Death of Thomas S.
We give below a letter from Captain D. S. Porter, Company B, 11th Reg. P.V.R.C. to Abraham Moore, Esq., of this borough, announcing the death of his son:
Sept. 23d, 1861
Ere this reaches you, you will have learned the sad news of your son’s death. He was wounded about 9 o’clock on the morning of the 17th inst. His wound was a gunshot wound passing through his right lung and out at the right side below. When he fell I bro’t him back of the line and took off his cartridge box and belt. He was bleeding most profusely. I called for James Trimble and Henry Prothro to carry him away. They came to him but just then he appeared to be dying. We laid him on his back and went back to the line. I had not been back long before I heard Tom calling me. I went back to him. He was sitting up and seemed revived. He said if he was not carried away he would bleed to death. I determined to have him off the field at all hazards.
When I looked around at that gallant little band of eight that had followed me into that murderous fight but three were left. These three, Constantine Morton, Henry Prothro and James H. Trimble, speedily came back, got him on a blanket and carried him back till they got him in an ambulance. Henry Prothro went with him and the other two returned.
In a short time our brigade was relieved. I was not able to find your son until in the afternoon, when I found him in the care of John F. McClain, who was ministering to his every want. I spoke to the Doctor concerning him. He had dressed his wounds, but expressed no hope for his recovery. He promised me to do everything in his power. I asked it as a special favor. He was then perfectly sensible and complained of pain in his shoulder. I went over to the hospital in the morning. When I first looked at him I thought he was asleep, but alas! It was the long sleep of death.
His eyes were closed, and he seemed to have slept life sweetly away. I had him taken in an ambulance to Keedysville. Seven of us went with his body to town. Humphrey, Morton and myself returned to the regiment, whilst Henderson, McClain, Deblin and Howath remained and had him interred in a coffin, suitably marking his grave, so that should you desire to lift it, it can easily be found.
Your sons wild, generous nature made him a favorite with the company. On the day he fell, he fought most heroically, and I am sure from the steady aim he drew, more than one rebel was made to bite the dust. I miss him much and fell his loss in the company.
Everything was done for his comfort and proper interment that possibly could be done. It was a terrible battle and the slaughter was awful. It was sickening to pass over that bloody field. But, thank God, we were victorious.
I feel lost. My brave comrades are falling around me. God has been merciful to me and passed me through these deadly scenes. Loughry and Shambaugh fell at Bull Run. Stuchel, Wm. Loughry and Kimberlin, at South Mountain, your son and four wounded men in the last. As long as Company B lasts I am willing to stand at my post and share their dangers. May treason soon be blotted out and country made happy as it once was.
You will please accept my sympathy in your bereavement, and may the God on whom you have relied in days before, comfort and console you in the loss of your son. He fell for his country. Let him name be honored.
D. S. PORTER
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