Rock Of Chickamauga


Perhaps Chickamauga did part of the damage. At Chickamauga Thomas fought as good a defensive battle as any man ever fought, and he was “the Rock of Chickamauga” forever after, immovable, imperturbable, and indomitable. Grant is supposed to have remarked once that Thomas was “too slow to move and too brave to run away.” If Grant said that, he was wrong. There was nothing slow about Thomas. He liked to make sure that everything was ready before he moved, but when he did move, somebody had to get out of the way.

Mr. McKinney has written a very good book indeed, and it is essential reading for anyone who wants a full understanding of the human instruments with which the Federal government fought and won the Civil War. Thomas was one of the best of the lot. Yet he does remain a man who did not, in his lifetime at least, quite reach the summit of popular approval. Perhaps this is one case where the general verdict of history needs to be upgraded.