George Thomas, a Virginian by birth, graduated from West Point in 1840 (12th
in a class of 42) and after fighting in the Mexican War returned to the Academy
as an instructor. When the War Between the States broke out, Thomas's allegiance
to the Union outweighed his attachment to the Old Dominion, and he remained with
the Federal Army. Thomas stayed in the Army after the War's end and died in 1870,
the same year as Robert E. Lee.
The Battle of Chickamauga was considered to be one of Thomas's finest hours,
despite the Union loss, and earned him the nickname "The Rock of Chickamauga."
This poem is dedicated to Millard Hunter, who knows a good Virginian when he
"Thomas at Chickamauga"