Thomas, arguing that he was the greatest and most successful general of the Civil War. Because Thomas didn't live to write his memoirs, his reputation has been largely shaped by others, most notably Ulysses S.
Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, two generals with whom Thomas served and who, Bobrick says, diminished his successes in their favor in their own memoirs.
Thomas distinguished himself in the Mexican War and then returned to West Point as an instructor. He compiled an outstanding record as an officer in battles at Mill Springs, Perryville, and Stones River.
At the Battle of Chickamauga, Thomas, at the time a corps commander, held the center of the Union line under a ferocious assault, then rallied the troops on Horseshoe Ridge to prevent a Confederate rout of the Union army.
His extraordinary performance there earned him the nickname "The Rock of Chickamauga. Thomas supported Sherman on his march through Georgia in the spring of , winning an important victory at the Battle of Peachtree Creek. It was one of the most decisive victories of the war, and Thomas won it even as Grant was on his way to remove Thomas from his command.
When Grant discovered the magnitude of Thomas's victory, he quickly changed his mind.
Thomas died of a stroke in while still on active duty. In the entire Civil War, he never lost a battle or a movement.
Throughout his career, Thomas was methodical and careful, and always prepared. Unlike Grant at Shiloh, he was never surprised by an enemy.
Unlike Sherman, he never panicked in battle but always remained calm and focused. He was derided by both men as "Slow Trot Thomas," but as Bobrick shows in this brilliant biography, he was quick to analyze every situation and always knew what to do and when to do it.
He was not colorful like Grant and Sherman, but he was widely admired by his peers, and some, such as Grant's favorite cavalry commander, General James H. Wilson, thought Thomas the peer of any general in either army. He was the only Union commander to destroy two Confederate armies in the field.
In the entire Civil War, he never lost a battle or a movement. Please call us to discuss.
Although historians of the Civil War have always regarded Thomas highly, he has never captured the public imagination, perhaps because he has lacked an outstanding biographer -- until now. This informed, judicious, and lucid biography at last gives Thomas his due.
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