generally, not being in the habit of acting independently, and not being in direct communication with the general-in-chief
, and hence not familiar with his plans and views, would not act with the necessary promptness or vigor; and not regarding themselves as absolutely under the orders of the general they were directed to support, they would not obey his orders or requests unless they were in accord with their own views; while one of these corps commanders, General Sherman
says, manifested an ambition to get one of the separate armies under his command and win a victory on his ‘own hook.’
But General Sherman
fails to state that he encouraged all this by his own now well-known erroneous opinion upon the question of the relative rank of army and corps commanders; that this vital question was evaded until its decision in a special case—that of Stanley
—became absolutely necessary, and was then decided erroneously, the error resulting in failure and great disappointment to Sherman
Had this question been decided at an early day according to the plain import of the law, as was afterward done by the War Department, and orders given to corps commanders to obey instead of ‘cooperate’ or ‘support,’ much trouble would have been avoided.
First among the most important events of the Atlanta campaign
were the operations about Dalton
Here I have always thought General Sherman
committed the mistake, so common in war (and, as I believe, not infrequently afterward committed by himself and others in the Union
armies), of assigning to too small a force the main attack upon the vital point of an enemy's position.
had only about 22,000 infantry, while Sherman
's force at about 60,000.
's position in front of Rocky-face Ridge was virtually as unassailable as that of Johnston
behind it. The only weak point of our position was that