Re: Seeing the Ground
- Dr. Simpson,
What! I now have to apologize for McDonough, also?
So that I will, hopefully, never ever have to hear it again: Peter
Cozzens omitted a postscript (it was a postscript, wasn't it?) from
one of Grant's orders which he shouldn't have done.
I have furthermore quoted from, or used as sources, scores of books
and articles. In them, the various authors made many, many
mistakes. Please accept my deepest apologies for all of their
errors; I am deeply ashamed.
You, however, omitted from your summary of my post the assertion that
Cozzens criticized all of the major actors at Chattanooga (I should
have noted that he included the Confederates in this, too). It seems
to me that he did so on a generally fair basis. That makes his book
(and Wiley Sword's) a more reliable source than some others'.
Your writing, it seems to me, doesn't meet such a test. Grant
usually was offered the benefit of any doubt--although you did
criticize some of his many failings. Throughout your chapter on
Chattanooga, conversely, you rarely found a good word for Thomas and
took him to task for everything possible (e.g., "rude
behavior," "Grant waited for Thomas to implement [his plan],"
Grant "found himself unhappy with Thomas," "Thomas showed little
interest in the plan," "not exactly the words of an aggressive
fighter," "it would be hard to fathom exactly how [Thomas' plan]
would help Burnside," "Then [Grant] took charge of Thomas' army,"
and "Thomas grew queasy with concern; Grant told him to calm down").
On Page 231, you wrote that Rosecrans, Thomas, and Smith "claimed the
honor [of authoring the plan for opening the Cracker Line] for
themselves." But Thomas wrote shortly afterwards that, "To brigadier-
general W.F. Smith, chief engineer, should be accorded great praise
for the ingenuity which conceived, and the ability which executed,
the movement at Brown's Ferry." That doesn't sound as if Thomas
claimed the honor for himself whatsoever. I haven't read where he
claimed what you stated he did. Do you have an appropriate source
for this assertion?
Date: Sun Jul 1, 2001 10:21 am
Subject: Re: Seeing the Ground
--- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
> Dr. Simpson,
> At your behest, I have previously noted where Cozzens has made
> errors, including--as I remember--the one to which you refer.
Will you be so kind as to refresh my memory by enumerating the post
in question? I recall that you earlier said that you were unwilling
to respond. But I could be in error.
> not sure what you want me to do after that. You keep bringing it
> do I have to apologize for his writing?
You might have to explain the grounds for your preference for certain
accounts over others on grounds other than the issue of factual
misstatements, as one book you have cited as supportive of your
positions seems to contain the same sort of errors you denounce in
other books as a sign of their unreliability (to say nothing of your
charge that the exhibit a determined bias with which you do not
> You've read Cozzens, I'm sure.
Read and reviewed.
> What I look for when judging an author's work is whether the words
> chosen, implications employed, and misstatements made tend in a
> certain direction.
That exact point has been made about Cozzens's work as exhibiting a
consistent anti-Grant bias (the same has been said of Thomas Buell,
whom I've noted you do not cite). Thus, according to your own
stanadards, we must disqualify it as a reliable source. However,
other reviewers have suggested that I'm rather balanced in my
treatment of Grant. Your dismay appears to me to stem from the fact
that you disagree with my findings. That's perfectly acceptable;
however, I find that others here have expressed dismay with your
insinuations stemming from that disagreement. As you have engaged
other posters in the same manner, I don't take it personally.
Readers of this newsgroup know that I have responded many times to
your queries both here and on a message board. I see no need to
repeat the exercise.
Your silence on McDonough is deafening.
- In a message dated 9/4/2005 10:37:14 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, dan6764@... writes:
An 1866 document produced by laborers locating bodies on the battlefield stated that the heaviest concentrations of dead lay on the eastern and western sections of the field and that the dead were fairly light in the center where the Hornets Nest was located..This may be true Dan, but remember, as soon as the battle ended, Union troops started gathering up their dead as well as Confederate dead. Those that might have been found after the war was over, were most likely those that were killed in the brush and bramble of the battlefield, whereas, the Hornet's Nest was quite open and bodies were easily found there following the battle.Just a thought of common sense with only documentation of them finding and burying the dead following the battle. IIRC, Grant denied Beauregard access to Confederate dead, since they already had been gathered up and buried.JEJ