Biographical Profile: Pvt. William Thompson, Company G, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 100th Regiment

Written by and Contributed to the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteers "Biographies" page by Bill Leyda, great, great grandson of Pvt. William Thompson, Co. G.; Edited and transcribed to the "Biographies" page by David L. Welch, webmaster.

William Thompson was born in Durry Ireland in 1839. He came to America when he was 20 years old and worked as a coal miner near Tarentum, Pa.   In January of 1861, he married my great, great grandmother Barbara Jane Sours in Freeport, Pa.

On August 31, 1861, he enlisted as a private with the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteers (The Roundheads), Co. G. He was injured during the Battle of South Mountain 1862 when a Union artillery unit charged through their lines.

From May until August of 1863, he was assigned to the Convalescent Barracks in Kentucky.

In 1864, he was attached to the 79th New York Volunteers (The Highlanders), Co. H, for four months from January 15 until April 15. He was mustered out at Camp Douglas in Chicago Illinois on August 29, 1864. He reenlisted as a substitute with the 47th New York Volunteers (The Washington Greys), Co. K on February 7, 1865, and mustered out on August 30, 1865.

Over the years our family often talked about Grandpap Thompson being at Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863.  I was told he took his milking stool to sit on during the speeches and got to shake the President's hand.

After the War he moved back to Gastonville Pa. where he worked in the coal mines, ran a small store, drove mule teams and loved to grow pansies. He and his wife Barbara Jane raised a large family until her death in 1876.

In 1883 he married a young Swedish woman named Minnie. They had two daughters, Minnie and Evelena. One day on their way home from Sunday school the little girls were walking on the railroad tracks. When they saw a train coming they crossed onto the other track and were killed by a train coming the other direction.

William took to drinking after his daughters death and his second wife left him. He lived the rest of his life with his son Edgar Thompson until he died at age 88. He is buried at the James Chapel Cemetery next to his two young daughters.

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