“The Rock of Chickamauga” Panel Discussion And Battlefield Tour Set For June 2

Friday, May 18, 2018
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Eastern National will host a special panel discussion and battlefield tour about General George H. Thomas, the 14th Army Corps’ commander at Chickamauga on Saturday, June 2.  Presenting their views about the leadership of General Thomas will be three Civil War scholars.  The 1-hour panel begins inside the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center’s theater at 11 a.m., while a special 1-hour car caravan tour about General Thomas begins in the visitor center’s lobby at 1 p.

This year’s panel participants will include Dave Powell, author of The Maps of Chickamauga and other works about the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga; Dr. Frank Varney, author of General Grant and the Rewriting of History; and Dr. Brian Steel Wills, author of George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel and The Confederacy’s Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest.

George H. Thomas, a Virginia native and survivor of the infamous Nat Turner Rebellion, was a career U.S. Army officer prior to the Civil War. When war broke out in 1861, although a Southerner, his wife, Francis, recalled that there “was never a word passed between General Thomas and myself, or any of the family, upon the subject of his remaining loyal to the United States Government.” Instead of donning Confederate gray, as many Virginians did, he remained clad in Union blue. By 1863, in the midst of confusion and panic at Chickamauga, he oversaw the Union Army’s last ditch effort to hold the battlefield at Horseshoe Ridge and near the Kelly Farmstead, allowing the remainder of the army to retreat into Chattanooga, thus earning him the nickname “The Rock of Chickamauga.”    

The authors will also conduct book signings inside the Eastern National Bookstore from 10-11 a.m. and throughout the afternoon.  
For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241 or the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786.

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