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A Last Request

Born August 4, 1841, Ruffin Thomson was a young man in Mississippi when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private and was wounded at Gettysburg. In 1864, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Confederate States Marine Corps and ended the war at Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1865.

Following his military service, he became a medical doctor, married and eventually settled in Florida with his family. While there, he was offered an appointment as clerk at the Yakama Indian Agency. He arrived here at Fort Simcoe in February 1888, at the age of 46. Within a month after his arrival, he became ill and died. At his request he was buried here at Fort Simcoe State Park near White Swan by the oak grove "where the sun shines brightly from heaven and the birds sing over my grave."

On Father's Day 1966 a new grave marker was placed commemorating Thomson's military service. Water from the Pearl River (which bordered his family farm in Lake Wier near his Florida home) and the Mississippi River was poured on the grave site. Soil from Mississippi and Florida was mixed with the earth of Washington and the Yakama Nation, and spread over the grave site.