General Thomas “What Ifs” of History
1. What if President James A. Garfield had not been assassinated in September 1881? Would this have had an effect on Thomas in today’s school books on American history? (currently he is left completely out)
2. What if George Thomas had been born or raised in Ohio like Grant, Sherman and Sheridan? Might he have been given a chance at the top command?
3. What if Thomas had not held on at Chickamauga in 1863? How might that have changed the war? For instance, the Atlanta campaign could not have been completed until well after the 1864 elections.
4. What if Thomas had followed Grant’s order and attacked at Nashville during the ice storm and lost? How much longer would the war have lasted if there were a large and victorious Confederate western army on the loose in 1865? Would Sherman have had to about-face from his picnic through Georgia and return to Tennessee?
5. What if George Thomas, a Virginian, had offered his sword to the Confederacy. How much differently might things have turned out for the Army of Tennessee with a beloved Thomas as its commander in 1863 rather than a disliked Bragg? Additionally, they would not have had to fight the ‘Rock’ at Chickamauga.
6. What if General Thomas was given the Chief-of-Staff position in DC and replaced General Halleck? Based on his appreciation of strategy, topography, combined forces, logistics, and integration of non-military personnel (medical, telegraph operators, …), would it have cut at least a year off the war? (Suggested by T.J. Marlowe)