Hamilton Countys Last Civil War Veteran
Thomas Wheatley Brown
Thomas Wheatley Brown was Hamilton County, Indianas oldest surviving veteran of the Civil War. Brown served as a Private under the command of Colonel Abel Streights 51st Regiment Indiana Infantry, Company D, from Dec 10, 1861 to June 19, 1865.
Browns company served in major battles of the Civil War in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Besides contributing to other campaigns, he engaged in direct combat at the battles of Shiloh, Stones River and Vicksburg. He and the 51st also participated in Streight's raids through Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia in 1863, the latter conflict which resulted in his being wounded in the left hand.
Brown and others from his company were captured by Confederates and sent to Belle Island prison near Richmond for three months until released as a result of a prisoner exchange. According to his service record he was hospitalized on several occasions due to illness and wounds, but remained with his regiment until the close of the war. 
Of special note, an officer from his same company, Marion T. Anderson of Kokomo, Indiana, Captain of Company D, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic action during the Battle of Nashville on Dec 16, 1864.
Thomas Brown was born on March 3, 1834, one of twelve children of Evan and Nancy (Clark) Brown of Mercer Co, KY. He married Nancy Ellen Wilham in Johnson Co, Indiana in 1864, and together they had 11 children.
For his many years after the war, Brown worked as a farmer. For the remainder of his life it was said that despite relatively good health, he suffered discomfort and pain in his feet from the many hundreds of miles marched during his past infantry service. This however did not seem to disuade his mobility but he remained quite active into his more advanced years. At the age of 91 he still performed regular chores around his home, maintained a good sized garden and truck patch, and walked daily from his rural home to the town post office to retrieve his mail.
Thomas Brown died on January 28, 1928, at the age of 93, in Atlanta, Hamilton Co, Indiana. He is buried in Tipton, Indiana.
Greater accounts of Thomas Browns regiment can be reviewed in the History of the 51st Regiment Indiana Infantry, by Wm. R. Hartpence, Sergeant Major, 1894, available at www.archive.org/details/veteranvolinf00hartrich.
— Written by Dale A. Robbins, great-grandson of Thomas W. Brown
1. The Noblesville Ledger 01/31/1928 (click to view)
3. National Archives and Records Administration, Film M540, Roll 9
4. The Tipton Tribune, 03/04/1925
5. History of the 51st Regiment Indiana Infantry, by Wm. R. Hartpence, Sergeant Major, 1894
Below is a reproduction of a front-page news article from The Noblesville Daily Ledger, which reported the death of Thomas W. Brown, on Tuesday January 31, 1928
(Click to view the actual photocopied article, acquired from the Noblesville Public Library microfilm archives)
Additional Links to Histories Relating To The Fifty-first Indiana Infantry
History of the 51st Regiment Indiana Infantry, by Wm. R. Hartpence, Sergeant Major, 1894.
Reference to Hartpence's History of the Fifty-First Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry.
Snipes, Levi. Personal Narrative of Levi Snipes.
United States Government. Harvey Wards Military Records. December 14, 1861-December 16, 1864.
Compendium of Regimental Histories - Fifty-First Indiana Infantry.
Deeds of Valor at Battle of Nashville - Metal of Honor, Captain Marion T. Anderson, 51st Indiana Company D.
Deeds of Valor - A Charge in Water and Darkness. Captain Milton T. Russel.
War of the Rebellion - Official Records.
Hurst, Stephen F. - The Experiences of Sergeant Jeremiah S. Hurst Co. B, 51st Indiana Veteran Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. Part 1
Hurst, Stephen F. - The Experiences of Sergeant Jeremiah S. Hurst Co. B, 51st Indiana Veteran Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. Part 2
Thomas Wheatley Brown, listed in Civil War academic reference