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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Colwyn Dane BS: Was Custer a Scumbag? (109* d) RE: BS: Was Custer a Scumbag? 25 Oct 00


The way I read it is that Sherman's attack on Tunnel Hill during the Chattanooga campaign
was held up by by the Confederates bringing extensive re-enforcements to that part of the battleground.
The most that Sherman could do was to maintain his position until the success of Thomas and Hooker
n the centre and right would give him a chance to attack with advantage.

Thomas couldn't move in the centre until Hooker was in position on his right, and Hooker progress was delayed because of a destroyed river bridge; his assault started about five hours late.

I don't think it was Sherman trying to win the battle single-handed;the topography in his sector didn't give the attacker much advantage.
He done his best - in this case having to hold the nose of the enemy while Thomas & Hooker kicked the rear end.
Bragg's report of the battle blames the troops who "first fled, and brought this great disaster and disgrace upon our arms."
Preident Davis in his message to Congress (7 December 1863) seems to concur in attributing the blame to the troops and talks about "the first defeat that has resulted from misconduct by the troops."

About the Thomas - Grant relationship:
In October 1863 Thomas commanded The Army of The Cumberland and Grant was in charge of the newly formed Division of the Mississippi(which included everything from that river to the Appalachians).
Grant's staff surely were not concerned about Thomas as a candidate for Grant's job - I would have thought that Sherman was the King in waiting.
Grant and Thomas had overlapped at West Point for a year and both had fought in Mexico.

Grant's official report about Nashville reads of his impatience over, to him, was the unnecessary delay of Thomas starting the action.
"This impatience was increased upon learning that the enemy had sent a force of caalry across the Cumberland into Kentucky.
I feared that Hood would cross his whole army and give us great trouble there."

That sounds reasonable and what Grant did next suggests it is how it was.

"After urging upon General Thomas the necessity of immediately resuming the offensive, I started West to superintend matters there in person."

Grant closes his report as follows:

"But his [Thomas's] final defeat of Hood was so complete that it will be accepted as a vindication of that distinguished offer's judgment."

I rest M'lud.


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