Portrait of Thomas J. Wood

On March 13, 1865, Thomas J. Wood received brevet promotions to the rank of brigadier general in the regular army “for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Battle of Chickamauga,” and to major general in the regular army for “Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Nashville.” [Wikimedia Commons]

Thomas John Wood - Facts

September 25, 1823 - February 25, 1906

Key facts about Thomas J. Wood, a prominent Union general who participated in nearly every major campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.

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Full Name:

  • Thomas John Wood

Birth Date:

  • September 25, 1823

Birth Location:

  • Munfordville, Kentucky

Parents:

  • George Twyman Wood and Elizabeth (Helm) Wood

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1845)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Colonel (USA),
  • Brigadier General (USA)
  • Major General (USVA)

Spouse:

  • Caroline E. Greer (1861)

Place of Death:

  • Dayton, Ohio

Date of Death:

  • February 25, 1906

Place of Burial:

  • West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York

Significance:

  • Thomas J. Wood was the second of two sons of George Twyman Wood and Elizabeth (Helm) Wood.
  • Thomas J. Wood’s father was a prominent farmer, slave owner, and local politician in Hart County, Kentucky.
  • Thomas J. Wood’s mother came from a distinguished Kentucky family and was the sister of the future governor, Charles Helm.
  • Thomas J. Wood attended the United States Military Academy from July 1, 1841 to July 1, 1845.
  • Thomas J. Wood graduated from the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1845, ranked fifth in his class of 42 cadets.
  • Following his graduation from the United States Military Academy, Thomas J. Wood was brevetted as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers on July 1, 1845.
  • During the Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846–February 2, 1848) Thomas J. Wood took part in the Battle of Palo Alto (May 8, 1846), the Battle of Monterey (September 21‑23, 1846), and the Battle of Buena Vista (February 22‑23, 1847).
  • Thomas J. Wood was promoted to the full rank of second lieutenant on December 2, 1846.
  • Thomas J. Wood earned him a brevet promotion to first lieutenant “for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct” during the Battle of Buena Vista.
  • Thomas J. Wood was promoted to first lieutenant on June 30, 1851, while serving in the American West.
  • Thomas J. Wood was commissioned as a captain on March 3, 1855, in the newly created 1st Cavalry and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
  • Thomas J. Wood helped quell the violent strife between “Free-Soilers” and pro-slavery advocates in “Bleeding Kansas.”
  • Thomas J. Wood was promoted to major on March 16, 1861.
  • Thomas J. Wood was promoted to lieutenant colonel on May 9, 1861.
  • On December 5, 1861, the War Department issued General Orders, No. 106 announcing that Thomas J. Wood had been appointed as brigadier general of volunteers, to date from October 11, 1861.
  • On December 5, 1861, the War Department issued General Orders, No. 106 announcing that Thomas J. Wood had been promoted to the rank of colonel in the regular army, to date from November 12, 1861.
  • Thomas J. Wood married Caroline E. Greer, of Dayton, Ohio, on November 29, 1861. Their marriage lasted until Wood’s death forty-five years later and produced three sons, two of whom survived to adulthood.
  • On February 25, 1862, Thomas J. Wood and his brigade took part in the occupation of Nashville, the first Confederate capital to fall into Union hands during the Civil War.
  • On February 25, 1862, Major General Don Carlos Buell placed Thomas J. Wood in command of the 6th Division of Army of the Ohio.
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862).
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the successful advance upon and Siege of Corinth that lasted from April 29 to May 30, 1862.
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Battle of Perryville (October 8, 1862).
  • On October 24, 1862, the War Department issued General Orders, No. 168 reestablishing the Department of the Cumberland, Major General William S. Rosecrans commanding. Thomas J. Wood was assigned to command the 1st Division of the Left Wing of the 14th Army Corps.
  • Thomas J. Wood was wounded by a minie ball in the left heel during the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863).
  • In February 1863, Thomas J. Wood was placed in command of the 1st Division of Major General Thomas Leonidas Crittenden’s 21st Army Corps.
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Tullahoma Campaign (June 24–July 3, 1863).
  • On September 9, 1863, Thomas J. Wood’s division became the first federal troops to occupy Chattanooga.
  • The Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863)marked the low point of Thomas J. Wood’s military career.
  • Major General William S. Rosecrans blamed the Union loss at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863) because Wood followed a flawed order.
  • On September 22, 1863, Thomas J. Wood was placed in command of the 3rd Division, of the 4th Army Corps.
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863).
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Knoxville Campaign (November 4 – December 14, 1863).
  • During the Atlanta Campaign, Thomas J. Wood commanded the 3rd Division of the 4th Army Corps (part of the Army of the Cumberland).
  • During the Atlanta Campaign, Thomas J. Wood took part in operations around Dalton (May 7‑12) the Battle of Resaca ( May 13 – 15), the Battle of Adairsville (May 17), the Battle of New Hope Church (May 25-26), the Battle of Pickett’s Mill (May 27), the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (June 27), the Battle of and Peachtree Creek (July 20), the Siege of Atlanta (July 22-September 2), the Battle of Jonesborough, August 31-September 1), and operations near Lovejoy’s Station (September. 2).
  • On September 2, 1864, Thomas J. Wood was wounded by a rifle shot that passed through his left foot.
  • During the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, Thomas J. Wood commanded the 3rd Division of the 4th Corps (part of the Army of the Ohio).
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864)
  • During the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864) Thomas J. Wood assumed command of the 4th Army Corps after corps commander David S. Stanley was shot through the neck.
  • Thomas J. Wood took part in the Battle of Nashville (December 15-16, 1864).
  • On February 22, President Lincoln appointed Thomas J. Wood to the rank of major general of volunteers.
  • On March 13, 1865, Thomas J. Wood received brevet promotions to the rank of brigadier general in the regular army “for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Battle of Chickamauga,” and to major general in the regular army for “Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Nashville.”
  • On May 26, 1865, the U.S. War Department issued General Orders, No. 97 announcing Thomas J. Wood’s appointment to the rank of major general in the volunteer army.
  • On January 31, 1865, Thomas J. Wood resumed command of his division with the 4th Corps.
  • Thomas J. Wood served as military commander of the Central District of Arkansas from September 9 to November 3, 1865.
  • Thomas J. Wood served as military commander of the Department of Mississippi (later renamed the District of Mississippi) from November 14, 1865 to January 17, 1867.
  • Thomas J. Wood was mustered out of volunteer service on September 1, 1866, but remained in the regular army.
  • Thomas J. Wood commanded the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, at Fort McPherson, Nebraska from December 19, 1867 to January 28, 1868.
  • On June 8, 1868, Thomas J. Wood received a disability retirement from the army at the rank of brevet major general.
  • Following his retirement from the military, Thomas J. Wood returned to his wife’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, where he remained active with the Grand Army of the Republic.
  • During his retirement, Thomas J. Wood launched a writing campaign defending his actions during the Battle of Chickamauga and lobbying heightened acknowledgment of the success of his division at the Battle of Missionary Ridge.
  • In 1895, President Grover Cleveland appointed Thomas J. Wood to the board of visitors at the United States Military Academy.
  • When the Spanish-American War erupted in 1898, Thomas J. Wood volunteered his services, though the War Department turned him down because he was long beyond the army’s upper age limit.
  • Thomas Wood died in Dayton, Ohio, on February 25, 1906.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Thomas John Wood - Facts
  • Coverage September 25, 1823 - February 25, 1906
  • Author
  • Keywords Thomas John Wood
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 27, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 28, 2022
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