Friday, July 31, 2009

Rock of Chickamauga

General George Henry Thomas was born on July 31st 1816.

George Henry Thomas was born July 31st 1816 in Southampton County Virginia. As a boy he warned neighbors about the slave revolute led by Nat Turner in 1831. He graduated from West Point in 1840, and saw military service in the Seminole Indian War, the Mexican War, and served as an instructor at West Point. In 1855, the US Secretary of War Jefferson Davis appointed Thomas as a Major to the Second Cavalry.

With the out break of the Civil War, he like many southerns debated staying in the Union army. Thomas remained with the US military, and quickly rose through the ranks. On January 19th 1862, while in command of a force in Kentucky he attacked General Felix Zollicoffer’s Confederates at Mill Springs, and won the first important western theater Union victory. Holding firm to the field during the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19th 1863, Thomas earned the name “The Rock of Chickamauga”. In the autumn of 1864 Thomas was given the task of dealing with John Bell Hood in Tennessee, while General William Tecumseh Sherman made his march to the sea. For his victory in outside of Nashville TN, December 16th 1864 over Hood he was promoted to Major General, and given the thanks of Congress.

After the Civil War ended Thomas led the military departments in Kentucky and Tennessee until 1869. He was ordered to the West coast where he became the division commander of the Pacific and was headquarter in San Francisco. Thomas died there March 28th 1870.

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