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Re: SCG epilogue

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  • dmercado
    ... J.B., Certainly Thomas was disappointed by Grant s decision, as he felt he had done more on the battlefield than Sherman and was the senior Major General
    Message 1 of 179 , Apr 30, 2002
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      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "bjer50010" <bjewell@i...> wrote:

      >Certainly Grant had shown that he preferred Sherman over Thomas,
      >when he went east, but did that have any lasting effect on the
      >relationship between the two men?

      J.B.,
      Certainly Thomas was disappointed by Grant's decision, as he felt
      he had done more on the battlefield than Sherman and was the senior
      Major General to boot. These were the ways command was given by the
      old regular army protocol, but the regulations about such things had
      changed during the Civil War. And by this date in the war, he was
      well aware that without any congressional sponsorship (all the
      Virginia senators, after all, were now Confederates), he was destined
      to play second fiddle to the men of Ohio. He therefore resolved to
      soldier-on without complaint and do his utmost to help win the war.
      He served Sherman very well.

      Thomas had carefully thought out the best way to steal a march on Joe
      Johnston when his scouts first informed him that SCG was not defended
      in February. He tried his best to convince Sherman during a planning
      meeting in April, but Sherman decided to use the Army of the
      Tennessee (his old command) for the attack rather than Thomas'
      Army of the Cumberland with its well-equipped cavalry. When Sherman
      botched SCG, Thomas never even hinted at the issue in his official
      report.

      Sherman was a complex man who had great strategic vision, but was not
      above backstabbing his subordinate officers. Here is what he once
      said about Thomas in a private letter to General Grant:

      "I know full well that Gen. Thomas is slow in mind and in
      actionÂ…"
      (Letter to Grant 12/16/1864 from Savannah and later published in
      Sherman's Memoirs).

      Maybe Sherman really thought Thomas was slow in starting his
      campaigns compared to him, but what was he trying to imply to Grant
      by this `slow in mind' comment?

      Sherman wrote this before he found out about Thomas' great
      victory at Nashville; afterwards he sent a friendly letter to Thomas
      saying he had all the confidence in the world in him. Weird guy.
      Best regards, Dave
    • wh_keene
      Hi Dave. I never have subscribed to it though I have picked up occassional issues at the bookstore when the lead story grabs me. I know of a used bookstore
      Message 179 of 179 , May 16, 2002
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        Hi Dave.

        I never have subscribed to it though I have picked up occassional
        issues at the bookstore when the lead story grabs me. I know of a
        used bookstore that stocks old issues--will look for the one you
        mentioned

        --- In civilwarwest@y..., David Woodbury <woodbury@s...> wrote:
        > At 9:18 PM +0000 4/30/02, wh_keene wrote:
        > >I agree that our discussion was "getting a tad unwieldy." My work
        > >situation has changed, so I haven't been able to follow this board
        as
        > >closely as I used to. Only today could I catch up. The thread had
        > >become so unwieldy that it seemed to have become about what I said
        > >about what you said about what I said about what you said and it
        was
        > >hard to make sense of it without going back and starting over.
        >
        > Will,
        >
        > Haven't been able to keep up with the discussions lately -- things
        > like work, classes, Giants baseball, two small children, and the
        > opening of the trout season all combined to push Snake Creek Gap
        far
        > into the background. I did want to say, however, that I wasn't
        > ignoring your last missive on the subject.
        >
        > I've subsequently come across the March 2001 issue of "North &
        > South," with Steven H. Newton's article, "What Really Happened at
        > Snake Creek Gap?" I've just started through it, and will try to
        > convey the main points here. I'm curious to see if he brings
        anything
        > new to the discussion, or summarizes the conflicting views much as
        we
        > have done. Based on the subtitle, he may be more sympathetic to
        your
        > view:
        >
        > "The conventional account of the opening of the
        > 1864 Georgia Campaign is that William T. Sherman
        > swiftly bamboozled Joseph E. Johnston. There is another
        > interpretation."
        >
        > Do you, by chance, subscribe to and keep back issues of "North &
        South"?
        >
        > David
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