Charles Mynn Thruston

Charles Mynn Thruston, a son of Senator Buckner Thruston of Kentucky, was born in Lexington on February 22, 1798. He was appointed to the Military Academy during the War of 1812, when he was only fifteen years old, and was graduated a year later in the era when class rank was unrecorded. During the war, Thruston served on Governors Island, New York, as an engineer constructing defenses. With the peace of Ghent he returned to routine garrison duty as an officer of artillery, receiving the promotion to captain in 1827, relieved only by field service against the Florida Seminoles in the 1830's. He resigned his commission on August 31, 1836, to become a farmer in Cumberland, Maryland. In 1838 he assumed the presidency of a local bank and in 1861-62 was mayor of Cumberland. The town was a division point on the vital east and west link of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and on September 7, 1861, Thruston was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers for the purpose of protecting it and insuring the movement of trains both ways. Confederate forays soon demonstrated that the right-of-way could not be protected, and throughout the war the railroad had its track regularly torn up, its bridges demolished, and its trains derailed. (Confederate commanders would telegraph impertinent messages to Washington as a preliminary to cutting the line.) No blame can be attached to General Thruston; one of his successors, George Crook, was snatched from his bed in Cumberland and marched to Richmond as a prisoner in 1864. Nevertheless Thruston felt that the command should be in younger hands and accordingly resigned on April 17, 1862. He returned to working his farm near Cumberland, where he died on February 18, 1873. He was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Previous Page

Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.