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First Name: John

Last Name: Thomas

Birthplace: Marshfield, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 09 November 1724

Date of Death: 02 June 1776

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
John Thomas

•  Indian Wars (1775 - 1924) intermittent
•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


John Thomas
Major General, Continental Army

John Thomas was born on 9 November 1724 in Marshfield, MA.

He studied medicine with local doctors and became a physician, first in Marshfield and later in Kingston. Thomas was a Kingston Town Selectman from 1763-75 and Town Clerk from 1764-66. In 1746 he was commissioned as a Surgeon in the Colonial Militia.

Beginning in 1755, he saw active service in the French and Indian War, first as a Surgeon in William Shirley's regiment, and then as a line officer with the rank of Lieutenant. In 1759, he was appointed Colonel in command of a regiment, which he led in Nova Scotia and at Crown Point, NY. After the war, Thomas continued to practice medicine and remained in the militia.

At the start of the Revolution in 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress named him head of the Militia as a Lieutenant General. When the Continental Army was formed, Thomas was commissioned as its Senior Brigadier General, soon attained promotion to Major General, and commanded troops overseeing the British evacuation of Boston in March 1776. Later that year Thomas assumed command of the siege at Quebec City, leading troops formerly commanded by Richard Montgomery. Expiring enlistments and disease caused them to retreat to Fort Chambly, where Thomas took ill and died.

Thomas and other soldiers who died of smallpox were buried in unmarked graves. An oak marker erected to their memory stood from 1776 until it fell in a storm in the late 1800s. The oak slab was preserved by the fort's caretaker, and in 1925 a stone marker was erected in its place. 

Death and Burial

Major General John Thomas died on 2 June 1776 in Quebec, Canada. He is buried at Fort Chambly Military Cemetery in Chambly, Quebec, Canada.

Honoree ID: 3143   Created by: MHOH




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