Should George Thomas Be Posthumously Promoted to Lieutenant General?

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
2,148
Location
Manor, TX
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?
 

Jamieva

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
4,265
Location
Midlothian, VA
Those 3 all were promoted to LG after the war due to ascending to the title of General of the Army. Thomas never achieved that title and that is why he never was promoted to LG
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
3,902
Location
Denmark
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.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
7,275
Location
Central Florida
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

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,642
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

First Sergeant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
1,552
Location
Wisconsin
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.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

DanSBHawk

First Sergeant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
1,552
Location
Wisconsin
Sherman thought that Thomas' death was partly due to the "ingratitude" of not being promoted to Lt General.
 

WJC

Major General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
12,765
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.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,642
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.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top