"[Ulysses S. Grant and George H. Thomas deserve] monuments like those of Nelson and Wellington in London, well worthy to stand side by side with the one which now graces our capitol city of 'George Washington.'" - William Tecumseh Sherman
One of the most unique and effective generals of the Civil War also happens to be one of the most overlooked. While there is a never ending stream of acclaim going to generals like Grant, Lee, and Sherman, General George H. Thomas has managed to fly under the radar, despite having an unusual background as a Southerner fighting for the Union and scoring almost inconceivable successes at Missionary Ridge, Franklin, and Nashville. Thomas also skillfully fought at Perryville, Stones River, and in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
Despite all of those successes, however, Thomas is best remembered as "The Rock of Chickamauga". Thomas had one of the most stellar records of any officer in the war, was instrumental in the Union's ultimate victory in the Western theater, and scored the kinds of decisive victories that eluded more celebrated generals like Lee. So why does Thomas fly under the radar? A stern military man, Thomas eschewed self-promotion and aggrandizement, and though his methodical generalship was almost always successful, it sometimes annoyed General Ulysses S. Grant. With Grant's star rising as his relationship with Thomas was cooling, Thomas was on the wrong end of history. And when he died in 1870, Thomas had burned his papers and had not written memoirs or an account of his participation in the war, missing his final opportunity to directly leave his mark instead of having others write it for him.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors