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George Henry Thomas

George Henry Thomas



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Thomas command wagon

Thomas command wagon


George Henry Thomas (18161870)
CLASS OF 1840

Commissioned first in the artillery, Thomas was rewarded for bravery in the Seminole War and in the Mexican War. In 1855 he joined the newly organized 2nd Cavalry regiment, a breeding ground of Confederate generals—Albert Sidney Johnson (Class of 1826), Robert E. Lee (1829), William J. Hardee (1838), Earl Van Dorn (1842). John Bell Hood (1853), and Fitzhugh Lee (1856).

Thomas, too, became a general, but in the Union army. Nicknamed “Rock of Chickamauga” for his heroic stand amid the wreckage of a defeated Union army in 1863, he won one of the great Union victories of the war in 1864, shattering the last Confederate army in the West at the Battle of Nashville.

Loyalty to the Union had its costs. Thomas’s sisters in Virginia turned his picture to the wall and never spoke to him again.


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John Clifford Pemberton




Key Figures






Alfred Mordecai
Alfred Mordecai
1804–1887
Class of 1823



George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas
1816–1870
Class of 1840



John Clifford Pemberton
John Clifford Pemberton
1814–1881
Class of 1837



Robert Anderson
Robert Anderson
1805–1871
Class of 1825



Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
1815–1893
Class of 1838





Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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