Friday, October 29, 2010
The Phantom General
Thomas Edwin Greenfield Ransom was born November 29th 1831 in Norwich Vermont the son of Colonel Truman B Ransom. Ransom’s father was killed in action at the Battle of Chapultepec when he was fourteen. In 1848 Ransom entered Norwich University or Norwich Military Academy, following three years in school he moved to Illinois. He lived with an uncle in Peru Illinois and become known as the “Boy Surveyor” and he joined in business with fellow Norwich graduate Grenville M Dodge.
Ranson was working for the Illinois Central Railroad when the Civil War started. He raised troops for what would become Company “E” of the 11th Illinois. By November 9th 1862 Ransom was commissioned Brigadier General and was in command of a brigade in the Sixth Division of the XVII Corps. He was wounded four times in the fighting, at Fort Donelson, during a skirmish near Charleston Missouri, the Battle of Shiloh, and at the Battle of Sabine Cross Roads. This last time his wound were bad enough that he was sent to Chicago for treatment. He was assumed to have been killed so many time that he became known as the “Phantom General”. Returning the command in Georgia he was struck with typhoid, which weakened him and led to his death. Just before Ransom died he said, "I am not afraid to die, I have met death too often to be afraid of it now." He died near Rome Georgia October 29th 1864 and is buried in the Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago Illinois.