|Birth: ||Jan. 25, 1843|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jul. 7, 1916|
Mrs. Thorp was the daughter of Col. John W. Major and the former Cyrene Rathbone, a descendant of Revolutionary War soldier Moses Van Campen. Mrs. Thorp was educated at New York's Alfred University.
During the Civil War, Mrs. Thorp sang at Union recruiting rallies; her melodic voice and patriotic songs urging young men to volunteer. It was at these occasions that she became acquainted with Capt. Thomas Thorp, a dashing Union officer six years her senior. Thorp was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 130th New York Infantry. Before the regiment shipped out, the soldiers formed in a hollow square on the banks of the Genesee River to witness the marriage of Lt. Col. Thorp to nineteen year old Mandana Major. The wedding was performed September 6, 1862 by Rev. Joel Wakeman who was also the captain of Company H.
Mrs. Thorp was not content to remain at home and she made plans to join the regiment in the field. She made her way to the front lines and rendered service as a volunteer nurse providing comfort to the sick and tending wounded in camp and hospital the duration of the war.
The victorious Union Army was ordered to Washington D.C. where they were to march in a Grand Review before President Johnson and General Grant. Leading the 1st New York Dragoons was Thomas J. Thorp, riding under a banner emblazoned with the single star of a brigadier general. Riding at the general's side under her own banner decorated with a full eagle, was a woman so beloved by the regiment she was granted that place of honor: The Angel of the Battlefield, Mandana Major Thorp.
After the Civil War the Thorps lived in New York, Michigan, Arizona, and Oregon. Mrs. Thorp was a prohibition crusader in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and was also active in the Woman's Relief Corps representing Oregon at the 1897 national convention in New York.
Following her husband's death, the U.S. Congress, in appreciation for the Thorps Civil War service, passed a bill awarding Mrs. Thorp a pension of $30 per month. Mandana Thorp moved to Portland to live with her daughter Bessie but outlived her husband by less than a year. She passed away on July 7, 1916 at the age of seventy-three.
Ninety-seven years after her death, a successful fundraiser effort purchased a headstone to mark the grave of this incredible woman. The headstone was dedicated on April 6, 2013 by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Thomas Jones Thorp (1837 - 1915)*
Simeon Alexander Thorp (1866 - 1883)*
Annie Leona Thorp Sunderland (1870 - ____)*
Bessie Maybelle Thorp (1878 - 1941)*
Evangeline Lulu Thorp (1879 - ____)*
Stephen Montgomery Thorp (1884 - 1932)*
River View Cemetery
Plot: Sec 106 Lot 8A
Created by: Randy Fletcher
Record added: Mar 17, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86918740