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Re: Thomas and Duplicity

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  • bjer50010 <bjewell@iastate.edu>
    ... [snip] ... And you are showing that your entire defense is based on ignorance. Thomas s statement I do not know why Genl. Sherman should have ordered him
    Message 1 of 84 , Jan 1, 2003
      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose <josepharose@y...>"
      <josepharose@y...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Aurelie1999@a... wrote:
      > > In a message dated 12/31/2002 1:53:11 PM Central Standard Time,
      > > dmsmith001@y... writes:
      [snip]

      >
      > Ms. Boone and Mr. Smith:
      >
      > Your criticism of Thomas is founded on Thomas' "ignorance" of Keim
      > after he was able to "finger" Keim and then "recommend" execution.
      >

      And you are showing that your entire defense is based on ignorance.
      Thomas's statement "I do not know why Genl. Sherman should have
      ordered him (Keim) to be sent to me for punishment, as I did not know
      anything about him" refers to the fact that Thomas did NOT understand
      why the case was being referred to him, not that he did not know
      Keim. Reread Kent Dorr's excellent post #15254, which is a well-
      written and well-balanced answer to Connie's original post, and you
      will find he draws the same conclusion.

      > Thomas' statement that "I did not know anything about him" came
      > exactly one day after identifying him. As he did not write, "I
      *do*
      > not know anything about him," than it stands to reason that he was
      > speaking about his knowledge at a past point in time--let's say two
      > days before.

      No. What Thomas is saying is that he did not know anything about
      Keim until Sherman drew the article to his attention. Frankly, I
      don't know why Sherman wanted Thomas to handle the matter but my
      guess would be Sherman and McPherson were too close to him to give
      him a fair trial.

      >Please read Thomas as he wrote; he didn't even make a
      > poitive ID, merely stating that the article was "written, or
      > pretended to be written" by Keim.
      >

      I have reread all of the relevant messages several times sir. His
      statement that "I did not know anything about him" refers to his
      inability to understand why Sherman chose him to take care of the
      case. His answer to McPherson is disingenuous, as he gives the
      impression that he has never heard of Keim, which IS untrue. He also
      fails to mention that Sherman's first note came before Thomas
      fingered Keim and contains the phrase "If you request it, I will have
      him imprisoned and delivered to you for trial". This message is
      dated June 29, 1864 and is apparently the first mention of the
      incident. Also note, Sherman gives Thomas an out for refusing the
      assignment in stating "If you request it". Thomas obviously did not
      catch the fact that Sherman was giving him an out and his answer
      could only have been read by Sherman as acquiescence in the matter.
      I see no other reasonable way for Sherman to read Thomas's reply.

      As to what Thomas replied, "... a dispatch headed "Sherman", written
      or pretended to be written by DeB. Randolph Keim and which reveals
      the very important fact that we are in possession of the secret of
      the enemy's signals." He goes on to say "Keim is not harbored in the
      AotC, and I know not where he is. I forward such action as you may
      deem proper in the premises, but am of the opinion that Keim should
      be at once executed as a spy." Even assuming you are correct in your
      interpretation of Thomas's reply to McPherson how do you explain the
      fact that Thomas "didn't even make a poitive (sic)ID, merely stating
      that the article was "written, or pretended to be written" by Keim"
      but several sentences later makes this pronouncement "but [I] am of
      the opinion that Keim should be at once executed as a spy"? Talk
      about ignoring facts, either Thomas fingered the man correctly or he
      did not, but if the latter ISTM that he acted inappropriately in
      recommending execution. Either way there is an element of duplicity
      in how he handled the affair.

      > Besides ignoring those facts, you make two, even more obvious
      > mistakes. Thomas identified Keim through the article in the New
      > York Herald. A lowly corporal serving in the Army of the Potomac
      > could have "fingered" Keim in this respect just as well as Thomas
      > did. In truth, *everyone* who read the article could have
      > identified Keim!
      >

      So what? Sherman was obviously, in his first message, informing
      Thomas that he wanted him to handle the affair. Thomas replies by
      identifying the culprit, which Sherman probably knew anyway (he does
      refer to the specific issue of the NY Herald which contained the
      article), by recommending his execution but he does not take Sherman
      up on his offer to refuse the assignment.

      > Secondly, if that corporal was even somewhat astute, he could also
      > have recommended execution for a reporter who divulged what was
      > obviously an important military secret. It doesn't take a very
      high
      > IQ to recognize that.
      >

      Apparently not.

      > It's too bad that Sherman and McPherson didn't take "every
      > precaution to prevent [the breaking of their code] being known to
      > the rebels." I recommend that you take some of your high dudgeon
      > for Thomas and transfer it to those two, instead.
      >

      First of all, blaming Sherman and McPherson does not exonerate
      Thomas's disingenuousness in handling the case.

      Second, the fact that the man had travelled with the army for some
      time indicates a certain level of trust had been built up. Keim
      broke that trust; but I don't see how McPherson, let alone Sherman
      can be faulted for his dishonesty.

      Third, you have previously attempted to make the argument that the
      AotC would have suffered the most from the knowledge that Keim
      released. That may be so, but it is also so that Keim had travelled
      a long time with the AotT. I'm sure they had come to trust him to a
      point but also to be wary of him. I'm not sure the same can be said
      for the AotC who did not know the man.

      Fourth, why the personal diatribe against Connie and Dave, both of
      whom have shown themselves to be objective in their posting history,
      something which you could well learn to do.

      Fifth, unlike Kent Dorr and Dave Mercado (both ardent Thomas fans),
      you seem unable to argue any point about George Henry Thomas without
      attacking either US Grant or WT Sherman. Why is that sir? If you
      reread one of my earlier replies to Kent Dorr you will find that I
      complimented his ability to defend Thomas without attacking Sherman.
      Your reply was a sarcastic bit of fluff.

      Sixth, you still have not answered my suggestion to look at
      the situation involving Sherman and McPherson as a potential conflict
      of interest, which readily explains why Sherman would refer the
      matter to Thomas. Until you can look at the matter objectively you
      offer nothing.

      > Joseph

      JB Jewell
    • josepharose <josepharose@yahoo.com>
      Mr. Weeks, You recently mentioned not having an index to Sherman s memoirs, IIRC, which makes me think that you or others might also not have a digital copy of
      Message 84 of 84 , Mar 3, 2003
        Mr. Weeks,

        You recently mentioned not having an index to Sherman's memoirs,
        IIRC, which makes me think that you or others might also not have a
        digital copy of that work or of other useful books.

        Would it be helpful, and would your website have the extra megabytes
        (several MBs per book, roughly), for me to upload into your database
        such texts as Sherman's, Grant's, and Sheridan's memoirs and Van
        Horne's biography of Thomas? If so, once I return home, I would be
        glad to do so.

        I could put these in Word and/or .TXT formats.

        Joseph
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