Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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THOMAS, Lorenzo, soldier, born in New Castle, Delaware, 26 October, 1804; died in Washington, D. C., 2 March, 1875. His father, Evan, was of Welsh extraction, and served in the militia during the war of 1812, and one of his uncles was a favorite officer of General Washington. He was at first destined for mercantile pursuits, but t received an appointment to the United States military academy, and was graduated there in 1823. He served in the 4th infantry in Florida till 1831, and again in the Florida war of 1836-'7, and as chief of staff of the army in that state in 1839-'40, becoming captain, 23 September, 1836, and major on the staff and assistant adjutant-general, 7 July, 1838. He there did duty in the last-named office at Washington till the Mexican war, in which he was chief of staff of General William O. Butler in 1846-'8, and of the Army of Mexico till June, 1848, and received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel for gallantry at Monterey. He was then adjutant-general at army headquarters, Washington, till 1853, and chief of staff to General Winfield Scott till 1861, when he was brevetted brigadier-general on 7 May, and made adjutant-general of the army on 8 August, with the full rank of brigadier-general. Here he served till 1863, when he was intrusted for two years with the organization of colored troops in the southern states. When President Johnson removed Edwin M. Stanton from his post as secretary of war he appointed General Thomas secretary ad interim, 21 February, 1868, but, owing to Stanton's refusal to vacate, Thomas did not enter on the office. He was brevetted major-general, United States army, on 13 March, 1865, for services during the civil war, and on 22 February, 1869, he was retired.
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