HENRY CLAY THURSTON - THE TALLEST REBEL - 4TH MISSOURI CAVALRY
7 FEET 2 INCHES.
BORN ON 4 MAY 1830 IN GREENVILLE, S.C.
ALTHOUGH OFTEN A HEIGHT OF UP TO 7 FOOT 7 AND A HALF INCHES IS ATTRIBUTED TO HIM STORY TOLD BY HENRY AT THE 1909 REUNION:
The Rebel Army Company was lined up for “dress parade” somewhere in northern Arkansas. The ranks were in perfect alignment; troops were at attention, as the commanding officer, Colonel Preston, inspected the men.
The Colonel looked in the rear of the Company and saw Thruston rising well above the rest. “Get off that stump!” screamed Colonel Preston. Thruston didn’t move. In a rage, the Colonel repeated the order, not with a scream but with a roar. Thruston still didn’t move as he stood at attention. Now, in something well beyond fury, the Colonel drew his saber, swung it back over his head and stomped toward Thruston seething through his gritted teeth, “I will make you obey my orders!”
As the soldiers in front quickly parted a swath for the raging Colonel, he demanded, “What are you standing on?” When the Colonel came face to chest with the gentle giant, Thruston looked down on the Colonel, about two feet below and calmly said, “I’m standing on the ground.”
Thruston became a prisoner of war late in the conflict, but did not spend long in confinement, gaining parole at Shreveport, LA in June 1865.
After the war, he reunited with his family in Missouri and migrated southwest to Texas , he died on Friday, July 2 1909, 79 years old. His gravestone lists his year of death as 1911, but this is seen as an engraver’s mistake.
From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr