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.’
'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: