Re: [civilwarwest] Re: SCG epilogue
- I would characterize Thomas as deliberate and I like the carpenter's phrase,
"measure twice, cut once."
I believe Grant could be called hasty but his impetuosity was characterized as
We don't want to get into this Grant vs Thomas thing again, at least not at any
length because this argument will never be settled. Both men had strong
characters which at times were in conflict with each other. Maybe each felt
threatened by the other but both contributed greatly to the overall success of
Thomas's slowness is like Grant's drinking. Both are misrepresentations of
the character of the men but they have been mentioned so many times, some can
not be convinced otherwise.
----- Original Message -----
From: "wh_keene" <wh_keene@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 12:57 PM
Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: SCG epilogue
| "If some one would like to provide the justification or cause for
| these comments...........?"
| Seems to me that there are two sources for the label of slow. Notice
| how this "slowness" is not neccessarily a bad thing.
| 1) Thomas was critiqued for apparent slowness to implement plans at
| specific moments. This criticism mostly come from Grant in
| connection with the handful of times that they directly worked
| together. However, there are arguments that Grant was hasty in his
| judgment in each case and even if the label of slow fits, the only
| bad result was strained relations between Thomas and Grant.
| 2) Several people who knew Thomas wrote that he had a natural
| slowness of character, particularly when compared to others. Take
| for example W.F. Shanks article "Recollections of General Thomas" in
| Harpers, May 1865. Shanks had observed Sherman and Thomas first-hand
| and he had previously written a similar piece about Sherman. The
| first part of the piece on Thomas compares Sherman and Thomas,
| calling Sherman "a nervous man" but Thomas "a man of nerve". He goes
| on to further contrast them:
| "Sherman jumps at conclusions; Thomas's mind and body act with equal
| deliberation. His conclusions are arrived at after long and mature
| reflection. Sherman never takes thought of unexpected contingencies
| or failures. There is always a remedy for any failures of a part of
| Thomas's plans, or for the delinquencies of subordinates. Sherman
| never hesitates to answer. Thomas is slow to reply. One is quick and
| positive. The other is slow but equally positive."
| There are proverbs which recommend opposite things: "he who hesitates
| is lost" but yet "look before you leap". As much as Grant wished he
| would follow the first, Thomas seemed to adhere to the second.
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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
--- 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
> >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
> >hard to make sense of it without going back and starting over.
> 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
> 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
> new to the discussion, or summarizes the conflicting views much as
> have done. Based on the subtitle, he may be more sympathetic to
> "The conventional account of the opening of the
> 1864 Georgia Campaign is that William T. Sherman
> swiftly bamboozled Joseph E. Johnston. There is another
> Do you, by chance, subscribe to and keep back issues of "North &