Thomaston (HMBVS)

Location: Newsoms, VA 23874 Southampton County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 38.344', W 77° 5.578'

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Home of Gen. George H. Thomas

Gen. George H. Thomas was born in this house on July 31, 1816. He lived here until his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1836, where he roomed his first year with William T. Sherman. After graduation in 1840, Thomas entered the U.S. Army and fought in the Seminole and Mexican Wars, serving in the latter under Albert Sydney Johnson and Robert E. Lee. Early in the 1850s, he taught cavalry tactics at West Point; among his students were future Civil War generals Philip H. Sheridan and J.E.B. Stuart.

Thomas last saw his home in December 1860. When the Civil War began, Thomas, unlike his fellow Virginians Lee and Stuart, remained in the U.S. Army. His Southern roots bred distrust among his superiors, while his loyalty to the United States brought him the enmity of his sisters, who continued to live in the house. They allegedly refused to send him the sword (now in the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond) that the county had made for him for his Mexican War service, sewed a flag for a local Confederate unit, and turned his picture to the wall.

Thomas served in the western theater, where his reputation as a field commander grew. His unyielding stand at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863, earned him the sobriquet "Rock of Chickamauga." His defense of Nashville, Tennessee, and subsequent counterattack, December 15-16, 1864, shattered the Confederate army there.

Thomas never returned to Virginia. After the war, he commanded the Division of the Pacific in San Francisco, California, and died there on March 28, 1870. He is buried in Troy, New York, the home of his wife, Frances Lucretia Kellogg. Thomas's sisters, eventually more sorry than angry, supported the statue erected to him in Washington, D.C., in 1879.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 7:42pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 312887 N 4056874
Decimal Degrees36.63906667, -77.09296667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 38.344', W 77° 5.578'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 38' 20.64" N, 77° 5' 34.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 24301-24323 State Rte 709, Newsoms VA 23874, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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