Monument to Thornsbury Bailey Brown
Located just before the current Fetterman Bridge in Grafton, WV on Route 50, this monument is dedicated to the memory of the first Union soldier that was killed in the Civil War by Confederate troops. The soldier’s name was Thurnsbury Bailey Brown. He was shot on the old Fetterman Bridge on May 22, 1861. He is buried in the Grafton National Cemetery. The monument was erected on May 16, 1925 by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Backstory and Context
Private Thornsbury Bailey Brown traveled with his fellow union solider Lieutenant Daniel Wilson from Grafton, Virginia to Pruntytown, Virginia in order to recruit more soldiers. On May 22, 1861, during their return journey, the two men met Confederate soldiers George E. Glenn, Daniel W.S. Knight, and William Reese at the Fetterman Bridge. Brown fired at the opposing men, injuring Knight, and Knight returned fire, killing Brown and making him the first Union solider killed in the Civil War. Brown was originally buried in a family plot, but his body was eventually moved to the Grafton National Cemetery in 1903.