George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel

Overview


Although often counted among the Union's top five generals, George Henry Thomas has still not received his due. A Virginian who sided with the North in the Civil War, he was a more complicated commander than traditional views have allowed. Brian Wills now provides a new and more complete look at the life of a man known to history as "The Rock of Chickamauga," to his troops as "Old Pap," and to General William T. Sherman as a soldier who was "as true as steel."

While biographers...

See more details below
Hardcover
$32.20
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$39.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $29.00   
  • New (7) from $36.28   
  • Used (7) from $29.00   
Sending request ...

Overview


Although often counted among the Union's top five generals, George Henry Thomas has still not received his due. A Virginian who sided with the North in the Civil War, he was a more complicated commander than traditional views have allowed. Brian Wills now provides a new and more complete look at the life of a man known to history as "The Rock of Chickamauga," to his troops as "Old Pap," and to General William T. Sherman as a soldier who was "as true as steel."

While biographers have long been hampered by Thomas's lack of personal papers, Wills has drawn on previously untapped sources-notably the correspondence of Thomas's contemporaries-to offer new insights into what made him tick. Focusing on Thomas's personality and motivations, Wills contributes revealing discussions of his style and approach to command and successfully captures his troubled interactions with other Union commanders, providing a particularly more evenhanded evaluation of his relationship with Grant. He also gives a more substantial account of battlefield action than can be found in other biographies, capturing the ebb and flow of key encounters—Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga and Atlanta, Stones River and Mill Springs, Peachtree Creek and Nashville—to help readers better understand Thomas's contributions to their outcomes.

Throughout Wills presents a well-rounded individual whose complex views embraced the worlds of professional military service and scientific inquisitiveness, a man known for attention to detail and compassion to subordinates. We also meet a sharp-tempered person whose disdain for politics hurt his prospects for advancement as much as it reflected positively on his character, and Wills offers new insight into why Thomas might not have progressed as quickly up the ladder of command as he might have liked.

More deeply researched than other biographies, Wills's work situates Thomas squarely in his own time to provide readers with a more thorough and balanced life story of this enigmatic Union general. It is a definitive military history that gives us a new and needed picture of the Rock of Chickamauga—a man whose devotion to duty and ideals made him as true as steel.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
George Henry Thomas is not as famous today as other Union army generals such as William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, or George B. McClellan, but with this solid and accessible book, Wills (history, Kennesaw State Univ.; Gone with the Glory) makes a strong case that the so-called Rock of Chickamauga should be. As with so many Civil War generals, Thomas cut his military teeth in the Mexican War and had to decide where his loyalties lay when the Civil War broke out. A Virginian who was hated by Southerners for perceived treason against his state, Thomas earned a solid reputation in the North as a dependable general in spite of his heritage. Methodical and often criticized for being slow and defense-minded, he is now praised for his leadership at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Nashville. VERDICT A smooth style and quick pace will make this book attractive to readers interested in Civil War history, while the meticulous research will appeal to academics. Libraries that already own a Thomas biography, such as Benson Bobrick's Master of War, may wish to skip this, but it would be a good addition for any library lacking a volume on this important general.—Michael Farrell, Reformed Theological Seminary Lib., Oviedo, FL
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700618415
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 3/29/2012
  • Pages: 600
  • Sales rank: 547,397
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University, where he is professor of history. He is the author of The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest and The War Hits Home: The Civil War in Southeastern Virginia.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Embattled Virginian

1. Young George (1816-1840)

2. First Duties (1840-1845)

3. "Under Fire"'' in Mexico and Virginia (1845-1848)

4. New Frontiers (1848-1854)

5. The West Beckons (1854-1860)

6. Duty Calls (1860-1861)

7. Keeping the Blue in the Bluegrass (August 1861 - January 1862)

8. A Difficult Interlude (February 1862 - January 1863)

9. "The Rock of Chickamauga" (February - October 1863)

10. Redemption at Missionary Ridge (October 1863 - January 1864)

12. Biding Time in Tennessee (September - December 1864)

14. A Different Kind of War (January - May 1865)

15. An Exasperating Peace (May 1865 - December 1866)

16. Final Stages (1867 - 1868)

17. Thomas's Last Battles (1869-1870)

Epilogue: What History Has Done

Appendix A. Military Milestones and Principal Responsibilities

Appendix B. J. Thomas's Postwar Divisions and Departments

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)