The article above referred to asserted that ‘General Thomas
knew three days before the battle of Nashville
was playing the part of Judas
by telegraphing to General Grant
, at Washington
, disparaging suggestions about the action of Thomas
,’ and pretended to quote the language of one of those despatches, as follows: ‘It is the opinion of all of our officers with whom I have conversed that General Thomas
is too tardy in moving against the enemy . . .’
It also stated that ‘it was known to a number of our officers that . . . Schofield
was intriguing with Grant
to get Thomas
relieved, in order that he might succeed to the command of our army as the general next in rank to Thomas
, . . . and he was watched and exposed to Thomas
This boastful avowal by James B. Steedman
of his own crime in making reports which were false and slanderous to his commanding general must doubtless be accepted as conclusive proof of his own guilt.
But a statement by such a witness cannot be regarded as proof that any other officer was guilty of the same crime.
So far as I know, no other has ever made any avowal, public or private, of his own guilt, or of that of any one else.
Nor has any other, so far as I know, denied the truth of my statements, repeated in this volume, of what occurred in the council held at Nashville
on December 9, 1864.
It does not seem probable that one such man as James B. Steedman
could have exerted such a powerful and baneful influence over General George H. Thomas
as that which now appears to have governed his action.
There must, it would seem, have been some others, as Steedman
If so, it is time for them, if living, to come to the front and claim their share in the work of falsifying history, of poisoning the mind and heart of their great and noble commander, causing his untimely death, and endangering his great reputation as a man of honor, truth, and justice.