THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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March 12, 1861
George H. Thomas Wrote to Governor Letcher
George Henry Thomas (1816–1870) was born in Southampton County and in 1861 was an instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In this letter to Governor John Letcher (1813–1884), he responded to the request that he resign from the United States Army and take a post as Virginia's Chief of Ordnance of the State. Thomas wrote that he would remain in the U.S. Army as long as Virginia was in the Union. Thomas, however, remained in the United States Army even after Virginia seceded. After the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia, where he commanded Union forces, he was known as the "Rock of Chickamauga."