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Thomas at Louisville

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  • josepharose@yahoo.com
    There have been many posts in the past about Thomas reluctance to replace Buell at Louisville. I m surprised that it seems not to have been mentioned--at
    Message 1 of 69 , Jul 27, 2001
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      There have been many posts in the past about Thomas' reluctance to
      replace Buell at Louisville.

      I'm surprised that it seems not to have been mentioned--at least not
      lately--that other significant events were taking place that very
      day. Early that morning, Gen. Jefferson C. Davis shot Gen. William
      Nelson to death at the Galt House. Davis was accompanied by the
      Governor of Indiana. With the situation in the city getting out of
      control in the aftermath of the shooting, Buell responded by sending
      a "strong provost guard into the streets and ordering the army into
      its camps, canceling the parade of the Third Division scheduled for
      that afternoon." Davis was arrested.

      There was also mention of other political intrigues, the possibility
      that Buell was to be replaced by McCook, and great distrust between
      the Indiana and Kentucky factions. Mr. Wakefield provided a very
      comprehensive write-up on Nelson and Davis which can be found at
      Message #3353. It included the statement that, "Buell was
      unquestionably one of his admirers and planned for Nelson to play a
      significant role in the upcoming campaign to re-take Kentucky."
      According to Kevin S. Coy's excerpt (Message #5961) from Cist's "The
      Army of the Cumberland," the AotO had also just finished arriving
      that day and Buell was going to incorporate into it inexperienced
      soldiers under Gilbert (I'd guess that they might have been under the
      command of Nelson or Davis until earlier that morning).

      Someone here had mentioned that Buell's advance toward Bardstown was
      scheduled for the next day, but didn't start until the day after due
      to the possible change in leadership. The article I read in Civil
      War History also noted: "Senator Garrett Davis and two Kentucky
      representatives added the weight of their influence against the
      change. Halleck accepted the advice of the political leaders and
      agreed to suspend--not withdraw--the order."

      Thus, the situation in Louisville wasn't as simple as some people
      might think.

      Joseph
    • Bob Huddleston
      The first chapter ( article ) of the Civil War Army Regulations: ARTICLE I. MILITARY DISCIPLINE. 1. All inferiors are required to obey strictly, and to
      Message 69 of 69 , Aug 4 10:54 PM
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        The first chapter ("article") of the Civil War Army Regulations:


        "ARTICLE I.

        MILITARY DISCIPLINE.

        1. All inferiors are required to obey strictly, and to execute with
        alacrity and good faith, the lawful orders of the superiors appointed
        over them."

        There is nothing wrong about raising some questions about an order --
        which Thomas did. But when the order is given, an officer (whether in
        1862 or 2001) is to obey the order. When CW generals turned down orders
        to take command, the War Department respected and accepted those
        refusals: an unwilling commander is likely to be worse than an
        incompetent one.

        In Thomas' case(s), when offered army or independent command, he
        consistently turned the offer down (until Chattanooga). To me -- and I
        imagine to Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Stanton and Gen. Halleck -- that is the same
        as telling your superior that you have no desire for such a position.

        Take care,

        Bob

        Judy and Bob Huddleston
        10643 Sperry Street
        Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
        303.451.6276 Adco@...

        You stated, "a soldier has the responsibility to obey an order. Was
        it customary or allowable for a general to question his superiors
        about an order?

        You stated, "Thomas refused." No, he didn't.

        You stated, "Since Thomas had told them that he had no desire to be
        an Army commander ...." I'm sorry, but I must have missed something;
        when did Thomas say that?

        Joseph
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