Robert W. McGuire, Jr.


Lorenzo Thomas

United States Army


October 26, 1804


March 2, 1875


Lorenzo Thomas graduated from West Point in 1823. As a career Army officer, he fought in the Seminole War in Florida, and during the Mexican–American War, he was chief of staff to General William Butler. From 1853 to 1861 he was chief of staff to General of the Army Winfield Scott. In March 1861 he was appointed adjutant general of the Army, a position he held until his retirement in 1869.


GEN Thomas did not get along with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who assigned him to recruit African American troops in the South from 1863 to 1865. After Lincoln’s murder, President Andrew Johnson decided to fire Stanton and replace him with Thomas on an ad interim basis, an action that led to Johnson’s impeachment. Thomas died at his residence in Washington City in 1875.

Record of Military Service

July 1, 1823—Graduated US Military Academy, assigned to  duty as a 2nd Lieutenant, 4th US Infantry

1824-1831—Service in 4th US Infantry

March 17, 1829—Promoted to 1st Lieutenant, 4th US Infantry

1831-1833—Recruiting Service

1833-1836—Adjutant General’s Office, Washington DC

1836-1837—Quatermaster duty in Florida Seminole War

September 23, 1836—Promoted to Captain, 4th US Infantry

1836-1837—Quartermaster General’s Office, Washington DC

July 7, 1838—Promoted to Major, Assistant Adjutant General

1846-1848—Mexican War, adjutant general and chief of staff to General Butler

1852—Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel

1853-1861—Chief of Staff to General of the Army Winfield Scott

March 7, 1861—Promoted to Colonel and Adjutant General of the Army

August 10, 1861—Promoted to Brigadier General

1863-1865—Special Assignment recruiting colored regiments

March 8, 1866—Promoted to Major General

February 22, 1869—Retired