Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Where Detroit's History Endures
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Thornton Fleming Brodhead

Brevet Brigadier General

Thornton Brodhead was born September 22, 1822 in South New Market, New Hampshire. He studied law at Harvard, graduating in 1845, after which he moved to Pontiac, Michigan. He was soon afterward appointed Prosecuting Attorney and Deputy Secretary of State. At the age of 27, Brodhead was elected to the Michigan Senate. He married Archange Macomb, a daughter of General William Macomb and they had six children. He was the owner and editor of the Democratic Free Press and, in 1851, purchased the Detroit Commercial Bulletin. Brodhead owned the first steam printing press in Michigan. He was active in national Democratic politics and, in 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Postmaster of Detroit, a post he held until 1857.

Brodhead enlisted in April of 1847 as 1st Lieutenant and Adjutant in the 15th U. S. Infantry during the Mexican War and he was brevetted to the rank of Captain on August 20, 1847. He was made a Full Captain on December 2, 1847 and was mustered out on July 31, 1848 when the troops were disbanded.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Brodhead was commissioned to raise a regiment of cavalry. On August 22, 1861, he was made Colonel of the 1st Michigan Cavalry. Colonel Brodhead was in many raids, skirmishes and battles and had two horses shot out from under him. Brodhead was mortally wounded while leading his men to the charge during the Battle of Bull Run, dying on September 2, 1862. He had been brevetted Brigadier General of the U. S. Volunteers as of August 30, 1862.

Born: September 22, 1822
Died: September 2, 1862
Buried: Section N, Lot 107