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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1840

Vol. II
p33
1028

(Born Va.)

George H. Thomas

(Ap'd Va.)

12

George Henry Thomas: Born July 31, 1816, near Newsom's Depot, VA.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1836, to July 1, 1840, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 1, 1840.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1840; in the Florida War, 1840‑42, being engaged in Major Wade's Capture of 70 Seminole Indians,

(Bvt. First Lieut., Nov. 6, 1841,
for Gallantry and Good Conduct in the War against the Florida Indians)

Nov. 6, 1841; in garrison at New Orleans Barracks, La., 1842, — Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1842‑43, — and Ft. McHenry, Md., 1843‑45; on Recruiting

(First Lieut., 3d Artillery, Apr. 30, 1844)

Service, 1845; in garrison at Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1845; in Military Occupation of Texas, 1845‑46; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑48, being engaged in the Defense of Ft. Brown, Tex., May 3‑9, 1846, — Battle of

(Bvt. Capt., Sep. 23, 1846,
for Gallant Conduct in the Several Conflicts at Monterey, Mex.)

Monterey, Sep. 21‑23, 1846, — and Battle of Buena Vista, Feb. 22‑23,

(Bvt. Major, Feb. 23, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Buena Vista, Mex.)

1847; in garrison at the mouth of the Rio Grande, Tex., 1848‑49; in Florida Hostilities against the Seminole Indians, 1849‑50; in garrison at Ft. Independence, Mas., 1850; at the Military Academy, as Instructor of Artillery and Cavalry, Apr. 2, 1851, to May 1, 1854; on frontier duty, on

(Captain, 3d Artillery, Dec. 24, 1853)

march to Benicia, Cal., in command of Battalion of 3d Artillery, 1854, — and Ft. Yuma, Cal., 1854‑55; in garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Mo.,

(Major, 2d Cavalry, May 12, 1855)

1855; on Recruiting service, 1856; on frontier duty at Ft. Mason, Tex., 1856‑57, — San Antonio, Tex., 1857, — Ft. Mason, Tex., 1857‑58, — Ft. Belknap, Tex., 1858‑59, — Camp Cooper, Tex., and Expedition to Red River Country, 1859‑60, — and Kiowa Expedition, 1860, being engaged in a Skirmish near the head of Clear Fork of the Brazos River, Aug. 26, 1860, where he was wounded; and on leave of absence, 1860‑61.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66; in re-organizing

(Lieut.‑Colonel, 2d Cavalry, Apr. 25, 1861)

and equipping his regiment at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., Apr. 14 to May 27, 1861; in Operations in Shenandoah Valley, June 1 to Aug. 26,

(Colonel, 2d Cavalry, May 3, 1861: 5th Cavalry, Aug. 3, 1861)

1861, being engaged in command of brigade in the Action of Falling Waters, July 2, 1861, — Skirmish at Martinsburg, July 3, 1861, — and

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Aug. 17, 1861)

p34 Skirmish at Bunker Hill, July 15, 1861; in the Department of the Cumberland, Sep. 6 to Nov. 30, 1861, in organizing Kentucky and Tennessee Volunteers, at Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., Sep. 18 to Oct. 28, 1861, — and in the Advance on Crab Orchard and Lebanon, Ky., Oct. 28 to Nov. 30, 1861; in command of division (Army of the Ohio), Nov. 30, 1861, to Mar. 19, 1862, being in command and engaged at the Combat of Mill Spring, Ky., Jan. 19‑20, 1862, — and Movement on Nashville, via Somerset, Lebanon, and Louisville, Feb. 15 to Mar. 4, 1862; in the Tennessee and Mississippi Campaign, Mar. 19 to June 26, 1862, being engaged in the March on Pittsburg Landing, Ten., with his division, as the Reserve of the Army of the Ohio, Mar. 19 to Apr. 9, 1862, — in command of the Right Wing of the Army of the Tennessee, in the Advance upon and

(Maj.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Apr. 25, 1862, to Dec. 15, 1864)

Siege of Corinth, Apr. 9 to May 30, 1862, — and in command of Corinth, Mis., June 5‑22, 1862; in Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Buell's Operations (Army of the Ohio) in North Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky, June 26 to Nov. 7, 1862, — at Tuscumbia, Ala., guarding the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, June 26 to July 25, 1862, in command of Decherd, Aug. 5‑15, of McMinnville, Aug. 19 to Sep. 3, and of Nashville, Ten., Sep. 7‑14, 1862, — in pursuit of enemy from Prewitt's Knob to Louisville, Ky., Sep. 20‑26, 1862, — and as second in command of the Army of the Ohio on the Advance into Kentucky, Sep. 30 to Nov. 7, 1862, being engaged in command of the right wing of the Army during the Battle of Perryville, Oct. 8, 1862, and pursuit of the enemy to Barboursville; in Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Rosecrans' Tennessee Campaign, in command of 14th Army Corps (Army of the Cumberland), Nov. 7, 1862, to Oct. 19, 1863, being engaged in the Battle of Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862, to Jan. 3, 1863, — Advance on Tullahoma, June 24 to July 4, 1863, — Action at Hoover's Gap, June 26, 1863, — Passage of Elk River, July 3, and of the Tennessee, Sep. 2, 1863, — Battle of Chickamauga, Sep. 19‑20, 1863, — and checking the enemy's advance, Sep. 21, 1863, upon Chattanooga, to which he retired and commenced fortifying; in command of the Department and Army of the Cumberland, Oct. 19, 1863, being engaged in opening his communications by the Tennessee River and Lookout Valley, Oct. 27 to Nov. 24, 1863, — Battle of

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Oct. 27, 1863)

Missionary Ridge, Nov. 23‑25, 1863, — Pursuit of the enemy and Combat at Ringgold, Ga., Nov. 26, 1863, — and reorganizing his Army, Dec. 1, 1863, to May 2, 1864; in the Invasion of Georgia, May 2 to Sep. 7, 1864, in command of the Army of the Cumberland, composed of the 4th, 14th, and 20th Army Corps, and three Cavalry Divisions, being engaged in Operations around Dalton, May 7‑13, 1864, — Demonstrations against Resaca, May 13, till occupied, May 16, 1864, — Pursuit of the enemy, with constant skirmishing, to Cassville, May 17‑19, 1864, — Occupation of Rome by Davis's division of 14th Army Corps, May 18, 1864, — Action of Cassville, May 19, 1864, — Battle of Dallas, May 25‑28, 1864, — Movement against Pine Mountain, with almost daily severe engagements, May 28 to June 20, 1864, — Battles of Kenesaw Mountain, June 20 to July 2, 1864, — Assault at Ruff's Station, July 4, 1864, — Passage of the Chattahoochee River, July 12‑17, 1864, — Combat of Peach Tree Creek, July 19‑21, 1864, — Siege of Atlanta, July 22 to Sep. 2, 1864, — Assault of the enemy's intrenchments at Jonesborough, Sep. 1, 1864, — Surrender of Atlanta, Sep. 2, 1864, — and Occupation of the place, Sep. 8‑27, 1864; in organizing, Oct to Dec., 1864, at Nashville, Ten., in obedience to Major-General Sherman's instructions of Sep. 27, 1864, the defenses of Tennessee against the Rebel Invasion under General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hood, by concentrating his scattered forces behind Duck River, which being turned, Nov. 29, 1864, after five days' constant skirmishing, fell back to Harpeth River, where p35they were desperately engaged at the Battle of Franklin, Nov. 30, 1864, and finally took position with other reinforcements before Nashville, where the Rebel Army was utterly routed in the Battle of Dec. 15‑16, 1864, and

(Major-General, U. S. Army, Dec. 15, 1864)

driven beyond the Tennessee River, with immense loss of men and material; in organizing various raiding expeditions, and sending troops to other Departments, December, 1864, to May, 1865, which materially contributed to the overthrow of the Rebellion;1 and in command, June 27, 1865, to Aug. 13, 1866, headquarters at Nashville, Ten., of the Military Division of the Tennessee, embracing the Departments of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi; and as Member of Board for recommendations for Brevets to general officers, Mar. 14‑24, 1866.

Served: in command of the Department of the Tennessee, Aug. 13, 1866, to Mar. 11, 1867, headquarters at Nashville, Ten., till Nov. 1, 1866, and at Louisville, Ky., till Mar. 11, 1867, when he was assigned to the command of the 3d Military District (Georgia, Florida, and Alabama), from which he was relieved at his own request, Mar. 15, 1867, — and of the Department of the Cumberland, Mar. 16, 1867, to Jan. 5, 1869; as Member of Dyer Court of Inquiry, Jan. to May, 1869; and in command of Division of the Pacific, June, 1869, to Mar. 28, 1870.

Died, Mar. 28, 1870, at San Francisco, Cal.: Aged 54.

Buried, Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, NY.

Biographical Sketch.

Major‑General George Henry Thomas, was born, July 31, 1816, in Southampton County, Virginia, the same State which has been the mother of presidents, statesmen, and soldiers, among which last stands no nobler name than Thomas; and the same county which gave birth to the "Father of his Country," whom he greatly resembled in feature and in many characteristics. His father was of English, or, more remotely, of Welsh descent; and his mother was of an old and honorable Huguenot family, — two of the best races for "a combination and a form to give the world assurance of a man" of the highest physical, moral, and mental development.

His childhood was tenderly cared for, and, after receiving a fair academic education, he went into the office of his uncle, James Rochelle, then county clerk, and began the study of the law; but copying briefs and poring over Blackstone not being to his taste, he obtained, through family friends, a Cadet's appointment to the Military Academy, which he entered July 1, 1836. Though not as brilliant as some others of his class, he was noted for his sturdy character, practical common sense, and equipoised judgment; took most interest in the scientific and military studies of his course, and was graduated twelfth in a class of forty-two members. On leaving the Academy he was promoted in the Army, July 1, 1840, to be a Second Lieutenant in the Third Artillery, and, the next year, took p36part in the Florida War, where, "for gallantry and good conduct," he was brevetted a First Lieutenant. After leaving Florida, in 1842, he was, till 1845, mostly on garrison duty.

In anticipation of hostilities with Mexico, he was among those ordered to report to General Taylor at Corpus Christi, his company being among the first to occupy the soil of Texas. In this Mexican War, Lieutenant Thomas was conspicuous for his usefulness and good conduct. He participated in the successful defense of Ft. Brown; contributed to the decisive victory at Resaca-de‑la‑Palma, by pouring a steady and galling fire upon the fugitive mass of the enemy escaping across the Rio Grande, near the fort; was brevetted a Captain for his gallant conduct in the attack on Monterey; took a prominent part in the glorious and decisive Battle of Buena Vista, where his distinguished bravery won the warmest praises of his commanding general and the well-merited brevet of Major; and, at the close of the war, was assigned to the charge of the Commissary Depot at Brazos Santiago.

He again returned to Florida, in 1849, the Seminole Indians being still hostile; was in 1850 stationed in Boston harbor, Mas.; and in 1851 became the Instructor of Artillery and Cavalry at the Military Academy.

Promoted, Dec. 24, 1853, to a Captaincy in his regiment, he was, in 1854, assigned with a battalion of artillery to the disagreeable post of Fort Yuma, Lower California; then, as junior Major of the Second Cavalry, to which he had been appointed May 12, 1855, was sent to Jefferson Barracks; for four years following, served at various posts on the Texas frontier; and, in 1860, was engaged in the exploration of the upper Red River, and on the Kiowa expedition, being, Aug. 20, 1860, wounded, in a skirmish with the hostile savages near the head of the Clear Fork.

"In returning from Texas," says his most loyal and truthful wife, "General Thomas met with a severe accident, which disabled him to such an extent that it was supposed he would never again be able to do any duty with his regiment, and was 'looking up some means of support.' " To this end he applied, Jan. 18, 1861, for the position of Commandant of Cadets and Instructor of Tactics in the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington. This application has been unjustly construed as showing his intention of joining the Southern Army in the Civil War. "Why had not these enemies," says she, "the generosity to have made known their accusations during his life, that he could have answered them?" and concludes her letter of Dec. 31, 1875, by saying, in the most positive and emphatic manner, that General Thomas "never applied for any commission in the service of his native State or in the Southern army," and that "from the time the actual fact of war was upon us, General Thomas's course was clear before him (whatever others may assert to the contrary) without influence of any kind being brought to bear upon him." In this connection it must be borne in mind that Virginia, far from approving the thoughtless haste of South Carolina and the Cotton States, did not pass her Ordinance of Secession till three months after the date of Thomas's application for the situation of an Instructor in a seminary of learning in his native State.

While on leave of absence, recovering from his injuries, the bombardment of Ft. Sumter took place, and, the day after, Thomas was on his way to Carlisle Barracks to re-organize and equip his regiment (dismounted, and ordered out of Texas by General Twiggs in Nov., 1860), of which he became Lieut.‑Colonel, April 25, 1861, the very day of the resignation of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.another prominent Virginian from the service of the United States. Shortly after, May 3, 1861, the resignation of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.another Southerner placed Thomas at the head of his regiment, with which he was ordered to join General Patterson in the Shenandoah Valley, where he was engaged in several actions, in the principal of which, Falling Waters, he commanded a brigade.

p37 When General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Robert Anderson was ordered to a command in Kentucky, he requested the services of Thomas, who was appointed a Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Aug. 17, 1861, and soon after began his distinguished Western career in the Department of the Cumberland. He first took command, Sep. 18, of Camp Dick Robinson and of the organization of Kentucky and Tennessee volunteers, and afterwards established Camp Wildcat to check the advance of the enemy through Cumberland Gap. This being successfully accomplished, he was ordered by General Buell, in October, to move on Lebanon, Ky., with a view to dislodge General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.A. S. Johnston from Bowling Green. Here he organized the first division of the Army of the Ohio, with which, Jan. 19, 1862, he won his brilliant victory at Mill Spring, Ky., where his antagonist, General Zollicoffer, was killed, and the enemy's loss was large in men, guns, and animals. This was the opening dawn of our success in the great Mississippi Valley. After the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson in February following, Thomas's division moved upon Nashville, and thence to Pittsburg Landing, forming the reserve of the Army of the Ohio on the second day of the Battle of Shiloh.

General Thomas, promoted a Major-General of Volunteers, April 25, 1862, was assigned to the command of the right wing of the Army of the Tennessee, in General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Halleck's advance upon and siege of Corinth, Miss., of which, after its capture, he remained the Commandant till June 22, 1862. Upon re-organization of the Western Army, Thomas was transferred to the Department of the Ohio, under General Buell, and placed in command of its three corps then in the field. After Buell was thrown back by Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bragg some three hundred miles, Thomas was ordered to supersede him in the chief command, but he remonstrated so earnestly against the removal of Buell that the latter was suffered to continue a little longer.

General Rosecrans, who superseded Buell, Oct. 27, 1862, gave, on the re-organization of this Army, the command of the centre (Fourteenth Corps) of the Army of the Cumberland to Thomas, which he held throughout the brilliant Tennessee Campaign. In the terrible three days' slaughter at Stone River, which resulted in forcing Bragg to retreat to Tullahoma, Thomas held the advance with such spirit as to elicit his commanding general's eulogium of him as being "true and prudent, distinguished in council, and on many battlefields celebrated for his courage." In the masterly strategic movements which compelled Bragg to seek refuge in Chattanooga, and then to abandon it, Thomas's Fourteenth Corps bore a conspicuous and honorable part.

Rosecrans having secured the important objective of his campaign — Chattanooga — hoped to pursue and destroy the Confederate army; but Bragg, powerfully reinforced, made a stand to fight at Chattanooga, a name of ominous import, meaning, in the Indian dialect, the River of Death. In our line of battle, owing to an unfortunate mistake, a gap was left, through which Bragg poured his masses, dispersing our centre and right, the whole weight of the enemy falling on our left, where Thomas, "the Rock of Chickamauga," stood rooted to the ground, and in his lone grandeur again and again repelled every Confederate assault. At the close of that memorable 20th of September, Thomas was the real victor of the day, and for his splendid services in this crisis was soon after, Oct. 27, 1863, made a Brigadier-General in the Regular Army.

The Army, thus saved, fell back to Chattanooga, where it greatly suffered for want of supplies cut off by the enemy. On the 19th of October Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Grant telegraphed to Thomas, who had superseded Rosecrans in command, to hold fast to his post at all hazards. "We will hold the town till we starve," was the characteristic reply, and he kept his word till relieved.

p38 General Grant, having assumed the command of Thomas's, Sherman's, and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hooker's armies, massed all his forces, determined by one supreme effort to dislodge the enemy beleaguering Chattanooga, which was accomplished in the grand Battle of Missionary Ridge, where Thomas, "who planned the decisive movements," like a thunderbolt stormed the heights, broke Bragg's centre, and terminated the giant contest.

The Army was now re-organized, under Sherman, to invade Georgia, the movement beginning May 2, 1864, Thomas, was 60,000 of the Army of the Cumberland, making up three fifths of the combined forces. The advance was rapid, though fighting an almost daily battle, in which Thomas's magnificent army bore the brunt, himself serving as the "balance-wheel" of the campaign terminating with the surrender of its objective, — Atlanta.

In October, 1864, Hood commenced a movement towards the Cumberland to cut our communication with that base. While Sherman made his "March to the Sea," Thomas was dispatched to the relief of Nashville, there to bring together an army of scattered and unorganized fragments, deficient in nearly every appliance for successful war. In a masterly manner he assembled and consolidated the most heterogeneous elements into an orderly fighting force, about 40,000 strong, which confronted Hood's larger and more experienced army before Nashville, Dec. 2, 1864 (the anniversary of the great Battle of Austerlitz), where, two weeks later, the Confederates were doomed to as crushing a defeat as the Russians in that renowned Moravian contest, and to be as relentlessly pursued as was the great victor of that day by those same vanquished Russians in his Moscow retreat. Grant, impatient and unreasonable, urged Thomas to strike at once, threatening his removal from command if he did not; but nothing could induce the cool, calm, sturdy, resolute, common-sense old warrior to fight a battle prematurely, or by possibility defeat the sacred cause for the Union which had cost nearly four years of bloody war. Silently and patiently the firm patriot bore all reproach, and, serenely resolute, telegraphed that he had done everything in his power to strike the enemy as quickly as possible, but that he could not control the elements nor get troops ready by magic, and that, if the General-in‑Chief deemed it necessary to relieve him, he would submit without a murmur. Noble Roman! preferring to sacrifice himself rather than his country!

However, says Major-General De Peyster in his admirable address delivered before the New York Historical Society, Jan. 4, 1876, "when the moment came, as utterly indifferent to the threats of removal, of the immediate successor in his camp, of the definite successor hurried West to supersede him, — when the propitious moment arrived, when the first hour of possible success but of unequaled triumph struck, Thomas struck, and the most perfectly ordered attack of the war was delivered, and the most decisive defeat of the war was achieved. . . . Turned, baffled, and breached on every side, Hood was tumbled into utter ruin. This irresistible flood of victory burst upon him, and swept him away, rolling along with it the bodies of his men and horses, and the material of his host dissolved into nothingness."

This best tactical battle of the war, so decisive in results, was the last and crowning glory of Thomas's campaigns; but it sufficed to stamp him as one of the foremost soldiers of the great civil contest, a general who had never been defeated, and one whose victories had placed him among the greatest heroes of the Republic.

The President instantly made Thomas a Major-General in the Regular Army; Congress tendered the thanks of the nation to him and his army "for his skill and dauntless courage" in the signal defeat and pursuit of Hood; and Tennessee, through her General Assembly, besides thanks, p39with imposing ceremonies presented a magnificent gold medal to the hero of Nashville "for his wise and spirited" defense of her capital.

After the war Thomas was placed in command, headquarters Nashville, of the Military Division of Tennessee, embracing the Central Southern States, in which he proved a just and upright ruler; a lover of peace and order, dealing fairly by all conditions of men; and the shield of society against the anarchy and chaos which had pervaded his territorial jurisdiction. The services he had rendered by his sword hardly surpassed his deeds of civil administration, for his masculine judgment, strong practical sense, sincere honesty of purpose, freedom from political bias, and scorn of partisan tricks gave him a just influence among the impartial of all parties, and armed his advocacy of right with the most efficient weapons for securing the true ends of a pure patriotism which guided all his acts.

President Johnson made several attempts to win the popular general to his side, but each effort met with the most inglorious defeat. The brevets of Lieutenant-General and of General were tendered, when, Feb. 22, 1868, Thomas promptly telegraphed to an influential Senator: "My services since the war do not merit so high a compliment, and it is now too late to be regarded as a compliment if conferred for services during the war." In the same way he courteously, but decidedly, refused to accept all presents. Even when urged to allow his name to be presented as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, he replied that he would "never consent to being brought before the people as a candidate for any office." Notwithstanding, had he lived, despite himself the Republic's crown would doubtless have been placed upon his head.

Thomas took command, Mar. 16, 1869, of the Military Division of the Pacific, including the States of California, Nevada, and Oregon, and the Territories of Arizona, Idaho, and Washington. His military government of this vast domain was of the same admirable character as he had before displayed, winning the respect of all good citizens and effecting a salutary restraint upon all evil-doers.

General Thomas was a solid, heavily-built man, and bore his massive frame so erect as to exaggerate his height; his serene countenance made him appear almost stern, and his large silver-blue eyes flashed only under deep emotion; his habits were methodical, almost formal, and his movements so deliberate that he was called by the Army "Old Slow-trot," though with that measured gait he got over more ground than most others in campaign. Calm and silent as a sphinx, shy and modest as a maiden, brave and firm as a lion, nothing could change his fixed purpose or swerve him from the goal of rectitude, for he had "no conception of the pliancy of truth." As a soldier, though perhaps "slow," he was "sure," for he was master of himself and had the entire confidence of his army. Patient and sagacious in pursuing his plans, he pertinaciously carried them out, sanguine of success; for he so well considered and studied all probable eventualities that he foresaw his enemy's combinations, anticipated his movements, and quickly discovered the key-point of the battlefield, against which he brought his whole force with such crushing effect that his antagonist was lost, the victory won, and the campaign, perhaps, ended. Mill Spring virtually destroyed Zollicoffer's army; Chickamauga, for the moment, paralyzed Bragg; and Nashville completely annihilated Hood, destroying the hopes of the Confederacy.

Thomas "may be accepted and proclaimed as the typical American soldier, tempering fire with prudence, and uniting vigor with imperturbability. In the decisive moment of attack no columns were more resistless than those that he directed, and in the terrible crisis of a losing day no front was firmer and more deadly than that which he presented to a rashly exulting foe. His modesty, his valor, his generosity, his soldierly frankness, his kindly, fraternal ways with his brother officers, his fatherly p40interest for his men, his thorough goodness and amiability, the spotless purity of his life, his unflinching loyalty, his noble aims, his self-poised, unshaken, calm, reticent, patient spirit — all these will be in turn recounted afresh by men who have followed through battle and blood to final victory the soldier they called 'Old Steady' and 'Old Pap Thomas.' Coupled with that half-personal loss, is the greater loss to the country of his superb soldierly skill, his complete mastery of the profession of arms, his wide experience, his exhaustless fertility of resource, his matchless combination of genius in conception, industry and deliberation in preparation, and thunderbolt power in execution. Thomas was one of those rare men whose 'courage mounteth with the occasion, who was most conspicuous, coolest, most fertile in execution, and most tremendous in energy, in the supreme exigency of battle. It was at the day's turning-point, at the white-heat of that furnace-fire of battle which tries the soldier's soul, that he shone out most lustrous; and the very toils he most coveted, and out of which he alone gathered laurels, were those, as Pierrepont sings, —

" 'Which meaner souls had quelled,

But souls like his impelled

To soar.' "

At the early age of 54, General Thomas died, Mar. 28, 1870, at San Francisco, Cal. His remains, on their long journey across the continent to their last resting-place in the cemetery at Troy, N. Y., at every place were honored with every demonstration of respect and love: his funeral was attended by the President of the United States, the highest officials of the land, various civil and military organizations, officers of the Army, Navy, and Volunteers, and thousands of mourning friends; while Congress, Apr. 5, 1870, passed the following Joint Resolution expressive of its sympathy at the national bereavement in the loss of the deceased hero: —

"That the Senate and House of Representatives have heard with deep regret of the sudden decease of Major-General George H. Thomas, endeared to the country by a series of unbroken, patriotic services during a period of thirty years.

"And be it further resolved, That his distinguished career in the defense of his country against foreign and domestic enemies, his never-faltering faith and zeal in the maintenance of the Union and the integrity of the Government, and his stern execution of every trust confided to him, constitute a record in life made memorable in death.

"And be it further resolved, That the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House are hereby authorized to make such arrangements in connection with his obsequies as will attest the sympathy of Congress at this national bereavement."


The Author's Note:

1 The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, Resolved, Mar. 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."

The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, Resolved, Nov. 2, 1865, —

"That the thanks of the General Assembly, in their own name and in the name of the people of the State of Tennessee, be presented to Major-General George H. Thomas, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for his wise and spirited, and their brave and patriotic, conduct in the Battle of Nashville, in defense of the Capital of the State, in December, 1864, and that a Gold Medal be struck in commemoration of the great and decisive event, and be presented to him."

This magnificent Gold Medal, having General Thomas's bust on the obverse, and on the reverse the State Capitol, with the motto, "I will hold the town till we starve," was presented to him, with imposing ceremonies, on the second anniversary of the battle, at Nashville, Ten.


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