The dichotomy between George H. Thomas and Francis A. Shoup.

Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Our greatest schism provided us with many interesting stories. Two that I find very interesting are the tales of General George Thomas of Virginia, and Francis A. Shoup of Indiana. What I find so peculiar about these two is that even though they had roots in states of opposing factions, they both chose to go against their home land.

George H. Thomas was born in Newsom's Depot Virginia, Francis A. Shoup was born some where in Franklin county Inidana. One Northerner, one southerner. When it came time for lines to be drawn Thomas chose the North, Shoup chose the South.

Allegedly, Thomas Chose the North because his wife was from there. Shoup chose the South for what he described as "aristocratic inclinations and admiration for the South." Whatever you think of the both these men, there decisions go against the grain. Had history been different? How does that play out? Especially Thomas, I couldn't imagine how bad Chickamauga would've been without him, or would it even have happend at all?

These are just my passing thoughts, what do you guys think? These guys are stand outs amongst the crowd. Thoughts?

George Thomas.jpg


George H. Thomas.

Francis_Asbury_Shoup.jpg

Francis A. Schoup.​
 

uaskme

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Chickamanga would have happened with Or without Thomas. Thomas definitely made a difference at Chickamauga. He was the most experienced Corps commander Rosecrans had. Confederacy surely needed a Thomas or 12. Thomas said at Stones River, their is no place I’d rather die. I don’t thing the AOT had any commander with that attitude.

Schoup wasn’t a game changer. Bad swap, as usual for the Confederacy.
 
I can't comment about Francis Schoup but can offer the following about General Thomas taken from Van Horne's biography of him.

Colonel A. L. Hough, a personal friend and one General Thomas's staff officers, published the following letter after his death in regards to any rumors and question about Thomas's loyalty before and during the war:

"As a confidential staff officer, one of his aides de camp, I had the privilege of having many conversations with General Thomas upon matters relating to the war. The most important of these conversations I made notes of at the time, with his knowledge and consent. Among them is one on the subject of Fitzhugh Lee's letter, which I copy from my note book. A slander upon the general was often repeated in the Southern papers during and immediately subsequent to the rebellion. It was given upon the authority of prominent rebel officers, and not denied by them. It was to the effect that he was disappointed in not getting a high command in the rebel army he had sought for, hence his refusal to join the rebellion. In a conversation with him on the subject, the general said: This was an entire fabrication, not having an atom of foundation ; not a line ever passed between him and the rebel authorities ; they had no genuine letter of his, nor was a word spoken by him to any one that could even lead to such an inference. He defied any one to produce any testimony, written or oral, to sustain such an allegation; he never entertained such an idea, for his duty was clear from the beginning. These slanders were caused by men who knew they had done wrong, but were endeavoring to justify themselves by claiming their action to be a virtue which all men would have followed, and by blackening the character of those who had done right. It was evident they were determined that no Southern-born man, who had remained true to his country, should bear a reputable character, if continued and repeated abuse could effect a stain upon it."

"Another conversation, showing his opinion of the authors of these slanders, and his own views at the breaking out of the rebellion, it is well to give, also; it is as follows: 'In a discussion of the causes given for their action by some officers who deserted the Government at the beginning of the rebellion, I ventured the assertion that, perhaps, some of them at distant posts had acted ignorantly; that I had been informed that some of them had been imposed upon by friends and relatives, and led to believe that there was to be a peaceable dissolution of the Union ; that there would be no actual government for the whole country, and by resigning their commissions they were only taking the necessary steps towards returning to the allegiance of their respective States, he replied: that this was but a poor excuse ; he could not believe officers of the army were so ignorant of their own form of government as to suppose such proceedings could occur, and as they had sworn allegiance to the government they were bound to adhere to it, and would have done so if they had been so inclined. He said there was no excuse whatever in a United States officer claiming the right of secession, and the only excuse for their deserting the government was what none of them admitted, having engaged in—a revolution against a tyranny, because the tyranny did not exist, and they well knew it.' I then asked him: 'Supposing such a state of affairs existed, that arrangements were being made for a peaceable dissolution of the Union by the Government, the North from the South, and that it was in progress, what would you have done ?' He promptly replied: 'That is not a supposable case; the government cannot dissolve itself; it is the creature of the people, and until they had agreed by their votes to dissolve it, and it was accomplished in accordance therewith, the government to which they had sworn allegiance remained, and as long as it did exist, I should have adhered to it.'"
Thomas B. Van Horne, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1882, The Life of Major-General George H. Thomas, pp. 25-26
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
I can't comment about Francis Schoup but can offer the following about General Thomas taken from Van Horne's biography of him.

Colonel A. L. Hough, a personal friend and one General Thomas's staff officers, published the following letter after his death in regards to any rumors and question about Thomas's loyalty before and during the war:

"As a confidential staff officer, one of his aides de camp, I had the privilege of having many conversations with General Thomas upon matters relating to the war. The most important of these conversations I made notes of at the time, with his knowledge and consent. Among them is one on the subject of Fitzhugh Lee's letter, which I copy from my note book. A slander upon the general was often repeated in the Southern papers during and immediately subsequent to the rebellion. It was given upon the authority of prominent rebel officers, and not denied by them. It was to the effect that he was disappointed in not getting a high command in the rebel army he had sought for, hence his refusal to join the rebellion. In a conversation with him on the subject, the general said: This was an entire fabrication, not having an atom of foundation ; not a line ever passed between him and the rebel authorities ; they had no genuine letter of his, nor was a word spoken by him to any one that could even lead to such an inference. He defied any one to produce any testimony, written or oral, to sustain such an allegation; he never entertained such an idea, for his duty was clear from the beginning. These slanders were caused by men who knew they had done wrong, but were endeavoring to justify themselves by claiming their action to be a virtue which all men would have followed, and by blackening the character of those who had done right. It was evident they were determined that no Southern-born man, who had remained true to his country, should bear a reputable character, if continued and repeated abuse could effect a stain upon it."

"Another conversation, showing his opinion of the authors of these slanders, and his own views at the breaking out of the rebellion, it is well to give, also; it is as follows: 'In a discussion of the causes given for their action by some officers who deserted the Government at the beginning of the rebellion, I ventured the assertion that, perhaps, some of them at distant posts had acted ignorantly; that I had been informed that some of them had been imposed upon by friends and relatives, and led to believe that there was to be a peaceable dissolution of the Union ; that there would be no actual government for the whole country, and by resigning their commissions they were only taking the necessary steps towards returning to the allegiance of their respective States, he replied: that this was but a poor excuse ; he could not believe officers of the army were so ignorant of their own form of government as to suppose such proceedings could occur, and as they had sworn allegiance to the government they were bound to adhere to it, and would have done so if they had been so inclined. He said there was no excuse whatever in a United States officer claiming the right of secession, and the only excuse for their deserting the government was what none of them admitted, having engaged in—a revolution against a tyranny, because the tyranny did not exist, and they well knew it.' I then asked him: 'Supposing such a state of affairs existed, that arrangements were being made for a peaceable dissolution of the Union by the Government, the North from the South, and that it was in progress, what would you have done ?' He promptly replied: 'That is not a supposable case; the government cannot dissolve itself; it is the creature of the people, and until they had agreed by their votes to dissolve it, and it was accomplished in accordance therewith, the government to which they had sworn allegiance remained, and as long as it did exist, I should have adhered to it.'"
Thomas B. Van Horne, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1882, The Life of Major-General George H. Thomas, pp. 25-26
Wow, Thomas sounded very well thought out. Thank you so much for posting these excerpts, gave me alot to think about.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Chickamanga would have happened with Or without Thomas. Thomas definitely made a difference at Chickamauga. He was the most experienced Corps commander Rosecrans had. Confederacy surely needed a Thomas or 12. Thomas said at Stones River, their is no place I’d rather die. I don’t thing the AOT had any commander with that attitude.

Schoup wasn’t a game changer. Bad swap, as usual for the Confederacy.
Schoup definetly wasn't a game changer, Thomas on the other hand...

Schoup intrigued me because of his choice, seemed far less noble then Thomas's.
 

uaskme

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
I can't comment about Francis Schoup but can offer the following about General Thomas taken from Van Horne's biography of him.

Colonel A. L. Hough, a personal friend and one General Thomas's staff officers, published the following letter after his death in regards to any rumors and question about Thomas's loyalty before and during the war:

"As a confidential staff officer, one of his aides de camp, I had the privilege of having many conversations with General Thomas upon matters relating to the war. The most important of these conversations I made notes of at the time, with his knowledge and consent. Among them is one on the subject of Fitzhugh Lee's letter, which I copy from my note book. A slander upon the general was often repeated in the Southern papers during and immediately subsequent to the rebellion. It was given upon the authority of prominent rebel officers, and not denied by them. It was to the effect that he was disappointed in not getting a high command in the rebel army he had sought for, hence his refusal to join the rebellion. In a conversation with him on the subject, the general said: This was an entire fabrication, not having an atom of foundation ; not a line ever passed between him and the rebel authorities ; they had no genuine letter of his, nor was a word spoken by him to any one that could even lead to such an inference. He defied any one to produce any testimony, written or oral, to sustain such an allegation; he never entertained such an idea, for his duty was clear from the beginning. These slanders were caused by men who knew they had done wrong, but were endeavoring to justify themselves by claiming their action to be a virtue which all men would have followed, and by blackening the character of those who had done right. It was evident they were determined that no Southern-born man, who had remained true to his country, should bear a reputable character, if continued and repeated abuse could effect a stain upon it."

"Another conversation, showing his opinion of the authors of these slanders, and his own views at the breaking out of the rebellion, it is well to give, also; it is as follows: 'In a discussion of the causes given for their action by some officers who deserted the Government at the beginning of the rebellion, I ventured the assertion that, perhaps, some of them at distant posts had acted ignorantly; that I had been informed that some of them had been imposed upon by friends and relatives, and led to believe that there was to be a peaceable dissolution of the Union ; that there would be no actual government for the whole country, and by resigning their commissions they were only taking the necessary steps towards returning to the allegiance of their respective States, he replied: that this was but a poor excuse ; he could not believe officers of the army were so ignorant of their own form of government as to suppose such proceedings could occur, and as they had sworn allegiance to the government they were bound to adhere to it, and would have done so if they had been so inclined. He said there was no excuse whatever in a United States officer claiming the right of secession, and the only excuse for their deserting the government was what none of them admitted, having engaged in—a revolution against a tyranny, because the tyranny did not exist, and they well knew it.' I then asked him: 'Supposing such a state of affairs existed, that arrangements were being made for a peaceable dissolution of the Union by the Government, the North from the South, and that it was in progress, what would you have done ?' He promptly replied: 'That is not a supposable case; the government cannot dissolve itself; it is the creature of the people, and until they had agreed by their votes to dissolve it, and it was accomplished in accordance therewith, the government to which they had sworn allegiance remained, and as long as it did exist, I should have adhered to it.'"
Thomas B. Van Horne, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1882, The Life of Major-General George H. Thomas, pp. 25-26
Yankees treated him like **** also. Slo Trott. Grant and Sherman especially. He deserved better from them. Specially after Thomas’s personal sacrifices.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
He was always a Virginian. A lot of it was jealousy. A lot of it was Grant protecting Sherman. Blaming Thomas for Sherman’s mistakes. Sherman not giving Thomas any control. Thomas was smarter than Sherman. Sherman was Tactical-less.
Very interesting, it reminds me of how many Southerners didn't trust John Pemberton because he was from PA. That would match up with what I know about Sherman, The Atlanta campaign displayed Shermans lack of creativity.
 

NDR5thNY

Corporal
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Location
Lumberton, NC
I can't comment about Francis Schoup but can offer the following about General Thomas taken from Van Horne's biography of him.

Colonel A. L. Hough, a personal friend and one General Thomas's staff officers, published the following letter after his death in regards to any rumors and question about Thomas's loyalty before and during the war:

"As a confidential staff officer, one of his aides de camp, I had the privilege of having many conversations with General Thomas upon matters relating to the war. The most important of these conversations I made notes of at the time, with his knowledge and consent. Among them is one on the subject of Fitzhugh Lee's letter, which I copy from my note book. A slander upon the general was often repeated in the Southern papers during and immediately subsequent to the rebellion. It was given upon the authority of prominent rebel officers, and not denied by them. It was to the effect that he was disappointed in not getting a high command in the rebel army he had sought for, hence his refusal to join the rebellion. In a conversation with him on the subject, the general said: This was an entire fabrication, not having an atom of foundation ; not a line ever passed between him and the rebel authorities ; they had no genuine letter of his, nor was a word spoken by him to any one that could even lead to such an inference. He defied any one to produce any testimony, written or oral, to sustain such an allegation; he never entertained such an idea, for his duty was clear from the beginning. These slanders were caused by men who knew they had done wrong, but were endeavoring to justify themselves by claiming their action to be a virtue which all men would have followed, and by blackening the character of those who had done right. It was evident they were determined that no Southern-born man, who had remained true to his country, should bear a reputable character, if continued and repeated abuse could effect a stain upon it."

"Another conversation, showing his opinion of the authors of these slanders, and his own views at the breaking out of the rebellion, it is well to give, also; it is as follows: 'In a discussion of the causes given for their action by some officers who deserted the Government at the beginning of the rebellion, I ventured the assertion that, perhaps, some of them at distant posts had acted ignorantly; that I had been informed that some of them had been imposed upon by friends and relatives, and led to believe that there was to be a peaceable dissolution of the Union ; that there would be no actual government for the whole country, and by resigning their commissions they were only taking the necessary steps towards returning to the allegiance of their respective States, he replied: that this was but a poor excuse ; he could not believe officers of the army were so ignorant of their own form of government as to suppose such proceedings could occur, and as they had sworn allegiance to the government they were bound to adhere to it, and would have done so if they had been so inclined. He said there was no excuse whatever in a United States officer claiming the right of secession, and the only excuse for their deserting the government was what none of them admitted, having engaged in—a revolution against a tyranny, because the tyranny did not exist, and they well knew it.' I then asked him: 'Supposing such a state of affairs existed, that arrangements were being made for a peaceable dissolution of the Union by the Government, the North from the South, and that it was in progress, what would you have done ?' He promptly replied: 'That is not a supposable case; the government cannot dissolve itself; it is the creature of the people, and until they had agreed by their votes to dissolve it, and it was accomplished in accordance therewith, the government to which they had sworn allegiance remained, and as long as it did exist, I should have adhered to it.'"
Thomas B. Van Horne, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1882, The Life of Major-General George H. Thomas, pp. 25-26
North Carolina voted twice against succession. It was after President Lincoln called for the raising of troops and the firing on Ft Sumpter that NC voted to succeed.
What would you have done if your state voted to succeed even if you personally didn’t believe in succession? My paternal great grandfather’s mother was a Quaker. He did not join the Confederate army. He owned one slave in 1860 and came from a slave owning family.
My father told me his grandfather refused to join the army because of his mother’s Quaker influence.
It most have been very difficult to not go along with everyone else in your family and community.
General Thomas’s decision must have been difficult for his extended family in Virginia. Has anyone done research to see if relatives joined the Confederate army?
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
North Carolina voted twice against succession. It was after President Lincoln called for the raising of troops and the firing on Ft Sumpter that NC voted to succeed.
What would you have done if your state voted to succeed even if you personally didn’t believe in succession? My paternal great grandfather’s mother was a Quaker. He did not join the Confederate army. He owned one slave in 1860 and came from a slave owning family.
My father told me his grandfather refused to join the army because of his mother’s Quaker influence.
It most have been very difficult to not go along with everyone else in your family and community.
General Thomas’s decision must have been difficult for his extended family in Virginia. Has anyone done research to see if relatives joined the Confederate army?
He had a brother who lived in Vicksburg, and another who not much is known. And of course his two sisters. I have read where they were perturbed about the story of turning his picture around after his death.

General Howard I believe had some correspondence with them after Thomas died. Would love to find it.
 

danny

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Hattiesburg
North Carolina voted twice against succession. It was after President Lincoln called for the raising of troops and the firing on Ft Sumpter that NC voted to succeed.
What would you have done if your state voted to succeed even if you personally didn’t believe in succession? My paternal great grandfather’s mother was a Quaker. He did not join the Confederate army. He owned one slave in 1860 and came from a slave owning family.
My father told me his grandfather refused to join the army because of his mother’s Quaker influence.
It most have been very difficult to not go along with everyone else in your family and community.
General Thomas’s decision must have been difficult for his extended family in Virginia. Has anyone done research to see if relatives joined the Confederate army?
What would you have done if the north prepared to invade your state?
 

NDR5thNY

Corporal
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Location
Lumberton, NC
What would you have done if the north prepared to invade your state?
That would be a hard dilemma. I was raised to respect all people. Robeson County is probably one of the most diverse counties in the country. Native Americans are 40 percent , Caucasians are 30 percent and African Americans are 25 percent . Hispanic Americans, Haitians and other nationalities make up the other 5 percent.
The worse spanking I received from my father resulted from joking with a 40+ Native American women while she was buying groceries in my father’s country store. He said I was not respectful to the woman. I should always respect my elders no matter what race. I am 70 now and I have always said yes or no sir regardless of age or race.
I suspect I would have been caught up in the romance and the loyalty to my buddies and followed them to enlist. It would be difficult not to do so. During Vietnam, my UNC buddies were anti war and I did not enlist in the war. Peer pressure is very difficult to overcome, especially as a young person.
I can’t think of a poorer reason to go to than attempting to preserve slavery. I will not support anything that enriches the Cartels . IMO the cartels are the modern enslavers.
Thank you for your questions.
 

uaskme

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
the north? Oh you mean the United States of America responding to armed insurrection.


“I know no North, no South, no East, no West: I only know my country, my whole country, and nothing but my country" -- John Minor Botts,
That as a minority opinion. They put that on his tombstone post war. Havn’t read his book, don’t know when he said it. He was a Unionist. Many Unionist in the upper south rejected secession until Lincoln called up troops. Then most became secessionist. He was also a slave owner. Which many slave owners were Unionist.


You should study the Sectional Crisis. There were 2 distinct Sections fighting for Economic and Political dominance.
 
Top