★ ★  Thomas, George Henry

George Henry Thomas
:us34stars:
George.jpg


Born: July 31, 1816

Birthplace: Newsoms, Virginia

Father: John Thomas 1779 – 1829
(Buried: Thomas Family Cemetery, Newsoms, Virginia)​

Mother: Elizabeth Rochelle 1784 – 1844
(Buried: Thomas Family Cemetery, Newsoms, Virginia)​

Wife: Frances Lucretia Kellogg 1821 – 1889
(Buried: Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, New York)​
Married: 1852 in Troy, New York
Signature:
500px-George_Henry_Thomas_Signature.svg.png


Education:

1840: Graduated from West Point Military Academy – (12th in class)​

Occupation before War:

1840 – 1844: 2nd Lt. United States Army, 3rd Artillery​
1840: Garrison Duty at Fort Columbus, New York​
1841: Served in the capture of 70 Seminole Natives​
1841: Brevetted 1st Lt. for Gallantry in Seminole War​
1842: Garrison Duty at New Orleans, Barracks Louisiana​
1842 – 1843: Garrison Duty at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina​
1843 – 1845: Garrison Duty at Fort McHenry, Maryland​
1844 – 1853: 1st Lt. United States Army, 3rd Artillery​
1845: Recruiter for the United States Army​
1845: Garrison Duty at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina​
1846: Served in the Defenses of Fort Brown, Texas​
1846: Served in the Battle of Monterey, Mexico​
1846: Brevetted Captain for Gallantry, Battle of Monterrey​
1847: Served in the Battle of Buena Vista, Mexico​
1847: Brevetted Major for Gallantry, Battle of Buena Vista​
1848 – 1849: Garrison Duty at mouth of Rio Grande, Texas​
1851 – 1854: Artillery and Cavalry Instructor at West Point​
1853 – 1855: Captain, United States Army, 3rd Artillery​
1855 – 1861: Major, United States Army, 2nd Cavalry Regiment​
1856 – 1857: Frontier Duty at Fort Mason, Texas​
1857: Frontier Duty at San Antonio, Texas
George 2.jpg
1857 – 1858: Frontier Duty at Fort Mason, Texas​
1859 – 1860: Served in Expedition to Red River Country​
1860: Served in the Kiowa Expedition​

Civil War Career:

1861: Lt. Colonel, United States Army, 2nd Cavalry Regiment​
1861: Equipping his regiment at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania​
1861: Colonel, United States Army, 2nd Cavalry Regiment​
1861 – 1863: Colonel, United States Army, 5th Cavalry Regiment​
1861: Served in the Battle of Falling Waters in Western Virginia​
1861: Served in the Skirmish at Martinsburg, Western Virginia​
1861 – 1862: Brigadier General, Union Army Volunteers​
1861: Served in the Skirmish at Bunker Hill​
1861: Served in the Union Army, Department of the Cumberland
George 1.jpg
1861: Organizer of Volunteers in Kentucky and Tennessee​
1861: Served in the advance on Crab Orchard and Lebanon, Kentucky​
1861 – 1862: Division Commander with Union Army of the Ohio​
1862: Union Army Commander at the Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky​
1862: Arrived at Battle of Shiloh after the fighting had ceased​
1862 – 1864: Major General, Union Army Volunteers​
1862: Union Army Commander of Corinth, Mississippi​
1862: Guarded Memphis and Charleston Railroad at Tuscumbia, Alabama​
1862: Second in command of the Advance into Kentucky​
1862: Second in command at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky​
1862 – 1863: Served in Battle of Stones River, Tennessee​
1863: In Charge of most important maneuvering at Chattanooga​
1863 – 1865: Union Army Commander of the Army of the Cumberland​
1863 – 1864: Brigadier General United States Army​
1863 – 1864: Reorganizing the Union Army of the Cumberland​
1864: Union Army Commander at the Battle of Peachtree Creek​
1864: Union Army Commander in the Franklin – Nashville Campaign​
1864 – 1870: Major General of United States Army​
1864 – 1865: Organizer of various raid Expeditions​
1865 – 1866: United States Army Commander, Division of Tennessee​
1866: Member of Board for recommendations to Brevets for officers​
1866 – 1867: United States Army Commander, Dept. of Tennessee​
1867: United States Army, Commander of 3rd Military District​
Post War Era:
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Memorial Gravestone of Maj. Gen Thomas
untitled.png by Matt H. Wade, October 2009

1867 – 1869: United States Army, Commander Dept. of Cumberland​
1869: Member of Dyer Court of Inquiry​
1869 – 1870: United States Army, Commander Division of Pacific​

Died: March 28, 1870

Place of Death: His office in San Francisco, California

Cause of Death: Apoplexy

Age at time of Death: 54 years old

Burial Place: Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, New YorK
 
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jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Ok. So Chattanooga? The atlanta campaign? Stones river?

Never mind that Grant was reluctant to promote thomas after Nashville.

I'm not sure about the procedures or time line that Congress took to grant Thanks of Congress. I can certainly understand them doing so for Nashville, which was undoubtebly one of the decisive battles of the war. Also, unlike Chattanooga and Atlanta, Thomas did not have to share credit with Grant, Sherman, or anyone else, so the honor bestowed by Congress for Nashville was sure not to offend any other officer.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
The US could not afford to fight at the pace utilized by General Thomas. The war would have cost too much and lasted too long. The pace of the war had to be accelerated, and the war was going to made more terrible. To gain a period of peace before the northern people lost interest, and were unwilling to pay the bills, the pace after Lincoln's re-election was very greatly increased.

But how was Thomas slow, as stated by Grant? He had to build an army, and did so out of the two weakest corps in Sherman's army, detachments of other corps, and bit and pieces. He took time to build up a calvary corps (with huge help from Wilson), that pursued what was once Hood's army for what, 200+ miles?
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
The US could not afford to fight at the pace utilized by General Thomas. The war would have cost too much and lasted too long. The pace of the war had to be accelerated, and the war was going to made more terrible. To gain a period of peace before the northern people lost interest, and were unwilling to pay the bills, the pace after Lincoln's re-election was very greatly increased.

But is it really the case that Thomas' view or strategy about fighting the war would have cost too much and lasted too long? I don't think that Thomas had any real differences with Grant or the Lincoln administration about overall strategy needed to defeat the Confederacy and with the objective of destroying rebel armies. Thomas gets a lot of unfair attention for being "slow" because at Nashville he needed to marshal his forces and wait for appropriate weather conditions. But he made the right decision in that case.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
But is it really the case that Thomas' view or strategy about fighting the war would have cost too much and lasted too long? I don't think that Thomas had any real differences with Grant or the Lincoln administration about overall strategy needed to defeat the Confederacy and with the objective of destroying rebel armies. Thomas gets a lot of unfair attention for being "slow" because at Nashville he needed to marshal his forces and wait for appropriate weather conditions. But he made the right decision in that case.
He was involved in the slowest and most cautious campaigns. I think Sherman realized that Thomas could not order an advance on any suspected Confederate stationary line, and his caution was spreading. It was Thomas' action prior to Nashville that created his reputation with Sherman and Grant. At Nashville, Thomas tactically won. But too much of his cavalry force was fighting dismounted and the cavalry did not get into the rear of the Confederate army. Thomas won, but it was also a missed opportunity.
The last step, getting ahead of the enemy and cutting off the road of retreat, was missing.
And its not like it was easy for anyone else to accomplish either.
 
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wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I think only one Confederate army was blocked in open country and forced to surrender. That more or less ended the war. And it was a very complicated operation.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
But how was Thomas slow, as stated by Grant? He had to build an army, and did so out of the two weakest corps in Sherman's army, detachments of other corps, and bit and pieces. He took time to build up a calvary corps (with huge help from Wilson), that pursued what was once Hood's army for what, 200+ miles?
In order to win at Nashville the cavalry had to attack the Confederate infantry. That hampered the US pursuit. Addressing that issue and creating enough infantry mobility to cut off a retreating Confederate army required a degree of ruthlessness possessed by Sheridan, Wilson and Emory Upton. That wasn't the type of war that Thomas could fight.
The war ends with Sheridan, Wilson and Stoneham riding over the Confederate landscape and Sherman destroying what was left of No. Carolina. And even that brought about only a brief period of peace.
 
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wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
But as I have blogged before, Thomas was the best tactician on either side. He was never beaten when he was on the defensive, and his commands routed two entrenched opponents. Sherman and Grant learned a good deal from Thomas.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
I have the highest praise and regard for Thomas. He and a number of others were targets of the Grant Faction mainly over political concerns in the present and for future. I seem to recall the nickname SLOW TROT was given very early and before the War. The term had to do with a Calvary verbal command given to a cavalry formation moving in slow trot speed just seconds before being ordered in a fast speed cavalry charge. The Faction turned the nickname against Thomas, as meaning he was slow in all military affairs, and that damaged his worth, which is a false myth design to harm his reputation, in case he every consider a political career.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Thomas destroyed Hood's Army at Nashville and its aftermath chase. What Hood had left once he quit running in the deep woods of Mississippi could hardly be called an Army. If not mistaken he had maybe 10,000 barefooted, starving, frost bitten, and mostly unarmed survivors. They never again formed any effective fighting force in the field that I am aware of. To call Thomas slow in this campaign is nothing but political propaganda myth making.
 

MikeyB

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
1) What's your favorite Thomas book?
2) Were Thomas' hands relatively clean in post-war military pursuits (ie. dealing with Native American wars)?
 
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