Thursday, September 27, 2012

Don Carlos in Charge

The command of the combined forces at Louisville is momentarily established in the following query and response on this day in 1862.  Halleck gives the nod to General Don Carlos Buell by virtue of his seniority in the rank of Major-General.  Actually, H.G. Wright's appointment to that position has yet to be confirmed by Washington.


LOUISVILLE, KY., September 27, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

General Buell is here with his army, and I have a force here of raw troops, somewhat superior in number. There is no doubt that for operations against the enemy tense forces should be combined into one army. General Buell thinks it his duty to control the entire force, and that I have neither control nor responsibility in the matter of my own troops even. The question of the relations between us (he being my senior in date) should be at once decided, in order that the most effective steps may be promptly taken for operating against the rebel forces in Kentucky.


                              *  *  *

Washington, September 27, 1862.
Major General D. C. BUELL,
Louisville, Ky.:

You will by virtue of your rank exercise command of the troops in Louisville until further orders. It is hoped that your force is now strong enough to enable you to immediately advance upon the enemy. there are many reasons-some of them personal to yourself-why there should be as little delay as possible.


It appears that Halleck is giving a not-so-subtle heads-up prior to the arrival of the courier from Washington.  Remember that if Buell is engaged with the enemy, the orders for him to retire to Indianapolis and hand over his army to Thomas are not to be delivered.

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