The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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Colonel John P. Thomas, CSA (1882-1885)

Colonel Thomas was born in 1833 in St John's Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolina. He was the first honor graduate in the class of 1851 at The Citadel. After graduation, he was appointed Professor of English and History at The Arsenal. In 1861, Colonel Thomas was made Superintendent of The Arsenal. In this position, he was in charge of The Arsenal cadets, which comprised Company B of the Battalion of State Cadets. At the end of the war, he disbanded his cadet battalion at Newberry, SC.

In 1871, Colonel Thomas was admitted to the bar, but he practiced only a short time. He established the Carolina Military Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1873 and operated it for nine years.

Colonel Thomas was named Superintendent of The Citadel when it reopened in 1882. He resigned in 1885, but continued to be associated with the college as a member of the Board of Visitors.

From 1886-1887, he served in the South Carolina Legislature and was appointed State Historian in 1887. He was the author of numerous works, the most significant of which is The History of the South Carolina Military Academy published in 1893. Colonel Thomas died in Columbia in 1912.

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