Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary

By Charles F. Ritter; Jon L. Wakelyn | Go to book overview

GEORGE HENRY THOMAS (March 31, 1816–March 28, 1870)

Charles F. Ritter

Union General George H. Thomas ended the Civil War as he began it, with a decisive victory over Confederate forces. Indeed, during his thirty­year­long military career, he never lost a fight and is known to history as “The Rock of Chickamauga.” Recognizing Thomas’s important contribution to Union victory, Ezra Warner says that he was the “third of the triumvirate who won the war” (Warner, 500). In fact, George Thomas is the only Union general to do what President Abraham Lincoln (q.v.) wanted all his generals to do—destroy Confederate armies.

It is symptomatic of Thomas’s historical reputation that he gained his wellknown sobriquet from the Union defeat at Chickamauga but that he is little recognized for the Union’s final victory in the Western Theater of the war, Nashville. No fewer than ten biographers have attempted to rectify this oversight in the last century and a half. Yet interest in Thomas is so low that one major university library has moved its four biographies of the general to off­campus storage. Perhaps this lack of interest stems in part from Thomas’s own elusive nature. Another factor to explain his obscurity may lie in the price he paid for overshadowing Ulysses S. Grant (q.v.) and William T. Sherman (q.v.) at Chattanooga and for defying Grant at Nashville.

Born on a prosperous farm in Southampton County, Virginia, on March 31, 1816, Thomas was one of five children of John and Elizabeth (Rochelle) Thomas. He descended from English, Welsh, and French Huguenot ancestors long resident in the region. Educated at Southampton Academy, Thomas read law with his uncle James Rochelle, the clerk of the country court. But the law bored him. A family friend, Congressman John Y. Mason, suggested he go to West Point, where he graduated twelfth in his class of forty­two in 1840. Although the lively “Cump” Sherman was his roommate, his classmates called him “Old Tom “ because of his serious demeanor. Commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd Artillery upon graduation, Thomas was sent to Florida, where he par

-416-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 466

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.