Just finished this book. A pretty good read but the author really bashed the hell out of Grant, Sherman and even Lincoln. I can't help but think that maybe the author is a Unreconstructed Reb. That being said the book is very informative on General Thomas. Unlike Lee he felt his first loyalty was not to Virginia but to the USA. I've always respected Thomas and this book made me respect him even more. He commanded my gg uncle's XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. I ddin't realize Nashville was defended by a hodgepodge of Union forces thrown together in December, 1864.
Last edited on Mon Aug 20th, 2012 10:14 am by BHR62
As you noted, Robert E. Lee and George H. Thomas were Virginians who made opposite choices about which entity their highest loyalty was to. As a result of their choices, both paid a heavy price. (They would have no matter which choice they made).
George H. Thomas was from Southampton County and was a slaveholder. During the Nat Turner slave uprising in 1831, Thomas and his family had to run for their lives. Thirty years later, his relatives expected him to resign from the U.S. Army and serve the CSA. When he did not do so, he became estranged from his brothers and sisters. His sisters turned his picture to the wall. After the war, they refused any assistance from him. They never reconciled with him.
So- did General Thomas make the: "Right" choice? Did General Lee? How can there be a right or a wrong decision? Each man had to make a terrible choice, knowing that there would be severe consequences. Each could only follow the dictates of his conscience.
I can only feel sympathy for both men and be grateful that I have never been put in such a situation.
Descriptions in this book are written in a very detailed manner. "A strong portrait of an undervalued general" (Kirkus Reviews). I am also curious about the choice G. Thomas made. Even after reading this book I did not find a real answer. Maybe, now I confused even more. I raised this topic at my university and my professor decided to give us a task to complete a presentation. The main point is that it should be related to the Philosophy: General G. Thomas: a life changing choice during the wartime. I’ve already ordered a small research on this topic. More about it here