deliberately suggested to his superiors the fate, which he declares he should submit to without a murmur.
There is a determination and unselfishness combined in all this amounting to magnanimity.
But the high-mindedness was not all on one side.
read the message as it passed through Washington
, and telegraphed to Grant
at four P. M., on the 9th: ‘Orders relieving General Thomas
had been made out, when his telegram of this P. M. was received.
If you still wish these orders telegraphed to Nashville
, they will be forwarded.’
replied at 5.30 P. M. ‘General Thomas
has been urged in every possible way to attack the enemy, even to giving the positive order.
He did say he thought he should be able to attack on the 7th, but he did not do so, nor has he given a reason for not doing it. I am very unwilling to do injustice to an officer who has done as much good service as General Thomas
, however, and will therefore suspend the order until it is seen whether he will do anything.’
himself, at 7.30 P. M.., he said: ‘Your despatch of one P. M. received.
I have as much confidence in your conducting a battle rightly as I have in any other officer.
But it has seemed to me that you have been slow, and I have had no explanation of affairs to convince me otherwise.
Receiving your despatch of two P. M. from General Halleck
before I did the one to me, I telegraphed to suspend the order relieving you until we should hear further.
I hope most sincerely that there will be no necessity of repeating the order, and that the facts will show that you have been right all the time.’
It would be difficult for a superior to show greater consideration for a subordinate,