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 Posted: Sun Mar 30th, 2008 07:44 pm
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OVVI
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Joined: Sun Mar 2nd, 2008
Location: Mansfield OH
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One point that has not been mentioned in this discussion about Old Pap is that people dont understand that advancement in the Army during the CW (and Im talking about getting field command of armies) required political sponsors back in Washington to help.  Grant, Sherman and others had the benefit of these political backers from their home states.  Being from Virginia, Thomas had none and it hindered his advancement.  

 Christopher Einoffs new bio of GHT "George Thomas, Virginian for the Union" looks at the generals service in terms of being a Southern Unionist.  Thomas came from a slaveholding family, but he held more liberal views on Negros than did Sherman and used black soldiers as combat troops when others wouldnt.  Seeing their bravery and sacrifice transformed his views on the question of racial equality.   After the war he ably served as a military governor in Southern districts during Reconstruction working to protect the rights of the newly freed.

Thomas was a very proud and reserved individual who refused to stoop to self promotion.  He was not always rewarded as he thought he might have deserved but he complained little of it and did his duty as he saw fit.

He also knew where credit was due.   On the second day of the Grand Review in Washington DC, the Western troops marched past the reviewing stand.  When the 14th Corps, which Thomas had raised in KY, came into view, one of the other generals on the stand pointed his troops out to Old Pap.  With pride, Thomas simply replied..."They made me."

 

 

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