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General George Henry Thomas
U.S. Army Officer, Civil War General
General Thomas is best known never having lost a battle during the Civil War. At the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863, he held the union line against the confederate forces, earning him the nickname, “The Rock of Chickamauga.”
Born and raised in Virginia, General Thomas was a career officer, trained at West Point. Prior to the Civil War, he fought under another Oakwood resident, Major General John Ellis Wool in the Mexican-American War. When the Southern states split from the Union, Thomas chose to fight for the United States instead of the Confederacy. His family never forgave him. They turned his portrait to the wall, never spoke to him again, and refused to come to his funeral.
Thomas’ wife, the former Frances Kellog was a native of Lansingburgh. General Thomas’s military funeral was the largest in New York history. Over 10,000 mourners, including President Ulysses S. Grant, attended the service at Oakwood.