You are absolutely correct!
Ross wrote: Thompson "...died with eight bullets in his body. With him as he lay dying was Tom Newton [jr], one of his former students who had been at his side during the fighting." Source: Ark Democrat, 19 Nov 1950, Mag Sect, page 12, Arkansas' History Wound Itself About St John's(sic)
You merely established the separation of there units during battle and that the two could NOT have, as she wrote, been side by side during the fighting.
I surmised that her story came from Thomas W Newton, JR's (TWN) family and through the years got mixed up, embellished or what ever.
She being the reporter/historian that she was, aquainted with Fay Hempstead, --- I jumped to the assumption there was truth in the side by side at Thompson's death part, beings both were officers, seriously injured and being bedded next to each other.
I doubt she would have written the article without having had the story told from a reliable source, like TWN, III (Fay Hempstead's son-law), or TWN, IV.
John Baker Thompson had given Fay Hempstead's mother his wife's portrait after Alice died in Wm E Woodruff's home across Nineth street from St Johns' College in 1860, and it was later determined in 1871, Fay's bride was related to Thompson's wife (who was eldest daughter of Thompson's high school principal, Pike Powers), so a connection of families existed, Thompson, Hempstead, Newton.