Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Thomas and command offers

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            --- 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
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.