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Peter Thompson


Company C

Born: September 1, 1853* (Fifeshire, Scotland)

Died: December 3, 1928 (Hot Springs, South Dakota)

Grave location: West Lead Cemetery, Lead, South Dakota

Grave GPS Coordinates: N44 20.922 W103 46.683

He enlisted on September 21, 1875, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Lt. Thomas Gregg.  He listed his previous occupation as miner. He was transferred to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri and was assigned to Company C, 7th Cavalry at Fort Lincoln. He was discharged on September 20, 1880, at Fort Meade, Dakota, upon expiration of service, as a private of excellent character. He had brown eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, and was 5’ 8 ¾” in height. He ran a ranch northeast of Alzada, Montana, until he died in 1928.  Thompson and the rest of Company C were assigned to the battalion under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. His horse gave out and he fell back and eventually joined Major Reno and the troops on the hilltop. He was wounded in the right hand while with the water party on June 26th. He was transported to Fort Lincoln aboard the steamer Far West. He was issued the Medal of Honor on October 5, 1878, as a member of the water party with the citation”… after having voluntarily brought water to the wounded in which effort he was shot through the hand, he made two more successful trips for the same purpose notwithstanding the remonstrances of his sergeant.”

*His date of birth has also been listed as December 28, 1853. (Thanks to Rocky Boyd for clearing up the facts about Thompson’s date of birth. The date of December 28, 1853 was actually the day that Thompson was baptized.  The December 28th date is the one that appears on his grave markers.)

Headstone for Peter Thompson at the West Lead Cemetery - Lead, South Dakota

Marker on Thompson's grave indicating he was a holder of the Medal of Honor

  Peter Thompson's Medal of Honor - on display at the High Plains Western Heritage Center in Spearfish, South Dakota.

  New flag and light installed at Thompson's gravesite as a tribute to this Medal of Honor winner.  See newspaper coverage below.

  Newspaper Coverage of new flag and light being erected over Thompson's grave - June 17, 2013 and June 24, 2013

Peter Thompson articles and obituary - various newspapers of 1928

  Peter Thompson Obituary - Hot Springs Weekly Star - December 11, 1928

Peter Thompson's account of the Battle of the Little Big Horn - Belle Fourche Bee, February 19, 1914 - April 9, 1914


Joseph Bates aka Joseph Murphy -- Abram Brant -- Alexander Brown -- John Burri -- Rose Courtney -- Peter Eixenberger -- Moses Flint

Edward Garlick  -- Max Goetze -- John Hammon -- Max Hoehn -- Jacob Katzemeir -- James King -- John Lattman -- John Mahoney

Samuel McCormick -- James McGee -- David McWilliams -- Jan Mollar -- Daniel Newell -- Olans Northeg -- John Pahl

James Rooney -- Elijah Strode -- Peter Thompson -- George Weaver -- Henry Charles Weihe -- Markus Weiss -- Charles Windolph