Thomas, George H. (Henry) (1816–1870), a United States army officer. He was called “the Rock of Chickamauga” for his stubborn stand after most of the Union forces were routed in the Battle of Chickamauga (1863). Thomas was born in Southampton County, Virginia, and graduated from West Point in 1840. He served in the Seminole and Mexican wars and on the Western frontier, and was an instructor at West Point.
As brigadier general of volunteers early in the Civil War Thomas won the important victory of Mill Springs, Kentucky. After Chickamauga he commanded the Army of the Cumberland in its assault on Missionary Ridge and in the Atlanta campaign. While Sherman marched from Atlanta to the sea, Thomas was sent in pursuit of Confederate General John B. Hood. Delaying until he was fully ready, Thomas decisively defeated Hood in the Battle of Nashville, 1864.