Re: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Thomas at Louisville
- Reading Lewis, Sherman Fighting Prophet, Sherman declined Grant's requests to
take command several times.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Mason" <richthofen@...>
To: "Tim Harrison" <tharrison@...>; <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 10:46 PM
Subject: Re: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Thomas at Louisville
| On 31-Jul-01, Tim Harrison <tharrison@...> wrote:
| Would it be fair to say that General Thomas did not accept command of the
Army of the Cumberland when he was duly ordered to take command of it?
| Tim Harrison
| I think this is a complete,American question.What I mean is in 99% of the
Armys of the world down thru history,there would be no, "I decline".It would
be,Your out! And you over there, your in!
| Only in America would we be having this question.
| The Baron,
| ----- Original Message -----
| From: josepharose@...
| To: firstname.lastname@example.org
| Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 10:28 PM
| Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Thomas at Louisville
| I didn't write that you said that Thomas "refused to follow an
| order." I did used the word "refusing" to characterize the word you
| first used "declined." In my dictionary, "refuse" is the first
| synonym given for "decline." I'm sorry if you think that the meaning
| of "decline" isn't close enough to that of "refuse."
| The crux of the issue, however, isn't any discrepancy between the
| definitions of those two words, but it is whether "declining"
| and "asking to decline" are at all similar.
| The first is a positive action and the second is merely a request for
| that action. Your characterization was that Thomas "declined." I
| say again that he did not. He asked to decline.
| P.S. You've graciously told me twice now that I can have the last
| word, but do feel free to reply.
| From: "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...>
| Date: Tue Jul 31, 2001 7:11 am
| Subject: Re: Thomas at Louisville
| --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
| > Dave,
| > I'm pretty surprised by your opinion.
| > I think that the difference between refusing to follow an order and
| > requesting that an order--which would redound to one's own benefit--
| > be dismissed is big enough to drive a truck through.
| > Hair-splitting, indeed!
| Congrats, Joe, you're doing it again. I never said Thomas "refused
| to follow an order." Far from it.=20
| I made my point, and made my interpretation. As Brooks might say,
| I'll leave it to the reader to interpret. You may, if you wish, have
| the last word.
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- The first chapter ("article") of the Civil War Army Regulations:
1. All inferiors are required to obey strictly, and to execute with
alacrity and good faith, the lawful orders of the superiors appointed
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
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.
Judy and Bob Huddleston
10643 Sperry Street
Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
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?