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Re: Grant's lies about Chattanooga

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  • carlw4514
    If this means it is possible to agree to disagree, I promise to follow some of these threads in future! -Just for the record, I never bought the idea that
    Message 1 of 267 , Aug 3, 2002
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      If this means it is possible to "agree to disagree," I promise to
      follow some of these threads in future!
      -Just for the record, I never bought the idea that Grant deserved the
      credit for the surprising development that routed the center at
      Chattanooga -- except in the general sense that he was always johnny
      on the spot to exploit such developments. Contrast this with Bragg at
      Chickamauga; such things cannot be discounted in taking the measure of
      generals.
      Carl
      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "josepharose" <josepharose@y...> wrote:
      > J.B., Bob, and Will:
      >
      > Thanks for the discussion. You all seem to have reached a
      conclusion
      > that there were some oral orders which changed everything, even
      > though there seems to be no actual evidence for this.
      >
      > You also don't state categorically whether you agree that Grant's
      > orders of the evening before (shall we call them) definitely tell
      > Hooker to leave part of his force on the bench and take all that he
      > could spare down to the valley and up Summertown Road to the top
      > (unless he could reach the top from where he was on the bench).
      >
      > J.B., IIRC, you stated that such an order seems strange, although
      now
      > it appears that you are saying that it made military sense. It's
      > Thomas' orders that made sense--leaving two regoments or so to block
      > the road and take everyone else to Rossville.
      >
      > If you look in the ORs, I think that there is a message from Hooker
      > on the 24th and he states outright that he thinks Lookout will be
      > evacuated.
      >
      > In the absence of evidence concerning orders from Grant on the
      > morning of the 25th, none of us can really say how much input Grant
      > had on the orders as they were given by Thomas.
      >
      > Grant's memoirs, when it comes to his expectations, his orders to
      > Thomas, and his orders to Hooker, do not appear to reflect the
      > reality of Chattanooga. Furthermore, his orders to Hooker to ascent
      > Lookout seem unreasonable.
      >
      > That is what I base my criticism of Grant upon and I don't see
      > anything substantive which contradicts this position.
      >
      > Joseph
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "bjer50010" <bjewell@i...> wrote:
      > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "bobaldrich2001" <aldrichr@d...> wrote:
      > > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "bjer50010" <bjewell@i...> wrote:
      > >
      > > snips
      > > >
      > > > JB,
      > > >
      > > > I recognize that Grant considered Sherman his tried and true
      > > > lieutenant, but I wonder whether the lesser role assigned to
      > Thomas
      > > > had more to do with circumstances than with any real or
      perceived
      > > > deficiency in Thomas or his army. In general, in understanding
      > the
      > > > lead role that Grant gave to Sherman in the campaign, it seems
      > > > important that the AotC -- at least the 4th and 14th corps --
      > > lacked
      > > > horses (and perhaps other supplies) and therefore had little or
      > no
      > > > ability to maneuver. It's not clear to me whether the 11th and
      > > 12th
      > > > corps had the same problem. But Sherman's army represented a
      > > mobile
      > > > force that could, for that reason, be used more effectively on
      > > > offense than the core of the AotC.
      > > >
      > > > Bob Aldrich
      > > >
      > >
      > > Bob,
      > >
      > > Thanks for the reply. I didn't intend for my final statement to
      be
      > > quite so strongly worded. Your points are valid. One other
      > > consideration is that Grant knew Sherman and trusted him, while
      his
      > > opinion about both Thomas and Hooker, and their troops, was still
      > in
      > > the formative stages. I think this was a major factor in his
      > > thinking about which troops to assign to which assignments.
      > > Interestingly, whatever his intentions, factors beyond his control
      > > lead both Hooker and Sherman to use mixed commands. Only Thomas
      > lead
      > > exclusively his own troops.
      > >
      > > major snips
      > > >
      > > > I agree with you almost 100%. Cozzens' account sounds like
      > baloney
      > > > to me. There is no evidence that I can see that Thomas was
      > > flouting
      > > > Grant's orders. Nobody knew for sure if the summit was
      evacuated
      > > or
      > > > not. That's why Hooker sent up a scouting force just before
      > dawn.
      > > > Thomas's and Grant's orders of the evening of the 24th are
      > > consistent
      > > > with each other, because Hooker had to go to the Summertown road
      > > > whether he was going to attack the summit, intercept a retreat,
      > or
      > > > support the 14th corps. So Hooker was supposed to head down to
      > > > Summertown road first thing in the morning (or at least as soon
      > as
      > > > the mist lifted) no matter what. Hence the order at 7 a.m.
      > > to "carry
      > > > out the orders given you the night before" or words to that
      > effect.
      > > >
      > > > As you point out, nobody knew if the summit was evacuated until
      > > > morning. If it wasn't - and their could have been as much as a
      > > whole
      > > > division up there, because both Stevenson and Cheatham were at
      > the
      > > > mountain on the 24th, and ended up being moved all the way over
      > to
      > > > the other end of the ridge to support Cleburne on the 25th --
      > > neither
      > > > Grant nor Thomas would have wanted to just ignore that force.
      > > >
      > >
      > > Exactly. I think Cozzens, in his attempt to give Thomas more
      > credit
      > > than he had usually received, went a little overboard.
      > > Unfortunately, as usually happens in this type of case, Thomas
      ends
      > > up sounding less able than he really was.
      > >
      > > > If it was evacuated -- and as it turned out, both the summit and
      > > the
      > > > valley around Chattanooga Creek were evacuated -- neither Grant
      > nor
      > > > Thomas would have wanted Hooker to sit around doing nothing.
      But
      > > > Thomas didn't issue the order for Hooker to go up Rossville road
      > > > until after he found out the summit was evacuated. So he wasn't
      > > > flouting anything.
      > > >
      > > > The only place I disagree with you is that I agree with Mr. Rose
      > > that
      > > > the a.m. order to go to Rossville was an offensive order, not
      > > > a "spectator" role. But I don't see any reason to think Grant
      > > didn't
      > > > support that order. At that point, it seems to me, the
      > information
      > > > that Lookout was evacuated caused Grant and Thomas to agree on a
      > > > modification of the orders issued the night before, whereby
      > instead
      > > > of moving forward right away to support Sherman, Thomas would
      > wait
      > > > until Hooker arrived at Rossville, in order to launch a
      > coordinated
      > > > assault with him. It seems to me that Thomas' and Grant's
      > accounts
      > > > both agree that, at least by the a.m. of the 25th, this was the
      > > > plan.
      > > >
      > >
      > > I think you are correct here, but I think the difference had more
      > to
      > > do with Grant's leaving the details to a subordinate than to any
      > > flouting of orders by Thomas. That appears to have been Grant's
      > > style of command throughout his career. It has the advantage,
      when
      > > one has competent subordinates, of flexibility of action in
      > response
      > > to changing conditions.
      > >
      > > > The order that was issued later, at noon, for Hooker to pivot on
      > > > Sheridan, it seems to me is just an elaboration of the earlier
      > > order
      > > > telling him to move on Rossville. This order could not be
      > carried
      > > > out immediately due to the delay in getting acrosse the creek,
      so
      > > > Johnson's Division ended up being inserted between Sheridan and
      > > > Hooker.
      > > >
      > >
      > > I also agree with this point.
      > >
      > > > To me this much is quite clear from the OR's and Grant's
      > memoirs.
      > > I
      > > > haven't read any of the other contemporaneous accounts, so I'm
      > not
      > > in
      > > > a good position to speculate how much of the change in plan was
      > > > initiated by Thomas, and how much by Grant. Grant's memoirs
      > > present
      > > > the whole thing as envisioned by Grant the night before, based
      on
      > > his
      > > > expectation that the summit would be evacuated, but the
      surviving
      > > > orders to Thomas and Sherman seem to contradict that. To
      totally
      > > > credit Grant's memoirs version, we would have to posit an
      > > additional
      > > > written order issued later than night, which hasn't survived. A
      > > more
      > > > likely scenario, ISTM, is that Grant and Thomas discussed orally
      > > that
      > > > night what they would do if the summit was evacuated, and agreed
      > on
      > > a
      > > > Plan B that was initiated the next a.m. once they got the news.

      > > > Under this scenario, Grant's memoirs would be mistaken
      > (or "lying"
      > > if
      > > > preferred) in saying that he wrote out Plan B the night before,
      > but
      > > > not necessarily mistaken/lying in saying that he expected the
      > > summit
      > > > to be evacuated.
      > > >
      > >
      > > Again, we agree. Whether there was a written order is unclear,
      but
      > > certainly Grant and Thomas must have discussed the matter of
      > whether
      > > Lookout Mt. was clear by the morning of the 25th. Grant's,
      > Thomas's
      > > and Hooker's OR accounts agree quite well with each on the fact
      > that
      > > orders were issued to move into the Valley and seize the
      Summertown
      > > Rd. and then move on Rossville. The Reynolds message, which has
      > been
      > > previously posted, confirms that those are the orders Hooker
      > > received. As to Grant's intent, I agree that his Memoirs contain
      a
      > > somewhat exaggerated account. But I think both Grant and Thomas
      > were
      > > good enough generals to realize the potential threat from enemy
      > > troops still on the Mt. and to understand the necessity to ensure
      > > that that threat was removed before committing Hooker's force to a
      > > more aggressive role. But both men probably also realized that
      the
      > > best command decision Bragg could make, after his troops were
      > > defeated on Lookout Mt., would be to evacuate them to Missionary
      > > Ridge. I really don't think Grant was lying in his Memoirs,
      though
      > > you are correct in stating that his orders to Sherman and Thomas
      do
      > > not reflect that interpretation. But I come back to my tired
      > > argument that until it was known for certain the Mt. was evacuated
      > it
      > > was prudent to plan operations as if it were not.
      > >
      > > > Bob Aldrich
      > >
      > > Again, thank you for some interesting insights.
      > > JB Jewell
    • Aurelie1999@aol.com
      In a message dated 8/8/02 4:25:02 PM, josepharose@yahoo.com writes:
      Message 267 of 267 , Aug 8, 2002
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        In a message dated 8/8/02 4:25:02 PM, josepharose@... writes:

        << Now, which of the two men, Wood or Grant, had been bending the truth
        (if not breaking it)? I think that the evidence heavily points to
        Grant. Because I think that he did so, I question his integrity,
        here and elsewhere. >>

        Mr. Rose,

        It appears to me that you cherry pick data to support your presumption that
        Grant was a worthless fool. Grant's contemporaries - even enemies - praised
        his integrity to the max. So how come that by standing in the dim hindsight
        of 150 years you are able to see what they did not see?

        Finally please explain why Thomas is incapable of standing on his own merit
        and can only be praised by faulting Grant?

        Connie Boone
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