HALLECK, HENRY W., General. Autograph letter signed ("H. W. Halleck") as General, to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, COUNTERSIGNED BY STANTON, Washington, D.C., 27 October 1863. 1 page, 4to, "Head Quarters of the Army" stationery. Fine.
HALLECK AND STANTON PROMOTE THOMAS, "THE ROCK OF CHICKAMAUGA"
A promotion recommendation for George Henry Thomas (1816-1870) of Virginia, who later became famous as "the Rock of Chickamauga." Halleck writes: "I respectfully recommend Col[onel] G. H. Thomas, 5th Cavalry, Major Gen[era]l of Vol[unteer]s, for appointment as Brig[adier] Gen[era]l U.S. Army, in place of Brig[adier] Gen[era]l Robert Anderson, found by Retiring Board incapacitated for active service..." "Approved..." at lower left by the Secretary of War.
Thomas served in the Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. Although born in Virginia, Thomas remained loyal to the Union, and, at this date, was serving with the 5th U.S. Cavalry. He fought at Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stones River, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Atlanta, but is best remembered for his extraordinary feat in holding the Union left wing against repeated Confederate assaults at Chickamauga, by which he earned his nickname. Thomas left the Union Army ranked Major General. Halleck (1815-1872) had been assigned an administrative command in July 1862 due to his ineptitude as a field officer (demonstrated at Corinth); when Grant was named Supreme Commander, Halleck was demoted to Chief of Staff, in which post he played an important role in the final stages of the war.