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Re: Thomas at Louisville

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  • josepharose@yahoo.com
    Bob, First, thanks for Thomas birthday greetings and the link. You stated, a soldier has the responsibility to obey an order. Was it customary or allowable
    Message 1 of 69 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Bob,

      First, thanks for Thomas' birthday greetings and the link.

      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






      From: "Bob Huddleston" <adco1@r...>
      Date: Wed Aug 1, 2001 8:38 am
      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: Thomas at Louisville

      And you are wrong -- a soldier has the responsibility to obey an
      order.
      Thomas refused. Whether or not the order was to Thomas' benefit was
      irrelevant. Lincoln and Stanton were getting increasingly fed up with
      hyper-sensitive generals who questioned the wisdom of the White House
      and War Department.

      Since Thomas had told them that he had no desire to be an Army
      commander, the Administration was under no obligation to oblige Thomas
      was additional offers later on.

      Perhaps the biggest single difference between Grant and Thomas, and
      the reason that Grant came out of the War as the Top Commander, was
      that,
      from the day he took command of the Twenty-first Illinois on June 17,
      1861, except for the three months or so of the Corinth Campaign, Grant
      was *always* in command of his troops, and not under the immediate
      supervision of a superior officer. Thomas was an independent commander
      only during the brief period of the Mill Springs battle and in the
      months after Sherman started for the Sea.

      I suspect part of the frustration of Lincoln and Stanton towards
      Thomas at Nashville was the nagging fear that Thomas lacked the
      ability to function on his own -- a fear to which Thomas' earlier
      refusals to take command of the Army of the Cumberland contributed.

      Take care,

      Bob

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