George H. Thomas to Governor John Letcher, March 12, 1861, Executive Papers of Governor John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.
United States Army major George H. Thomas declined an offer in March 1861 to become chief of ordnance of Virginia, in charge of armaments. He explained to Governor John Letcher, "it is not my wish to leave the Service of the United States as long as it is honorable for me to remain in it, and therefore as long as my native State Va. remains in the Union it is my purpose to remain in the Army." A native of Southampton County, Thomas was a career officer in the U.S. Army. He served in the Union army throughout the Civil War and was one of its most successful and distinguished generals. His family disowned him, and he was buried in the state of New York.