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George Henry Thomas

George Henry Thomas

The American Civil War opened avenues for many individuals to emerge as leaders in the conflict.

In 1861, George Thomas brought with him a West Point education and extensive earlier service in the field, including active involvement in the Mexican- American War. Before Thomas could become one of the most renowned general officers to serve the Union, however, he had to overcome doubts concerning his Virginia birth, his fidelity to the Union cause, and his willingness to wage campaigns zealously against his fellow Southerners.

His meticulous manner, reflected in the pre-war nickname, “Old Slow Trot,” also raised questions in the minds of superiors and some colleagues about the degree to which Thomas might be able to contribute to ultimate Union victory. George Henry Thomas overcame his doubters to become one of the Union’s top generals, known best to history as “the Rock of Chickamauga.”

Even so, when ordered to punch through the defenses of Joseph Johnston at Kennesaw Mountain during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, Thomas found the work formidable in the face of some of the Confederacy’s finest fighters —Patrick Cleburne and Benjamin Franklin Cheatham.

Come join us as author and historian Brian Steel Wills takes us for an in- depth look at the triumphant life and career of General Thomas while zeroing in on one of his more challenging days.