Death of Capt. John Thomson

Many thanks to Cousin Jim Thomson

Franklin Missouri Intelligencer, September 24, 1822, Page 3

We lament to notice the death of Capt. John Thomson, who was shot by a sentinel at the encamping ground in Richmond, on Wednesday night last. The circumstances, as we understand, were as follows: Several persons were at a short distance from the line of sentinels actively employed in making much noise and tumult. Capt. Thomson was the officer of the night, and was ordered to take a detachment of men and bring these disorderly persons into camp. He started for this purpose, and in passing the guard advanced, as he was ordered, to give the countersign. When he came to the guard, the sentinel instead of presenting his gun at his breast, passed it by his hip--Capt. Thomson then instructed him in his duty by having the gun placed against his breast; and while in this situation it accidentally discharged its contents into his breast; and although it was loaded only with powder and wadding, he survivied but a short time. By this fatality the military are deprived of a correct disciplinarian and a prompt officer; and society of a valueable citizen, and an upright man.
Capt. Thomson commanded the independent company of Riflemen attached to the 10 regiment 1st battalion Missouri Militia.
That such accidents may be in future avoided, we think it might not be unworthy of consideration by the commanding officers, whether it would not be as well to have no man stand as sentinel with his gun loaded. Would it not be better than even no sentinels should be posted, than that one man should lose his life, his children a father, and his wife the partner of her bosom.

(Transcription by J. E. Thomson)