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SUBMITTED BY:  Jean Finch Inscoe (edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter)

Thomas Warren Shearin was born on April 24, 1832 to his parents Seth and Mary “Polly” Pike Shearin of Warren County, North Carolina. As an adult, Thomas married Susan D. Myrick and the couple had a large family. On July 22, 1861, Thomas was residing in Halifax, but enlisted in the Confederate Army in Warren County, North Carolina. He served in Company K of the 1st Infantry (North Carolina). According to his military records, on Oct. 18, 1862, Thomas was hospitalized at Richmond, Virginia, with a “contused wound” (North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, 1993) His wound healed, and he returned on Nov. 17, 1862. On May 12, 1864, Thomas was taken prisoner at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, and confined a couple of days later at Point Lookout, Maryland. He was exchanged on Feb. 13, 1865 and returned to serve with his company until the surrender at Appomattox.

Thomas Warren Shearin got the name “Capt. Plunk” sometime during his Civil War experiences. Based on some of the writings of Civil War veterans, one of the most fearful sounds was the Minié ball striking nearby. Because of the difference between the speed of sound and the speed of the ball, often the “plunk” would come before the report. For reasons known only to Thomas, he was called “Capt. Plunk,” and the appellation stayed with him for the remainder of his life. According to his obituary in The News Reporter, he died on June 26, 1922.

Sources: North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, 1993; The News Reporter (Littleton, N.C.)

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