Thursday, May 17, 2012

Movement Happens

Like long awaited relief from intestinal stalemate, on this day in 1862, amidst a flurry of communications, movement happens.  The following records have been truncated and edited for purposes of continuity  and space.   ORE, Series 1, Vol. 10 , part 2 (Shiloh) pp 196-200 tells the whole story, while this post concentrates on the movement of the Seventeenth Kentucky and the rest of the Army of the Ohio.

Pope to Halleck: 
General Buell was unwilling to move this morning until he examined the ground he was to occupy, and I have been out with him ever since early this morning. Is it not too late to reach and occupy properly the designated positions before dark? Unless you direct otherwise, the movement will be postponed till morning. I need the whole day to make myself secure. I think an order from you fixing the hour of moving, say 5 a. m., would be best for all.
Please reply, as my command will be held ready to move until I hear from you.

Halleck to Buell:
You were ordered to move at 8 o'clock this morning. The movements of the right wing were based upon that. I do not understand the reason for the delay.

Buell to Halleck:
The reason for the delay was, that after making the examination which was necessary there was not time to get the troops well on the ground. I did not know that any of the right was to move to-day, nor did I understand that it was deemed necessary nor even important that the move should be made to-day, as you left it to General Pope and myself to decide on the time. I supposed that you would approve of a modification which we thought necessary.

Halleck to Buell:
You are entirely mistaken in supposing that the time of moving was left to be decided by you and General Pope. The time was definitely fixed on to be 8 a. m. when you left, and my orders to the right wing were based on that fact. The proportion of the ground to be occupied by each between Driver's and Farmington was the only matter left to be settled between you and General Pope. I regret very much that you have made any change in the programme arranged last evening without giving me previous notice and your reasons, as it derages [sic] my plans.

Buell to Halleck:
General Pope informs me this moment that he has moved his command. I shall therefore move mine at once.

Halleck to Buell:
Your not moving this morning, as agreed upon, has caused great embarrassment. General Thomas reports that his left has no support from you, and I have been obliged to draw back General Shermand [sic] on the right. Advise me as soon as possible of your position.

General Buell's move was eventually accomplished and by nightfall the armies were arranged just as the old general had planned, forming a continuous line just north of Corinth.

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