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George Thomas: Virginian for the Union

by Christopher J. Einolf

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341582,576 (4.17)None
"Most Southerners in the U.S. Army resigned their commissions to join the Confederacy in 1861. But at least one son of a distinguished, slaveholding Virginia family remained loyal to the Union. George H. Thomas fought for the North and secured key victories at Chickamauga and Nashville. Equally important, the heroism of black soldiers in battle forever altered his view of African Americans. Thomas's wartime experiences transformed him from a slaveholder to a defender of civil rights." "Remembered as the "Rock of Chickamauga," Thomas was so effective, he became one of the most prominent Union generals and at one point was considered for overall command of the Union Army. Yet he has been eclipsed in fame by the likes of Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan." "Offering vivid accounts of combat, Einolf depicts the fighting from Thomas's perspective to allow a unique look at the real experience of decision making on the battlefield. He examines the general's recurring confrontations with the Union high command to make a strong case for Thomas's integrity and competence, even as he exposes Thomas's shortcomings and poor decisions. The result is a more balanced, nuanced picture than has previously been available. Einolf also explores Thomas's schooling at West Point, early military service in the Seminole and Mexican wars, and his postwar life - notably his service as a military commander in Tennessee protecting freed slaves from the terror of the Ku Klux Klan." "Brimming with new insights into Thomas's personal character, Einolf reveals how a son of the South could oppose the views of friends and family. By focusing on race, slavery, and Southern Unionism, he addresses a long-standing bias in Civil War history that has emphasized military action at the expense of the political and social issues that surrounded the fighting. George Thomas: Virginian for the Union offers a fresh appraisal of an important career and lends new insight into the inner conflicts of the Civil War."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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Great to have a current rewritten book on George H Thomas. Much of the details are taken from the previous biographer's works but new sources of infromation are no where else since Thomas had his personal papers destroyed and never wrote his own autobiography. Nor would he if he had lived to beyond retirement from the army. The author does put a new focus on Thomas as one of the few supporters of civil rights for the Negroes. The author does make some judgements on Thomas that supports those who are not advocates of Thomas. I would recommend this book. ( )
  dhughes | Jan 14, 2011 |
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"Most Southerners in the U.S. Army resigned their commissions to join the Confederacy in 1861. But at least one son of a distinguished, slaveholding Virginia family remained loyal to the Union. George H. Thomas fought for the North and secured key victories at Chickamauga and Nashville. Equally important, the heroism of black soldiers in battle forever altered his view of African Americans. Thomas's wartime experiences transformed him from a slaveholder to a defender of civil rights." "Remembered as the "Rock of Chickamauga," Thomas was so effective, he became one of the most prominent Union generals and at one point was considered for overall command of the Union Army. Yet he has been eclipsed in fame by the likes of Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan." "Offering vivid accounts of combat, Einolf depicts the fighting from Thomas's perspective to allow a unique look at the real experience of decision making on the battlefield. He examines the general's recurring confrontations with the Union high command to make a strong case for Thomas's integrity and competence, even as he exposes Thomas's shortcomings and poor decisions. The result is a more balanced, nuanced picture than has previously been available. Einolf also explores Thomas's schooling at West Point, early military service in the Seminole and Mexican wars, and his postwar life - notably his service as a military commander in Tennessee protecting freed slaves from the terror of the Ku Klux Klan." "Brimming with new insights into Thomas's personal character, Einolf reveals how a son of the South could oppose the views of friends and family. By focusing on race, slavery, and Southern Unionism, he addresses a long-standing bias in Civil War history that has emphasized military action at the expense of the political and social issues that surrounded the fighting. George Thomas: Virginian for the Union offers a fresh appraisal of an important career and lends new insight into the inner conflicts of the Civil War."--BOOK JACKET.

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