of all the thirteen, could not find it in their hearts to recommend clemency to an erring youth: I was president of the board which reversed the judgment of the court-martial in the case of Fitz-John Porter
I believe it must now be fully known to all who are qualified to judge and have had by personal association or by study of history full opportunities to learn the truth, that General Thomas
did not possess in a high degree the activity of mind necessary to foresee and provide for all the exigencies of military operations, nor the mathematical talent required to estimate ‘the relations of time, space, motion, and force’ involved in great problems of war. His well-known high qualities in other respects obscured these imperfections from the great majority of those who surrounded him during the war, and rendered the few educated soldiers who were able to understand his true merits the more anxious to aid him and save him from personal defeat.
And no one, I am sure, of his comrades in arms desires to detract from the great fame which is justly his due; for, according to the best judgment of mankind, moral qualities, more than intellectual, are the foundation of a great and enduring fame.
It was ‘Old Pap’ Thomas
, not General Thomas
, who was beloved by the Army of the Cumberland; and it is the honest, conscientious patriot, the firm, unflinching old soldier, not the general, whose name will be most respected in history.
Of the general details of the battle of Nashville
I do not propose to speak, but simply to notice a few of its most important points.
The plan of battle, as published, placed my command—the Twenty-third Corps—in the left center of our line, where only a feint was to be made.
The Fourth Corps was to carry a salient advanced line, while the main attack was to be made on the enemy's extreme left by A. J. Smith
's corps and the cavalry.
After the order was prepared I went to General Thomas