as if all war was anything but hazardous.
If he waits for Wilson
to get ready, Gabriel will be blowing his last horn.’
replied at 1.30 P. M.: ‘You probably saw my order to Thomas
If he does not do so promptly, I would recommend suspending him by Schofield
, leaving Thomas
Only those who were with him at the time, and in his confidence, could know the pain it gave to Grant
to write these words.
He was fond of Thomas
He remembered his worth, his services, his patriotism, as well as the devotion of the Western army to its chief.
He knew also the extreme risk in changing commanders at such a crisis.
said, with homely force, on another occasion, it was like ‘swopping horses while crossing a stream.’
But he felt that unless an advance was promptly made in Tennessee
, the peril to the entire West
was instant and inevitable; and if Thomas
refused any longer to obey, there was no option but to put a general in his place who would carry out his orders; and painful though the necessity was, Grant
gave the word.
Nothing, however, was done by the government, and nothing was heard from Thomas
till nine o'clock on the night of the 7th, when he telegraphed to Halleck
: ‘Captain Fitch
, United States navy, started down the river yesterday with a convoy of transports, but was unable to get them down; the enemy having planted three batteries on a bend of the river, between this and Clarksville
was unable to silence all three of the batteries yesterday, and will return again to-morrow morning, with the assistance of the [gunboat] Cincinnati
, now at Clarksville
; and ’