1875) William Robert Thompson, ?

Spouse, Mary Waldron Nexsen Thompson (1790 - 1858) Burial: United States Military Academy Post Cemetery West Point, New York.*

Amelia DeHart, born New Jersey, 1765, she died Apr. 18, 1855, West Point, New York. Burial: United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point.

On March 4, 1784 as Amelia DeHart, she married Alexander Thompson at the First Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey.

Centinel of Freedom, Tuesday, April 24, 1855 Newark, New Jersey
Died—At West Point, on the 18th instant, Mrs. Amelia Thompson, widow of Captain Alexander Thompson, of the Revolutionary Army and mother of the late Colonel Thompson, United States Army. Mrs. Thompson was a native of New Jersey and sister of Colonel William DeHart, deceased of Morristown.

Parents: Matthias Dehart (1723 - 1766) He was the son of Jacob M. De Hart (1699 - 1777) Abigail Crane Dehart (1703 - 1770) of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and the grandson of Baltazar de Haert?

Siblings: Cyrus DeHart (1757 - 1831), Amelia DeHart Thompson (1765 - 1855)

ALEXANDER THOMPSON, RWPA #W18128/BLWt #2191-200-Lieut. He married in the home of William DeHart in Morristown, New Jersey on March 4, 1784, Amelia DeHart, a sister of Colonel William DeHart and Jesse (DeHart) Baldwin. He died at West Point in Orange County, New York in September of 1809. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Second Regiment of New York Artillery [Colonel John Lamb’s Regiment of Artilleryman] on May 31, 1779, & in 1793, was re-commissioned as a captain in the United States Army and was still in serving within the Army at the time of his death. He fought in the Battles of Springfield, Brandywine, and Yorktown, and took part in Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Willett’s failed Oswego Expedition of February, 1783. His widow states that both of his feet were frozen in Willet’s Expedition . . . and were near being amputated, but were finally saved there from by the kind attention of an Indian __.

In the spring of 1783, he carried news of the Cessation of Hostilities to Fort Oswego and presented the news to Major John Ross. A detailed account of his encounter with Major Ross and his travels to and from Fort Oswego are found within the Library of the Society of the Cincinnati in Washington, D.C. and which he states that he had been placed in charge of the artillery units at Fort Plank, Rensselaer, and others. Hereafter follows Thompson's statement on Lieutenant Colonel Marinus Wilett's failed Oswego Expedition.

Children of John COBB and wife Anna PARROTT: Lucinda, born Nov. 2, 1774, died 1777; Elenor, born Feb. 18, 1777, died Apr. 12, 1777; Henry, born May 23, 1778, married Maria BALDWIN, of Newark, died June 25, 1857. She was born Jan. 5, 1786, died Mar. 1, 1864. Both buried at Parsippany. John, born Oct. 19, 780, died 1782; John Joline, born Aug. 23, 1784, married Jane JACOBUS, July 9, 1811, died Feb. 4, 1846. He was a physician. His wife was born Aug. 15, 1790. Both buried at Parsippany. Jane, born Aug. 7, 1786, married James S. CONDIT, died July 25, 1855, buried at Parsippany; Samuel Allen, born Jan. 10, 1790, died Sept. 27, 1795; "A son", died young; Israel, born Nov. 11, 1794, died 1794.

Military Career of Col. Alexander Ramsay Thompson

  • Cadet of the Military Academy, Nov. 21, 1810, to Jan. 3, 1812, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to First Lieut., 6th Infantry, Jan. 3, 1812.
  • In the War of 1812‑15 with Great Britain, on the Northern Frontier, 1812. In General Wilkinson's Descent of the St. Lawrence River, 1813,
  • And in the Campaign of 1813‑14, on the Lake Champlain line of operations, being engaged in the Battle of Plattsburg, N. Y., (Captain, 6th Infantry, May 1, 1814)
  • Sep. 11, 1814; in garrison at Ft. Niagara, N. Y., 1815‑16; on Recruiting (Captain, 2d Infantry, on Reduction of Army, May 17, 1815)
  • 1818‑19; in garrison at Sackett's Harbor, N. Y., 1819‑1821, — Greenbush, N. Y., 1821, — and Ft. Brady, Mich., 1821‑23; on Recruiting (Bvt. Major, May 1, 1824, for Faithful Service Ten Years in one Grade)
  • 1824‑25; on frontier duty at Ft. Niagara, N. Y.,
  • 1825‑26, — Ft. Howard, Wis.,
  • 1826, Ft. Mackinac, Mich.,
  • 1826‑28, and Ft. Gratiot, Mich., 1828‑31,
  • 1831‑32; on "Black Hawk Expedition," but (Major, 6th Infantry, Apr. 4, 1832)
  • Not at the seat of war, 1832; a on frontier duty at Ft. Mackinac, Mich., 1832‑33,
  • Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1833, 1834, — and Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 1834,
  • Recruiting service, 1835‑36;
  • Frontier duty at Ft. Jesup, La., 1836,
  • Camp Sabine, La., 1836, — and Ft. Jesup, La., 1836.
  • In the Florida War, 1837, being engaged against the Seminole Indians (Lieut.‑Colonel, 6th Infantry, Sept. 6, 1837) At the Battle of Okee-cho‑bee, where, at the head of his regiment, in a desperate charge, he was killed, 2 Dec. 25, 1837: Aged 44.

At the Head of his Regiment in a Successful Charge Battle of Okee-Cho-Bee, Florida

LTC Alexander Ramsey "Alex" Thompson, Birth: Feb. 19, 1793, Death: Dec. 25, 1837, Okeechobee, Florida, USA On a marker located on U.S. 441, about 4 miles southeast of the City of Okeechobee.

"In these woods on Christmas Day, 1837, was fought the Battle of Okeechobee in which a large band of Seminole Indians, under Chiefs Wildcat, Alligator, and Sam Jones, was routed by a brigade led by Colonel Zachary Taylor consisting of the First, Fourth, and Sixth Regiments of Infantry of the Regular Army, and the First Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, totaling about 800 men. Fighting was close, desperate and bloody. Losses-Seminoles, unknown; Whites, 28 killed, 111 wounded. This action was the turning point of organized Indian resistance in Florida."

Officers who lost their lives were: Colonel Richard Gentry, of the Missouri Volunteers; Lieut.-Col. Alexander R. Thompson. . .

"...where, at the head of his regiment, in a desperate charge, he was killed... in the language of the official dispatch, he received two balls from the fire of the enemy early in the action, which wounded him severely, yet he appeared to disregard them, and continued to give his orders with the same coolness that he would have done had his regiment been under view, or any other parade duty. Advancing, he received a third ball, which at once deprived him of life: his last words were, 'Keep steady, men; charge the hammock—remember the regiment to which you belong.'"

  • "Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y. " by George Washington Cullum, published 1891

"The same coolness that he would have done had his regiment been under review or any parade duty," Zachary Taylor, in J. Reese Fry, A Life of Gen. Zachary Taylor; Comprising a Narrative of Events Connected with his Professional Career, Derived from Public Documents and Private Correspondence, Philadelphia, 1843.

"It is due to his rank and talents, as well as to his long and important services, that I particularly mention Lieutenant Colonel A.R. Thompson, of the Sixth Infantry, who fell, in the discharge of his duty, at the head of his regiment. He was in feeble health, brought on by exposure to this climate during the past summer, refusing to leave the country while his regiment continued in it. Although he received two balls from the fire of the enemy, early in the action, which wounded him severely, yet he appeared to disregard them, and continued to give his orders with the same coolness that he would have done had his regiment been under review or on any parade duty. Advancing, he received a third ball, with at once deprived him of life. His last words were, "keep steady, men, charge the hammock—remember the regiment to which you belong." I had known Colonel Thompson personally only for a short time, and the more I knew of him, the more I wished to know; and, had his life been spared, our acquaintance, no doubt, would have ripened into the closest friendship. Under such circumstances, there are few, if any, other, than his bereaved wife, mother, and sisters, who more deeply and sincerely lament his loss, or who will longer cherish his memory, than myself.
Captain Van Swearingen, Lieutenant Brooke, and Lieutenant and Adjutant Center, of the same regiment, who fell on that day, had no superiors of their years of service, and, in point of chivalry, ranked among the first in any army or nation."

Preparation for Death: A Sermon on the Occasion of the Death of Lt. Col Thompson, By John Knox

Lt. Col. Alexander Ramsay Thompson, of the U.S. Army, who was killed in Battle with the Indians at Okee-Chobee, Florida, December 25, 1837, Delivered in the Middle Dutch Church, February 11, 1838. Rev. John Knox D.D. Senior Pastor of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New-York.
New-York: Printed by William Osborn, 88 William-Street. New-York, February 15, 1838.

My Dear Sir, I Feel truly thankful to you, for acceding to my request, to prepare and deliver a Funeral Discourse, on the occasion of the death of my beloved and deeply lamented husband, Col. A. R. Thompson, U.S. Army. I listened to it with the deepest interest, and it afforded satisfaction in my grief for his loss. The able and eloquent manner in which you performed the service, I shall ever remember with grateful sentiments.
Many of his associates in arms could not hear it. Believing that it will afford them also a high degree of satisfaction, I respectfully solicit, in my own behalf, and in behalf of my immediate relatives, a copy for publication. I am, dear sir, With the highest respect and esteem, Mary W. Thompson.

Rev. And Dear Sir, We cordially unite with our sister, the afflicted widow of the late Col. A.R. Thompson, U.S. Army, in soliciting from you a copy of your eloquent and excellent Sermon, delivered on the occasion of his death, with a view to its publication.

We are, dear sir, Your obliged and grateful friends, William R. Thompson, Rev. Dr. Knox. Elias Nexsen. New-York, February 15, 1838.

A Sermon Matthew. 44. Therefore, be ye also ready; for in such an hour, as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.

Without detaining you by prefatory remarks, I propose to consider, 1st. The event to which the text refers. 2d. The preparation necessary to meet it. 3d. The urgency of the exhortation. 1st. The event—the coming of the Son of Man. Subsequent to the incarnation of the Redeemer, various other instances of his coming are spoken of; and different advents are repeatedly announced in a single prediction. Events of a corresponding character not unfrequently are successively evolved, in the gradual and germinant fulfilment of the same prophecy. The immediate reference of the text, was undoubtedly to the approaching destruction and desolation of Jerusalem—the coming of the Son of Man to execute his judgments upon the rebellious Jews, of which he gave them repeated, and most impress...

Read the Sermon on the Occasion of his Death, published 1838


Photos of his grave, at Find A Grave Memorial# 41750053