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This Day in Georgia History

July 31, 1816

George H. Thomas Born

George H. Thomas was born in Southampton County, Va. Thomas graduated from West Point, then served in the Mexican War before returning to teach at West Point. When the Civil War began he sided with the Union, eventually serving under General Ulysses Grant and General William T. Sherman, and attaining the rank of General himself. At the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863, the Union forces were on the verge of being routed when Thomas rallied his troops for a stand on Snodgrass Hill. He was able to hold the line until darkness fell and the Union forces could retreat in orderly fashion. This feat earned him the nickname “The Rock of Chickamauga.”