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Re: Thomas and command offers

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  • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
    There is something, I think, to a parallel between Thomas and William J. Hardee, who didn t want the temporary command of the AoT after Bragg s resignation,
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
      There is something, I think, to a parallel between Thomas and William
      J. Hardee, who didn't want the temporary command of the AoT after
      Bragg's resignation, and then got upset when the command was given to
      Johnston.

      Dave

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "bobaldrich2001 <aldrichr@d...>"
      <aldrichr@d...> wrote:
      > Thanks Kent, this helps clarify his motives -- I guess they're not
      so
      > mysterious after all.
      >
      > Best Wishes,
      >
      > Bob Aldrich
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "melchizedek22
      > <richthofen@b...>" <richthofen@b...> wrote:
      > > Thomas was more than ready to replace Buell,it
      > > was a mistake on his part to not jump at the chance instead
      > Rosecrans ended up with the job,that should have been Thomas's The
      > Baron
      > >
      > >
      > > - In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DORR64OVI@a... wrote:
      > > > I think you have to look at Thomas's command
      opportunities
      > (and any
      > > > Federal officer's) within the context of Army protocol as well
      as
      > > > civilian/military politics. Army officers in that day really
      > needed civilian
      > > > political sponsors in order to gain commands. This was a
      horrid
      > system and
      > > > we all can name poloitical generals in any theater who did far
      > more damage
      > > > than good for the war effort.
      > > > Unlike most of his Federal comtemporaries, Thomas came from
      a
      > Southern
      > > > state and thus had no "hometown" backers with clout who could
      go
      > to bat for
      > > > him. Secondly, despite his being loyal to the Union, many
      > politicians
      > > > distrusted him especially at the beginning of the war.
      > > > Having said that, it makes me feel that GHT made a costly
      > mistake when he
      > > > turned down command of the Army of the Ohio. We have gone over
      > the reasons
      > > > for this on this forum recently and given the situation, it is
      > understandable
      > > > why GHT refused the offer. The AotO was a mess at this point
      and
      > anyone
      > > > might've said no. Unfortunately not being a military man
      attuned
      > to the
      > > > politics of the system he was in, I think GHT cost himself
      dearly.
      > > > When Buell was replaced after Perryville, Thomas was
      bypassed
      > in favor of
      > > > Rosecrans. GHT's objection was not to Rosecrans personally but
      > to the
      > > > manipulation of the seniority system, especially when the dates
      > of Rosecrans
      > > > rank were changed. GHT made his beef, then shut his mouth and
      > took the job
      > > > to help Rosy.
      > > > I dont recall a sense that GHT didnt want command of the
      AotC
      > after
      > > > Rosecrans was sacked . IIRC, he felt loyalty to Rosecrans and
      I
      > think any
      > > > hesitancy he may have displayed was due to disappointment that
      > Rosy was being
      > > > removed. I think he felt it unfair that Rosy had lost his job
      > and wanted to
      > > > show support. By this time GHT was more than ready to assume
      > command of the
      > > > AotC.
      > > >
      > > > Kent Dorr
    • SDE80@aol.com
      In a message dated 1/2/2003 6:40:44 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Didn t get upset relative to JEJ, he got upset relative to Hood. Big difference. Sam Elliott
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
        In a message dated 1/2/2003 6:40:44 AM Eastern Standard Time, dmsmith001@... writes:

        There is something, I think, to a parallel between Thomas and William
        J. Hardee, who didn't want the temporary command of the AoT after
        Bragg's resignation, and then got upset when the command was given to
        Johnston.


        Didn't get upset relative to JEJ, he got upset relative to Hood.  Big difference.

        Sam Elliott
      • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
        Sam, I don t think I m mistaken - didn t Hardee turn down command immmediately after Bragg s resignation, but then come across as upset when the official
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
          Sam,

          I don't think I'm mistaken - didn't Hardee turn down command
          immmediately after Bragg's resignation, but then come across as upset
          when the official command was not offered to him, but to Johnston.

          I need to check Connelly.

          Dave

          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, SDE80@a... wrote:
          > In a message dated 1/2/2003 6:40:44 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          > dmsmith001@y... writes:
          >
          > > There is something, I think, to a parallel between Thomas and
          William
          > > J. Hardee, who didn't want the temporary command of the AoT after
          > > Bragg's resignation, and then got upset when the command was
          given to
          > > Johnston.
          > >
          >
          > Didn't get upset relative to JEJ, he got upset relative to Hood.
          Big
          > difference.
          >
          > Sam Elliott
        • SDE80@aol.com
          In a message dated 1/2/2003 9:23:47 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... No, I don t think so. In talking to Hardee s biographer, Nat Hughes, he said the reason he
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
            In a message dated 1/2/2003 9:23:47 AM Eastern Standard Time, dmsmith001@... writes:

            I don't think I'm mistaken - didn't Hardee turn down command
            immmediately after Bragg's resignation, but then come across as upset
            when the official command was not offered to him, but to Johnston


            No, I don't think so.  In talking to Hardee's biographer, Nat Hughes, he said the reason he turned it down is because he thought JEJ was the right man for the job, not to avoid responsibility.

            Sam
          • bjer50010 <bjewell@iastate.edu>
            ... (and any ... needed civilian ... system and ... damage ... Exactly true. This is very definitely a problem with how the army was run early on. But by the
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DORR64OVI@a... wrote:
              > I think you have to look at Thomas's command opportunities
              (and any
              > Federal officer's) within the context of Army protocol as well as
              > civilian/military politics. Army officers in that day really
              needed civilian
              > political sponsors in order to gain commands. This was a horrid
              system and
              > we all can name poloitical generals in any theater who did far more
              damage
              > than good for the war effort.

              Exactly true. This is very definitely a problem with how the army
              was run early on. But by the same token some political generals
              became very competent leaders.

              > Unlike most of his Federal comtemporaries, Thomas came from a
              Southern
              > state and thus had no "hometown" backers with clout who could go to
              bat for
              > him.

              I agree with this assessment. He very definitely lacked political
              clout. But as a point of discussion, prior to Perryville, had he
              really performed anything notable, even if he had had such backing,
              to justify placing him in command of the army? IIRC, outside of Mill
              Springs, he had not seen much combat; he missed the biggest show in
              the west to that point, Shiloh.

              >Secondly, despite his being loyal to the Union, many politicians
              > distrusted him especially at the beginning of the war.

              But he did have strong allies, including his ex-roommate, WT Sherman,
              who strongly recommended him to his brother early on in the war. In
              fact, it could be argued that without Sherman, Thomas might never
              have gotten a commission in the Union army. Perhaps Thomas should
              have made more of that connection.

              > Having said that, it makes me feel that GHT made a costly
              mistake when he
              > turned down command of the Army of the Ohio. We have gone over the
              reasons
              > for this on this forum recently and given the situation, it is
              understandable
              > why GHT refused the offer. The AotO was a mess at this point and
              anyone
              > might've said no. Unfortunately not being a military man attuned
              to the
              > politics of the system he was in, I think GHT cost himself dearly.

              It was certainly unfortunate that the decision to remove Buell was so
              untimely. Had it been done several weeks earlier Thomas would have
              had time to do something with the AotO and may have won a big
              victory. But given the timing of the actual attempt to replace
              Buell, Thomas made the correct decision. But do you think if his
              performance at Perryville had been better that he might have been the
              choice later on?

              > When Buell was replaced after Perryville, Thomas was bypassed
              in favor of
              > Rosecrans. GHT's objection was not to Rosecrans personally but to
              the
              > manipulation of the seniority system, especially when the dates of
              Rosecrans
              > rank were changed. GHT made his beef, then shut his mouth and took
              the job
              > to help Rosy.

              Which does him a great deal of credit. GHT was an extremely loyal
              officer, just being a Southerner in the Union army shows that. But
              again for the sake of argument, what had Thomas accomplished of note
              to that point? Mill Springs and good, not outstanding service with
              the AotO. But Rosecrans, in addition to some political clout, also
              had Iuka/Corinth behind him. ISTM, that political clout is one
              thing, but a general also had to show some battlefield successes to
              get noticed. Thomas simply did not have those at the time.

              > I dont recall a sense that GHT didnt want command of the AotC
              after
              > Rosecrans was sacked . IIRC, he felt loyalty to Rosecrans and I
              think any
              > hesitancy he may have displayed was due to disappointment that Rosy
              was being
              > removed. I think he felt it unfair that Rosy had lost his job and
              wanted to
              > show support. By this time GHT was more than ready to assume
              command of the
              > AotC.
              >

              I agree with this point. Rosy had unfortunately fallen afoul of US
              Grant, who was rapidly on the rise and that meant he was gone. Of
              course the debacle at Chickamauga didn't help Rosy, but it did bring
              GHT to the fore. He had finally accomplished something which made
              him stand out from the pack.

              > Kent Dorr

              JB Jewell
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