John Reuben Thompson was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1828 to Yankee parents and educated in Richmond and Connecticut. He attended the University of Virginia, taking a law degree in 1845. His literary career took off when his father purchased for him TheSouthern Literary Messenger, once edited by Edgar Allen Poe.
When the War Between the States began, Thompson served as assistant secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia and edited the The Richmond Record and The Southern Illustrated News. He was also a contributor to The Index (the Confederacy's British publication). When failing health forced him to surrender his editorial duties, he ran the blockade and spent the remainder of the War in England, becoming The Index's chief writer.
Thompson remained in England after the War and moved in the highest English literary circles, counting Thackery, the Brownings, Tennyson, and Carlisle among his friends. He edited the memoirs of Prussian soldier of fortune Heros von Borke, who had served the Confederacy under JEB Stuart, and eventually returned to New York in the fall of 1866 to work for William Cullen Bryant at The Evening Post. After his death in New York in 1873, he was returned to his native Virginia and was buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.
"Lee to the Rear" || "Obsequies of Stuart" || "Music in Camp" || "The Burial of Latane" || "Turner Ashby" || "A Word With the West" || "On to Richmond" || "A Farewell to Pope"
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Last modified 16-April-2001