"As I pointed out the authors of the biographies embellished the truth."
The thing is I don't believe that the biography is embellished as much as it may seem. While certainly not logically correct in terms of military protocol, I have found that there is almost always some elements of truth in most every popular tale. The job of the researchers is to try to determine exactly what that logical truth is.
Thompson was without a doubt an important player in the political structuring and posturing of the 1st Arkansas Infantry in 1861. But exactly what his contributions were is the question?
The Masonic Organization was a powerful influence in all facets of political decision making all throughout the South from the time of the American Revolution. But personal ambitions were also a large part of the organization of such early units as the 1st Arkansas. I am aware of many people who became Masons in order to further their personal ambitions.
And then there is the personal patriotism and individual honor of such men, which has to be figured into the mix. The simple "doing of the right thing, because it should be done" type of personal code of honor of such men. Certainly both Bronaugh and Thompson were brave and couragious men as they both gave their lives for what they believed in. So I am not inclined to think of them as being involved for political purposes only. Each could have resigned their commissions and returned home to Arkansas.
So I look at this in this manner. Was Thompson and Bronaugh men of ambition who happened to be Masons in order to fulfill their ambitions? Which the term "Bluebloods" would seem to indicate. Or where they Masons who happen to sence a patriotic duty as a part of their personal honor and character? I think they were the latter.