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Re: Thomas at Louisville

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  • aldrichr@dsmo.com
    Thanks for addressing the political angle, which in general I d love to hear more of. It seems to me, though, that implicit in what you are saying is that, in
    Message 1 of 69 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Thanks for addressing the political angle, which in general I'd love
      to hear more of. It seems to me, though, that implicit in what you
      are saying is that, in addition to the election factor and the
      warning to McClellan, there *was* a sort of connection between the
      firings of Buell/McClellan and the EP. In the EP, Lincoln was taking
      the war to a new level. In fact, wasn't the EP technically justified
      as a "contraband confiscation" matter? So, in order to implement the
      EP, it made sense to eliminate generals who would be less than
      aggressive in carrying it out.

      What was the mentality of somebody like Buell? (And were there other
      WT generals with similar views?) Did he rationalize that
      confiscating property/slaves would not make a "military" difference,
      or did he see the war as something less than a "real" war? If the
      latter, did he hope that the two sides would get tired of fighting
      and negotiate a reunion, or did he accept separation as a fait
      accompli and think he was fighting over which states would remain in
      the Union?

      I'm wondering if there was any counterpart to this issue on the
      Confederate side. Was Johnston, for example, or any other general
      disfavored because he was seen as "soft" on protection of slavery?
      E.g., conceding ground to Grant and Sherman may have protected his
      army but at the cost of losing control of territory and slaves.

      Bob A.

      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Bob Huddleston" <adco1@r...> wrote:
      > I am more inclined to believe that the firing of Buell was related
      to
      > the firing of McClellan. Buell was a McClellanite and a practioner
      of a
      > "soft" war, leaving Rebel citizens and their "property" (the
      1860s "PC"
      > word for slaves) alone. Buell's relief was a warning, a shot across
      the
      > bows, as it were, that McClellan needed to get his army across the
      > Potomac and get on with the war. The EP was issued at the same time,
      > just after Antietam and just before the October state elections.
      >
      > In those days, elections took the place of the NFL/MLBB, etc., as
      the
      > great spectator sport. They seemed to be constantly happening. Many
      > states elected governors and state representatives in October,
      > presidents in November every four years, and US representatives
      either
      > in October or November -- and some states chose their US
      representatives
      > at scattered dates during the rest of the year.
      >
      > The new Congress did not meet until December of odd numbered years,
      13
      > or 14 months after most of the representatives had been chosen. One
      of
      > the reasons Lincoln delayed calling Congress into special session
      for 90
      > days after Fort Sumter was that several states had to have time to
      hold
      > special elections to chose their representatives.
      >
      > The majority *were* chosen in October and November of even numbered
      > years. Antietam and the EP came immediately before the elections.
      > Historians usually talk about how the Republicans "lost" the 1862
      > elections, but the reality was that the party in the White House
      usually
      > loses seats in the mid-term elections -- and the EP was issued to
      have
      > an impact on the election by bringing out the anti-slavery and
      > Abolitionist vote. It worked: the Republican losses in 1862 were the
      > smallest since before the Mexican War.
      >
      > A day or so after the states which voted in November had spoken,
      > McClellan, barely across the Potomac and in slow, slow pursuit of
      Lee,
      > who now had a head start, was finally fired. Like the EP,
      McClellan's
      > firing was politically timed.
      >
      > Take care,
      >
      > Bob
      >
      > Judy and Bob Huddleston
      > 10643 Sperry Street
      > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      > 303.451.6276 Adco@F...
      >
      > I still want to know what the connection is between the Emancipation
      > Proclamation and Buell's being replaced. Must be another myth.
      >
      > Bob "never retreat in the face of adversity - like a Rock" Taubman
      > (whew!)
    • 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, 2001
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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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