previous next
[200] hours, and at Franklin in one hour; yet he left a subordinate to fight against a superior force, while he remained in Nashville until he had collected there an army superior to that of his adversary. But General Thomas must have had some reason which seemed to him good and sufficient for his absence from the field. He was the last man in the world to shrink from his duty in battle.

Before the above correspondence between General Sherman and General Thomas was known to me I had written the following: ‘The relations existing between General Thomas and me, and the confidence he had shown in all his despatches, commencing with those received at Pulaski, left little room for hesitation or doubt about doing, in every emergency, what my own judgment dictated, as if I had been in chief command, confident of the approval which he so fully expressed after the events. Yet my experience then, as always, led me to the opinion that it is better for the general-in-chief, in all operations of a critical nature, to be present with the troops in the field, if possible; he must be able to act with more confidence than any subordinate can possibly feel. He was the sole judge as to the necessity of his remaining in Nashville, and no good reason could now be given for questioning the correctness of his judgment. It is only intended as an expression of a general rule for the consideration of military students.’

General Thomas's orders to General D. S. Stanley upon his being sent to Pulaski, and his subsequent orders to me, dated November 19, to fight the enemy at Pulaski if he advanced against that place, were, as shown in the following despatch from me, quite inapplicable to the then existing situation:

Pulaski, November 20, 1864.
Major-General Thomas: After full consideration I am of the opinion that this is not the best position for the main body of our troops, at least so long as we are inferior in strength to

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Pulaski, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (4)
Edgefield (Tennessee, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George H. Thomas (5)
D. S. Stanley (1)
W. T. Sherman (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 20th, 1864 AD (1)
November 19th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: