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John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter I (search)
aining importance of learning how to obey a trip to New York on a wager the West Point Bible class dismissed from the Academy without trial intercession of Stephen A. Douglas restoration to Cadet duty James B. McPherson John B. Hood Robert E. Lee. I was born in the town of Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York, September 29, 1831. My father was the Rev. James Schofield, who was then pastor of the Baptist Church in Sinclairville, and who was from 1843 to 1881 a home missionary engagedard work; but he fought his way manfully to the end. He was not quite so talented as some of his great associates in the Confederate army, but he was a tremendous fighter when occasion offered. During that last period of our cadet life, Colonel Robert E. Lee was superintendent of the academy; he was the personification of dignity, justice, and kindness, and was respected and admired as the ideal of a commanding officer. Colonel Robert S. Garnett was commandant of cadets; he was a thorough so
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter II (search)
a manifestation of confidence which surprised me at the time, but which was fully explained the next day. In the morning the first sergeant reported to me, with the quarterly and monthly returns prepared for my signature, and made out more beautifully than anything in writing I had ever before seen, and explained to me in detail all the business affairs of the battery, as if he were reporting to an old captain who had just returned from a long leave of absence. Next to General Scott and Colonel Lee, with whom I had had the honor of some acquaintance, I was quite sure there stood before me the finest-looking and most accomplished soldier in the United States Army. What a hard time young officers of the army would sometimes have but for the old sergeants! I have pitied from the bottom of my heart volunteer officers whom I have seen starting out, even in the midst of war, with perfectly raw regiments, and not even one old sergeant to teach them anything. No country ought to be so cr
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter VII (search)
General Grant to send the Ninth Corps to the Army of the Potomac. Such a reduction of my command, instead of the expected reinforcement, left me wholly unable to do more than observe Longstreet as he leisurely withdrew from Tennessee and joined Lee in Virginia, and prepare for the campaign of the coning summer, the nature of which I could then only conjecture. This entire change of program doubtless resulted from the promotion of General Grant to lieutenant-general and commander-in-chief,ommand of the Military Division of the Mississippi, which occurred at that time. The change of plans was undoubtedly wise. The Confederate government could not afford to leave Longstreet's force in East Tennessee during the summer. He must join Lee or Johnston before the opening of the summer campaign. It was not worth while for us to expend time and strength in driving him out, which ought to be devoted to preparations for vastly more important work. I felt disappointed at the time in not
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XIII (search)
are to be continued in the Gulf States, it appears to me it would be much better to take Mobile and operate from that point, thus striking vital points, if there are any such, of rebel territory by much shorter lines. But it appears to me that Lee's army is virtually all that is left of the rebellion. If we can concentrate force enough to destroy that, we will destroy with it the rebel government, and the occupation of the whole South will then be but a matter of a few weeks' time. Excut talked with General Thomas on the subject, but intend to do so as soon as I can see him. I did not see General Thomas after this letter was written. No doubt he will be opposed to any reduction of his force, but I go for concentrating against Lee. If we can whip him now, the rebellion will be virtually ended. My corps is small, it is true, but it is powerful willing, and can help some anyhow. Please present my kindest remembrances to my old comrades, and favor me with an early reply.
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XIV (search)
eling among the Southern people and that of some of the highest officers of the Confederate government made it impossible for any officer of their army to admit in any public way the failure of the Confederacy until after the enforced surrender of Lee's army in Virginia. Indeed, it required much moral courage on the part of General Johnston voluntarily to enter into a capitulation even after the capture of Lee. This is unquestionably the explanation of Hood's desperate act in waiting in frLee. This is unquestionably the explanation of Hood's desperate act in waiting in front of Nashville and inviting the destruction or capture of his army. The crushing blow he there received was like a death-blow delivered by a giant full of strength and vigor upon a gladiator already beaten and reduced in strength nearly to exhaustion. Sherman was not very far wrong when he said that the battle of Nashville was fought at Franklin. The gladiator had been reduced to less than one third of his former strength by a long series of combats with a more powerful antagonist all the
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XVI (search)
ever its commander pleased through the South, except where Hood's or Lee's army might be. By this I mean to say that three, or even two, of Sad not at that time even suggested the need of Sherman's aid against Lee, and events proved that no such need existed. When Sherman started Atlanta, the Confederate force in the Gulf States was quite equal to Lee's army in Virginia, while Grant's army was larger than Sherman's. Costed in battle. Whatever may be true as to Sherman's methods before Lee surrendered, the destruction inflicted on the South after that time ctual collapse of the rebellion, which was due to Grant's capture of Lee's army. Besides, if Grant had not captured Lee, Sherman would. LeeLee, Sherman would. Lee could not possibly have escaped them both. Hence Sherman's destruction of property in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina did not hLee could not possibly have escaped them both. Hence Sherman's destruction of property in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina did not hasten the end of the rebellion. If General Sherman was, at the time he planned his march to the sea, informed of the nearly bankrupt conditi
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XVII (search)
ndoubtedly capture Petersburg and Richmond, but Lee would probably be able to withdraw his army towy mind in the fall of 1864, than that if either Lee's or Hood's army could be captured or destroyedcerted action between Grant and Sherman against Lee should be arranged could well be considered latee the young folks. Their joint action against Lee does not appear to have been suggested by eithens; and if you feel confident that you can whip Lee outside of his intrenchments, I feel equally cod not have a chance to assist in the capture of Lee, Thomas had failed to obey his instructions to inary to the march northward for the capture of Lee's army, with the previous far-reaching strategirand strategic plan to assist in the capture of Lee's army did not necessitate or justify his actioeir complete ultimate success in the capture of Lee's army. If Grant had not captured that army, Sherman would. And the surrender of Lee was necessarily followed by that of all the other Confedera[7 more...]
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XVIII (search)
lina Sherman's plan of marching to the rear of Lee the surrender of J. E. Johnston's army authorwhich had for its end the defeat and capture of Lee's army. Sherman and his army expected to shareboroa, Sherman's plan was to march straight for Lee's rear at Petersburg, and he expected Johnston to keep ahead of him and to unite with Lee for the final struggle at or near Richmond. Grant's idete different: he wanted Sherman to keep between Lee and Johnston and prevent their union, as well alleging that he had ample force to take care of Lee as soon as the necessary preparations were mademply sufficient for the capture of the whole of Lee's army. Hence it is difficult to see in what rdy termination of the war, which the capture of Lee by Grant fully accomplished; and the result ougion of Johnston was but the natural sequence of Lee's surrender; for Johnston's army was not surroutance, apprehensive that the terms of Grant and Lee, pure and simple, could not be executed, and th[3 more...]
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XXIX (search)
guides were men supposed to have a very high military education. But if sound military education had been at all general in the country, statesmen would have known by what standard to judge of any one man's fitness for high command. It is true that no amount of military education can supply the place of military genius or create a great commander. It may possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan, or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson. So much greater the need of a well-educated staff and a well-disciplined army. Nobody is wise enough to predict who will prove best able to command a great army. But it is the easiest thing in the world to tell who can best create such an army and command its subdivisions, and this is the work to be done instantly upon the outbreak of war. The selection of commanders for the several armies, and, above all, of a general-in-chief, must of course be the most difficult;
John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XXX (search)
of the treasury were exhausted. In corroboration of my recollection on this subject, I now find the following in a private letter written by me at that time: Washington, February 3, 1865. There is much excitement here over the peace rumors, and it would seem there must be good foundation for it. The President has actually gone to Fort Monroe to meet the rebel commissioners. I do not, however, indulge much faith in the result of these negotiations. We will probably have to beat Lee's army before we can have peace. There is much commotion among politicians, and there will be a storm of some kind on the political sea if peace is made now. On the other hand, if the war continues long, the treasury will most likely become bankrupt. It has got far behind already. There is no money to pay the army, and no one can tell where it is to come from. I have succeeded in getting enough to pay my troops, which was obtained by special arrangement with the treasury, and as a special
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