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Profile of the Day: George H. Thomas

Did your ancestors fight in the American Civil War? On this day in 1816, Union general George H. Thomas was born.

Image: George H. Thomas / Library of Congress

Thomas was born on July 31, 1816 in Newsom’s Depot, Virginia to John Thomas and Elizabeth Rochelle. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Thomas chose to stay with the U.S. Army despite his Virginian heritage. His decision to remain loyal to the Union caused a major rift in his family, who turned his picture against the wall and disowned him. His family never spoke to him again.

As a general in the Union Army, Thomas was one of the army’s best strategists and an important figure in the war’s Western Theater. He became known as the “Rock of Chickamauga” for his defense during the Battle of Chickamauga.

During Reconstruction, Thomas worked to protect the rights of freedman from abuses. In 1869, he requested assignment to command the Military Division of the Pacific. A year later, on March 28, 1870, Thomas died of a stroke at the age of 53.

Explore George H. Thomas’s family tree on Geni and share your connection to the general.

View George H. Thomas’s Geni Profile

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