General Thomas Monument

General Stephen Thomas, considered Bethel's greatest son, received limited education in Thetford, Vermont before he began working in the woolen mills in Strafford, Thetford, and West Fairlee, Vermont.  General Thomas was State Representative for West Fairlee six times, and then State Senator for Orange County twice, before serving as Lieutenant Governor in 1867 and 1868.  General Thomas also served as Probate Judge and Sheriff of Orange County.  He was influential in Vermont politics and Veteran's affairs.

Stephen Thomas was made colonel of the 8th Vermont regiment on November 12, 1861.  He served with distinction and of the highest order in the battles of Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek.  He served with such signal courage and ability that following the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864, he was commissioned brigadier-general in February 1865 at the age of 55.

The location of the General Thomas Monument stands on the chimney foundation of the log cabin where General Thomas was born on December 9, 1809.  The bronze inscription reads:

"General Stephen Thomas, born on this spot December 9, 1809.  Colonel of the 8th Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, November 12, 1861; Brigadier-General of U.S. Volunteers for meritorious service, Patriot, brave soldier, wise consulter and beloved by all men.  Died in Montpelier, Vermont, Dec. 13, 1903."

The property consists of thirty three square rods of land, deeded to the Town of Bethel by Appleton McIntosh on October 14, 1914.  The monument was erected by the 8th Vermont Regiment (Civil War) at the insistence of Captain B.F. Bowman who had served under General Thomas.  Dedication of the monument was made on October 19, 1914 to a crowd of 70, many of them former soldiers.  The day also marked the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek, for which General Thomas was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.