Monday, May 14, 2012

Grant Issues Command

General Halleck decides to test Grant's mettle by allowing him to issue a command to his former troops on this day in 1862.  Notice that Halleck chooses to instruct his 2nd in command through an assistant and that this assistant is still uncertain of the order of William Tecumseh Sherman's names, as was noted in last months' posts.

May 14, 1862.
Major General U. S. GRANT:

Direct T. W.[sic] Sherman's, McKean's, and Davies' divisions to advance tomorrow to vicinity of Seven Mile Creek, the left resting on Corinth road. W. T Sherman's division will not advance beyond Russell's or will remain near its present position. One brigade of McClernand's will occupy road from near the Locusts Easel's.

The cavalry of McKean's, Davies', W. T. Sherman's divisions will be in readiness at 7 o'clock to report to Brigadier General A. J. Smith, at General W. T. Sherman's headquarters. General Hurlbut's division will be ready to support the right in case of an attack.

General McClernand's cavalry will make a reconnaissance on his right in the direction of Purdy. General Wallace will push a reconnaissance in the direction of Purdy, and toward Veal's and Stantonville.

Assistant Adjutant-General.*

Surely Grant felt the warm hug of his new best friend while reading these instructions.  Of greater significance, however, is that the all-important advance on Corinth is scheduled to move two miles forward on the morrow.  Of course, the troops will have to stop and build field fortifications at the end of the day.

For a better appreciation of how complicated it can be to "advance" such a large army toward a common goal, read the communications between the generals on this day before the actual troop movements begin.

Also on this date, Brig. General William S. Rosecrans is ordered to report to Halleck at Pittsburg Landing by the Secretary of War in Special Order No. 107.

*ORE correspondence courtesy of my Favorite Link, Ohio State's eHistory.

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