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Major General Lorenzo Thomas Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

MAJOR GENERAL LORENZO THOMAS
Born: October 26, 1804 in New Castle, Delaware
Died: March 2, 1875 in Washington, District of Columbia
Biography | show moreshow less
Lorenzo Thomas (1804-1875), an 1823 graduate of West Point, saw action in the Second Seminole War and served as Chief of Staff to General William O. Butler in the Mexican War. Thomas then became Chief of Staff to General Winfield Scott until the outbreak of the Civil War. In March 1861, he was named Adjutant General, and two months later he was given the rank of Brigadier General. In March 1863, he lost his status (but kept his rank) as Adjutant because of alleged inadequacy and was assigned to organize colored troops in the South. After the war, Thomas was brevetted Major General in recognition of his military service. Thomas played a key role in the battle between Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, and the Congressional Radicals over Reconstruction. When Johnson removed Secretary of War Edward M. Stanton on February 21, 1868, he named Thomas to replace him on an ad interim basis and restored Thomas' Adjutant status. Thomas personally delivered Johnson's dismissal notice to Stanton, who refused to accept its legitimacy - and had Thomas arrested for violating the Tenure of Office Act. Stanton dropped the charges after realizing that Thomas' arrest would lead to the courts reviewing the law, but Johnson's action against Stanton led to the House of Representatives impeaching the President on February 24, 1868. After Johnson was acquitted, Thomas served until the end of his term, retiring in 1869.

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