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Major-General George H. Thomas, U.S.A.

Major-General George H. Thomas was born in Virginia, and graduated from the Military Academy July 1, 1840. He was promoted second lieutenant and assigned to the Third Artillery. He served in garrison at Fort Columbus, N. Y., until the Florida War, in which he participated. He assisted in Major Wade's capture of seventy Seminole Indians on Nov. 6, 1841, and was "brevetted first lieutenant, Nov. 6, 1841, for gallantry and good conduct against the Florida Indians."

From 1842 to 1845 he served in garrisons in the South and Southeast, and in 1845 participated in the military occupation of Texas; and when war was declared with Mexico he participated in the operations and movements thereof, being engaged in the defense of Fort Brown, in May, 1846, and the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista.

He was promoted first lieutenant April 30, 1846, and was brevetted captain, September 23, for gallant conduct in the several conflicts at Monterey, Mexico, and major, February 23, 1847, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Buena Vista, Mexico.

After the cessation of hostilities with Mexico the Seminole Indians again took the war-path, in which he participated. On December 4, 1853, he was promoted captain, and served in various sections of the country until the war of the Rebellion; being during the interim promoted major, Second Cavalry, May 12, 1855; April 25, 1861, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel, Second Cavalry; colonel, Second Cavalry, August 3, 1861, and on August 17, 1861, brigadier-general U. S. Volunteers. From June 1 to August 26, 1861, he participated in the operations in the Shenandoah Valley, being engaged in the various actions and skirmishes in that vicinity; and until May 30, 1862, he participated in the various movements and operations in the march to Nashville, Tennessee, and Corinth, Mississippi, being engaged in the actions and combats during the march.

He was appointed major-general, U.S. Volunteers, April 25, 1862, and was in command at Corinth, Mississippi, from June 5-22, 1862. During-the operations in North Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky, from June 26 to November 7, 1862, he was with the Army of the Ohio, and participated in the many skirmishes, actions, and battles. From November 7, 1862, to October 19, 1863, he was with Major-General Rosecrans in the Tennessee campaign, in command of the Fourteenth Army Corps (Army of the Cumberland), and during the many hotly contested encounters, from Nashville to Chattanooga, in which he participated, he was conspicuous for daring and gallantry on the field of battle. He was in command of the Department and Army of the Cumberland from October 19, 1863, being engaged in opening communications by the Tennessee River and Lookout Valley to November 26, 1863, participating in the battle of Missionary Ridge, the pursuit of the enemy, and combat at Ringgold, Georgia. He was promoted brigadier-general, U.S.A., October 22, 1863.

During the invasion of Georgia, May 2 to September 7, 1864, he was in command of the Army of the Cumberland, composed of the Fourth, Eleventh, and Twentieth Army Corps and three cavalry divisions, and with this command participated in the demonstrations and operations, in which were daily skirmishes and actions, to Atlanta, Georgia, occupying that city after a long siege. He was engaged in organizing the defenses of Tennessee against the invasion of General Food's army during the fall of 1864, and during the hotly-contested battles in the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee. He was promoted major-general, U.S.A., December 15, 1864. He was in command of the Military Division of Tennessee, embracing the Departments of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, with headquarters at Nashville, from June 27, 1865, to Aug. 13, 1866, and of the Dept. of Tennessee from Aug. 13, 1886, to March 11, 1867, with head-quarters at Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky., when he was assigned to the Third Military District (Georgia, Florida, and Alabama), from which he was relieved at his own request, and of the Department of the Cumberland, March 16, 1867.

The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, resolved, March 3, 1865, "That the thanks of Congress are due and are hereby tendered to Major-General George H. Thomas, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for their skill and dauntless courage, by which the rebel army under General Hood was signally defeated and driven from the State of Tennessee."

General Thomas died March 28, 1870.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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