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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1823

Vol. I

(Born Del.)

Lorenzo Thomas

(Ap'd Del.)


Born Oct. 26, 1804, New Castle, DE.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, Sep. 1, 1819, to July 1, 1823, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 4th Infantry, July 1, 1823.

Served: in garrison at Cantonment Clinch, Fla., 1824, — and at Ft. St. Marks, Fla., 1824; in constructing Military Road to St. Augustine, Fla., 1824‑25; in garrison at Cantonment Clinch, Fla., 1825; in Creek Nation, Ga., 1825‑26; in garrison at Cantonment Clinch, Fla., 1826, 1827‑28; as Adjutant, 4th Infantry, at Regimental headquarters, Mar. 1,  p309 1828, to Feb. 15, 1831; on Recruiting service, 1831‑33; in Adjutant-

(First Lieut., 4th Infantry, Mar. 17, 1829)

General's Office at Washington, D. C., June 5, 1833, to Sep. 3, 1836; in the Florida War, 1836‑37, doing Quartermaster duty; in the Quartermaster-

(Captain, 4th Infantry, Sep. 23, 1836)

General's Office at Washington, D. C., Oct. 16, 1387, to July 7,

(Asst. Quartermaster, Sep. 3, 1836, to July 7, 1838)

1838; as Chief of Staff of the Army in Florida, Dec. 2, 1839, to May 10,

(Bvt. Major, Staff — Asst. Adjutant-Gen., July 7, 1838)

1840; as Asst. Adjutant-General, at Washington, D. C., 1840‑46; as Member of the Board of Visitors to the Military Academy, 1844; in the War with Mexico, as Chief of Staff of Major-General Butler, commanding Volunteer Division, Aug. 25, 1846, to Feb. 19, 1848, and the Army of Mexico, Feb. 19 to June 21, 1848, being engaged in the Battle of Monterey

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Sep. 23, 1846,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Several Conflicts at Monterey, Mex.)

Sep. 21‑23, 1846; as Asst. Adjutant-General at the Headquarters

(Major, 4th Infantry, Jan. 1, 1848: Vacated, Jan. 1, 1848)

of the Army, Washington, D. C., July 10, 1848, to Mar. 15, 1853; and

(Lieut.‑Col., Staff — Asst. Adjutant-Gen., July 18, 1852)

as Chief of Staff of Lieut.‑General Scott (General-in‑Chief), Mar. 15, 1853, to Mar. 7, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66; in charge of the Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, D. C., Mar. 7, 1861, to

(Col., Staff — Asst. Adjutant-General, Mar. 7, 1861)

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 7, 1861)

(Brig.‑Gen., S — Adjutant-General of the U. S. Army, Aug. 3, 1861)

Mar. 23, 1863; in organizing Colored Troops, Mar. 23, 1863, to Aug. 18, 1865; on Military Commission at Washington, D. C., Aug. 18 to Nov. 6,

(Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Faithful and Meritorious Services during the Rebellion)

1865; and in waiting orders, Nov. 6, 1865, to Sep. 3, 1866.

Served: on tour of inspection of the business relating to the Provost-Marshal General's Office, Sep. 3 to Nov. 19, 1866; in waiting orders, Nov. 19, 1866, to May 6, 1867; on tour of inspection of the National Cemeteries, May 6, 1867, to Feb. 22, 1869.

Retired from Active Service, Feb. 22, 1869, under the Law of July 17, 1862, "Having been borne on the Army register more than 45 Years."​a

Died, Mar. 2, 1875, at Washington, D. C.: Aged 70.

Buried, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC.

Obituary Order.

Upon the death of General Thomas, the War Department issued the following order: —

"The Secretary of War with regret announces to the Army the death of Brig.‑General Lorenzo Thomas, Brevet Major-General, U. S. Army, on the retired list, and late Adjutant-General. He died at his residence in this city the 2d instant.

"But few officers have served so actively and continuously through so long a period as General Thomas. Energetic of character and vigorous  p310 of constitution, he was enabled to be in the field throughout much of both the Florida and Mexican wars. His training as Adjutant of the 4th Infantry developed his fitness for duties in the Staff, which he performed zealously and efficiently, first in the Quartermaster's and then in the Adjutant-General's Department. In the latter Department, at its first organization, he was commissioned Major and Assistant Adjutant-General, July 7, 1838. In the War with Mexico he was Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff to Major-General Butler, both while commander of a Division of Volunteers and commander of the Army. His experience and systematic administrative powers were conspicuous in the final movements and the withdrawal of the Army in Mexico.

"Early in the War of the Rebellion he became Adjutant-General of the Army by succession, and was afterwards specially assigned to the duty of organizing Volunteer troops, particularly the colored regiments. He was brevetted Major-General, 13th March, 1865. Having passed beyond the age of sixty-two years, he was placed on the retired list of the Army in February, 1869.

"General Thomas was a man of generous and kindly disposition, who in his day has done much good in the communities where he lived.

"In respect to his memory the officers of the Adjutant-General's Department will wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days."

Thayer's Note:

a To read Cullum, we'd never know it, but what Gen. Thomas is mainly remembered for today is as the proximate cause of President Johnson's impeachment: he was the man the President appointed Secretary of War in 1868 to replace Stanton.

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