Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From the Desk of the President, 1866 has a great collection of Civil War material, one part of that collection is titled Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, Main Series 1861-1870. I have been trying to learn more about the killing of Captain John Thornhill, nephew of Elizabeth Thornhill Jones and cousin of my 3rd-great-grandfather Joseph Thomas Jones. The fallout from Thornhill's case rose to the attention of President Andrew Johnson in January 1866.
Johnson enclosed a news clipping from the Cincinnati Commercial titled "Conflict of Authority in East Tennessee" and asked for a report on the situation. I've made a larger copy of the news clipping below. It is interesting to see Thornhill characterized as a "guerilla" since he previously had commanded Company B in the US 9th Cavalry.
As noted previously, this case eventually went to the US Supreme Court, but was sent back down to the courts in Tennessee. I don't have the history on the case after it was sent back in 1870. Next step for this is to write to the Tennessee State Archives to see what they have.

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