Monday, April 30, 2012

Ominous Beginnings

As Halleck reports to Secretary of War E.M. Stanton ,  "Movements continue. Roads hard.", "Old Brains"  re-thinks his disposition of forces and issues the following orders, taking Grant under his wing on this day in 1862 .

No. 35. Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 30, 1862.

I.  Major-General Thomas' division is hereby transferred from the Army of the Ohio to the Army of the Tennessee, and General Thomas will take command of the right wing, which will consist of his own and the divisions of Brigadier Generals W. T. Sherman, T. W. Sherman [sic], S. a. Hurlbut, and T. A. Davies.

II. The divisions of Major-General McClernand, Major-General Wallace, and one division from General Buell's army corps, to be designated to him, together with the heave [sic] artillery, will constitute the reserve, to be commanded by Major-General McClernand.

III. Brigadier-General Hamilton's reserve division of Major-General Pope's army will remain under General Pope's direction until further orders.

IV. Major-General Grant will retain the general command of the District of West Tennessee, including the Army Corps of the Tennessee, and reports will be made to him as heretofore, but in the present movements he will act as second in command under the major-general commanding the department.

Brigadier General T. W.[sic] Sherman is hereby assigned to the command of the Sixth Division of General Grant's army, now commanded by General McKean.

By order of Major-General Halleck:
Assistant Adjutant-General. *

While Halleck has been reorganizing at Pittsburg Landing, the rebels have been busy felling trees across roads, daming creeks to create larger flood plains and destroying bridges between Shiloh and Corinth.  The effectiveness of this strategy and the loss of the two divisions in todays orders pushes General Don Buell to the brink as he reallocates his remaining forces and adjusts his plans for the advance. Witness this reply to General Halleck.

In Camp, April 30, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commanding Department of the Mississippi:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of to-day and your Special Orders, No. 35. The bridge at Greer's and the road to it, over some three-fourths of a mile of marsh, will be completed this evening; also the road over a marshy creek above Greer's. It will take two days at least to complete this road over Lick Creek. If it is possible to haul the supplies, forage and all, in the present condition of the road-though I think that somewhat doubtful-my command will be ready to march.

Your arrangement leaves me with three divisions, about 18,000 men.

One of the divisions is composed almost entirely of new regiments and another a good deal of similar material. If it would meet with your approbation, I should be glad to exchange a brigade for one in Thomas' division. General Thomas has five divisions.

You must excuse me for saying that, as it seems to me, you have saved the feelings of others very much to my injury.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

* Thanks to my Favorite Link Ohio State's eHistory for referenced ORE's

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