Should George Thomas Be Posthumously Promoted to Lieutenant General?

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
2,135
Location
Manor, TX
#1
In 1976, George Washington was posthumously promoted from Lieutenant General to General of the Armies. He deserved it.

With such a historical precedent established, it seems to me that we could right a great wrong. General George Thomas was promoted to the rank of Major General in the regular army dating from December 15, 1864 (the date of his victory at Nashville). However, he never received a promotion to Lieutenant General. Considering that George Thomas did as much, if not more, to contribute to the Union victory as William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and John Schofield, all of whom received a promotion to Lieutenant General, would it not be proper and fitting for George Thomas to receive a posthumous promotion to Lieutenant General?
 

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thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
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3,647
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Denmark
#3
No.

Posthumous promotions or medals is fine if the soldier died in action.

And I think it is a very good idea to bring focus (with medals or similar.. or maybe a movie) to people of color and/or women who did extraordinary things, but did not get the credit they should have because of skin color and/or sex.

But in this case no. Thomas had the correct rank for the job he did.
 
Joined
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#4
He was offered Lt. General by President Johnson for his loyalty... 1867 President Johnson offers to Promote General Thomas to Lt. General and made Commander and Chief of the Army to supplant General Grant in that capacity. General Thomas turns down this politically inspired move.

When President Johnson wanted to make him a full general, Thomas declined, understanding the move as Johnson's attempt to sidetrack Grant's progress toward the White House. He said he had done nothing since the war to deserve a promotion, and if the honor was for wartime service, it had come too late.

So even General Thomas thinks it too late to promote him to Lt. General...

This is at Nashville... Grant wants to fire Thomas for the same thing Grant was doing in Petersburg sitting in trenches...

On December 15, Thomas, unaware that Grant intended to fire him, roared out of his works against Hood. In two days his troops crushed the Rebel army. His infantry, including two brigades of U.S. Colored Troops, smashed into Hood's troops while the Union cavalry, dismounted with its fast-firing Spencers, curled around and behind the Rebel left. Almost a century later, historian Bruce Catton summed up the battle in two words: "Everything worked."

Nashville was the only engagement in which one army virtually annihilated another. Thomas B. Buell, a student of Civil War generalship, wrote that in Tennessee, Thomas performed the war's "unsurpassed masterpiece of theater command and control....So modern in concept, so sweeping in scope, it would become a model for strategic maneuver in 20th-century warfare." After it, there was no more large-scale fighting west of the Blue Ridge.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/catching-up-with-old-slow-trot-148045684/
 

67th Tigers

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,427
#5
Grant wrote in his memoirs that McClellan, Meade and Thomas should all have been promoted Lt Gen to date from the Battles of Antietam, Gettysburg and Nashville respectively. However, when he had power to do it, he didn't...
 

DanSBHawk

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#6
Grant wrote in his memoirs that McClellan, Meade and Thomas should all have been promoted Lt Gen to date from the Battles of Antietam, Gettysburg and Nashville respectively. However, when he had power to do it, he didn't...
I don't remember Grant writing that.

Sherman wrote something along those lines in his memoirs... that Meade, Sheridan, and Thomas should have been promoted to Lt General for Gettysburg, Winchester, and Nashville. But nothing about McClellan.

At any rate, Grant never had the power to do it. Only congress could have done it.
 

WJC

Brigadier General
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#9
He was offered Lt. General by President Johnson for his loyalty... 1867 President Johnson offers to Promote General Thomas to Lt. General and made Commander and Chief of the Army to supplant General Grant in that capacity. General Thomas turns down this politically inspired move.

When President Johnson wanted to make him a full general, Thomas declined, understanding the move as Johnson's attempt to sidetrack Grant's progress toward the White House. He said he had done nothing since the war to deserve a promotion, and if the honor was for wartime service, it had come too late.

So even General Thomas thinks it too late to promote him to Lt. General...

This is at Nashville... Grant wants to fire Thomas for the same thing Grant was doing in Petersburg sitting in trenches...

On December 15, Thomas, unaware that Grant intended to fire him, roared out of his works against Hood. In two days his troops crushed the Rebel army. His infantry, including two brigades of U.S. Colored Troops, smashed into Hood's troops while the Union cavalry, dismounted with its fast-firing Spencers, curled around and behind the Rebel left. Almost a century later, historian Bruce Catton summed up the battle in two words: "Everything worked."

Nashville was the only engagement in which one army virtually annihilated another. Thomas B. Buell, a student of Civil War generalship, wrote that in Tennessee, Thomas performed the war's "unsurpassed masterpiece of theater command and control....So modern in concept, so sweeping in scope, it would become a model for strategic maneuver in 20th-century warfare." After it, there was no more large-scale fighting west of the Blue Ridge.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/catching-up-with-old-slow-trot-148045684/
Thanks for sharing that information. I wasn't aware of it. but it increases my already great respect and admiration for the man.
 

67th Tigers

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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Messages
3,427
#11
I don't remember Grant writing that.

Sherman wrote something along those lines in his memoirs... that Meade, Sheridan, and Thomas should have been promoted to Lt General for Gettysburg, Winchester, and Nashville. But nothing about McClellan.
Indeed, you're correct that that was Sherman.
 



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