Remembering the Tallest Man in the American Civil War


May 14, 1883, is the birthdate of Henry Clay Thruston who is known as the tallest man (7-foot, 7-inches) to serve in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Historians suspect his birthplace was in South Carolina, but he moved to Mount Vernon as an adult and became a landowner. Because of his impressive height, he also toured with traveling circuses as a sideshow act — often playing the part of Uncle Sam in parades that promoted the arrival of circuses in towns.

According to an article in, Thruston had recently returned home to Mount Vernon after a veterans reunion when he died in June 1909 of heart failure surrounded by his family. An 8-foot coffin had to be delivered by train from Texarkana, and the rear door of the hearse couldn’t be closed. He is buried in Edwards Cemetery in Mount Pleasant. 

Edit Module

We encourage you to post thoughtful and respectful comments on our stories and to share them through your favorite social networks.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags