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Re: Thomas: Overrated or Underrated?

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  • William H Keene
    ... he should ... I agree that Thomas had the better view. What became a big source of Grant s frustration was that Thomas was not explaining what this view
    Message 1 of 115 , Aug 1, 2003
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Robert \(Bob\) Taubman"
      <rtaubman@r...> wrote:
      > ...At Nashville, I believe Thomas
      > had the better view of what was taking place and although Grant was
      > frustrated with what he perceived was Thomas reluctance to attack,
      he should
      > have deferred to the man at the scene...

      I agree that Thomas had the better view. What became a big source of
      Grant's frustration was that Thomas was not explaining what this view
      was: Grant to Thomas -- "I have as much confidence in your conducting
      a battle rightly as I have in any other officer; but it has seemed to
      me that you have been slow, and I have had no explanation of affairs
      to convince me otherwise." and Grant to Halleck -- "He did say he
      thought he would be able to attack on the 7th, but didn't do so, nor
      has he given a reason for not doing it."



      > ...However, it would be
      > interesting to "what if" Grant's opinion of Thomas should the war
      have
      > continued for another year and Thomas was still prominent in the
      western
      > theatre. Would Grant be more accepting of Thomas's battle
      preparations
      > knowing he had been successful at Nashville. Would he have been
      more
      > confident in Thomas.

      I seem to recall that there were several subsquent incidents in which
      Grant was disatisfied with Thomas: the pursuit of Hood; Thomas
      ordering his army into winter quarters; and delays in getting
      expeditions underway in the spring.

      -Will
    • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
      In a message dated 8/1/2003 7:13:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I agree with this Bob, but if Thomas had attacked when Grant kept on ordering him, it is a
      Message 115 of 115 , Aug 1, 2003
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        In a message dated 8/1/2003 7:13:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time, rtaubman@... writes:

        Grant's order
        to attack regardless of the circumstances, Grant's perception of Thomas,
        and Thomas's refusal frustrated Grant.  I believe Grant was completely
        within his right as CIC to make such an order, I certainly won't/can't argue
        that.


        I agree with this Bob, but if Thomas had attacked when Grant kept on ordering him, it is a good possibility that the attack would have failed.  According to reports, the ground was so icy after an ice storm, that even the horses could not stand up, let alone a soldier trying to march.  Grant was not aware of these severe weather conditions and IIRC the ice storm also knocked out the telegraph lines so Thomas was not able to notify Grant of the conditions.  Once the weather cleared and conditions improved, Thomas did attack and was successful.

        JEJ
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