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William Tholen Army

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William M. Tholen - 4727 Views
honored by William B. Jasper-great, great grand nephew

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Assigned: Second Kansas Infantry Regiment-Company K
Highest Rank: Captain
Entered Service: 6/30/1861
Exited Service: 3/10/1864
Continental Service Length: 3 months Company K, then 2 yrs 6 months
Location of Service: Kansas and Missouri
Gender: male
Basic Training: Missouri
Service Related Injury: Yes, disability noted, cause unknown.
Military Position: Captain of Company K, Second Infantry Regiment
Place of Separation: Leavenworth, Kansas
From City: Leavenworth
From State: Kansas
Current State: Kansas
Date of Birth: 11/1859
Date Deceased: 02/1879
My War Stories
  1859 06 Dec 1859 First Election of State Officials- William Tholen is elected the first State Treasurer of the State of Kansas, on the ticket with Governor Robinson. The governor refused to accept the official bond made by Treasurer Tholen, who was an honest man. The governor then appointed Dutton who approved the fraudulent bonds issued on Kansas claims. William Tholen is officially recorded as the first Treasurer of Kansas although he did not serve in the office.
  8/10/1861 Company K had 35 men including Capt. Tholen. This was a 3 month unit organized at Lawrence, KS, mustered in 20 Jun 1861 at Kansas City. The 2nd Kansas had 10 units and with the First Kansas formed one brigade under Colonel Dietzler. They fought four battles. The major battle was Wilson's Creek 10 August. General Lyon was killed leading a charge. Capt. Tholen is nearby and an eye witness who later recounts this incident for Kansas territorial newpapers in 1866. On 13 Oct 1861 this unit is mustered out. Capt. Tholen continues in service until 10 Mar 1864.
  1866 The Leavenworth Conservative (Newspaper) contains a letter from Captain Tholen, of the 2nd Kansas infantry, correcting the conflicting reports as to the death of Gen. Lyon. The writer says: As he was killed while riding at the head of my company, allow me to give your paper a true account of the sad event. Gen. Lyon was wounded while directing the charge of the 1st Kansas, 1st Missouri and the 1st Iowa, riding at that time with the named regiment (Second). His horse, a gray stallion, being killed, under him, and the General himself being wounded in the head and legs, the members of the Iowa regiment saw him fall, and supposing him killed while leading their regiment. He however got on his feet again, took a horse from one of his orderlies (a dark bay one) and rode back to where our regiment, the 2nd Kansas, was lying in reserve. He ordered the regiment immediately forward, marching up the hill in the rear of Totten’s and Dubois’ batteries, thence to the right to the brow of the hill, my company (K) Capt. McClure, being thrown out as skirmishers, in charge of Col. (then Major) Cloud. The regiment was marching in column of two, Gen. Lyon riding to the left of the head of the column and Col. Mitchell to the right. Having arrived at the place where the General intended to form the regiment into line of battle, he ordered Col. Mitchell to form the regiment into line. At this moment we was the enemy draw up about one hundred yards ahead of us, who fired immediately a full volley at the head of our column. This fire killed Gen. Lyon, wounded Col. Mitchell seriously in two places, and killed and wounded thirteen members of my company. Lieut. Gust. Schreger and Sergeant Fishback, both of my company, jumped immediately forward and caught the General while falling from his horse, and carried him from the field. There was at the time none of Gen. Lyon’s staff, body-guard, orderlies or servants with him except one German servant, the same who accompanied him ever since he left Fort Riley. Lieut. Schreger and Sergeant Fishback carried the General’s body about forty yards to the rear of the spot where he was killed, and left it in charge of the above named servant. A staff officer of the General, who I believe to be Major (now General) Schofield, arrived there and took the body in charge. Regarding the last words of Gen. Lyon, I must state that according the reports of both Lieut. Schreger and Sergeant Fishback, he never uttered a word after he was shot. Lieut. Schreger asked him the question, “General, are you seriously hurt?” but received no answer. He was killed instantly. The Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield, Missouri, Thursday, March 22, 1866. No. 77, page 1 column 8. Reminiscence of the War Who Killed General Lyon-Statement of a Kansas Office, an Eye Witness Note: The same statement appeared in this Kansas Territorial Newspaper. “The Death of General Lyon” from Border Times, Weston, Kansas, March 16, 1866.
  2010 A brick in honor of William M. Tholen has been placed in the Walk of Honor at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA.

My War Awards
  • Civil War Campaign Medal - Army (The decoration was awarded to members of the United States military who had served in the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. It is considered the first campaign service medal of the United States military.)
My War Pictures
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  William Tholen's Civil War pension record. William Tholen's Civil War pension record.