go to Louisville and Nashville for the purpose of relieving General Thomas, I never thought of the question of who should command the combined armies of the Cumberland and the Ohio. I was simply dissatisfied with the slowness of General Thomas moving, and sent you out with orders to relieve him. No doubt if the order had been carried out, the question would immediately have arisen as to who was entitled to the combined command, provided General Schofield was senior in rank to you, which I do not know that he was. I know that his confirmation as a major-general took place long after yours, but I do not know the date of his commission. The question, in that case, of the command of the whole would have been settled in a very few hours by the use of the telegraph between Nashville and Washington. I was in Washington when you arrived at Louisville and telegraphed me that General Thomas had moved, and, as I remember the telegram, expressing gratification that he had done so. I was then on my way to Nashville myself, and remained over a day in Washington, hoping that Thomas might still move. Of course I was gratified when I learned that he had moved, because it was a very delicate and unpleasant matter to remove a man of General Thomas's character and standing before the country; but still I had urged him so long to move that I had come to think it a duty. Of course in sending you to relieve General Thomas, I meant no reflection whatever upon General Schofield, who was commanding the Army of the Ohio, because I thought that he had done very excellent service in punishing the entire force under Hood a few days before, some twenty-five miles south of Nashville. Very truly yours,
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