Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Buell Bids Farewell / Thomas Miffed

Having arrived in Louisville, General W.S. Rosecrans dispatches the letter from General Halleck to Buell at his headquarters in the Galt House with the following attachment.

Ref.:  http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0653

Louisville, Ky., October 30, 1862.

Major General D. C. BUELL, Gall[sic] House:

GENERAL: Inclosed I transmit the autograph letter of General Halleck, directing you on its presentation to turn over your present command to me and report at [Indianapolis
for orders.* I know the bearer of unwelcome new has a "losing office," but feel assured you are too high a gentleman and too true a soldier to permit this to produce any feelings of personal unkindness between us. I, like yourself, am neither an intriguer nor newspaper soldier. I go where I am ordered; but propriety will permit me to say that I have often felt indignant at the petty attacks on you by a portion of the press during the past summer, and that you had my high respect for ability as a soldier, for your firm adherence to truth and justice in the government and discipline of your command. I beg you, by our common profession and the love we bear our suffering country, to give me all the aid you can for the performance of duties of which no one better than yourself knows the difficulties.

Please name an hour and place most convenient for me to meet you.

Very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,


*See Halleck to Buell, October 24, p. 642.

General Buell's farewell to his troops is issued in the form of a Special Order.

Ref.:  http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0654


No. 50. Louisville, Ky., October 30, 1862.

In obedience to orders from the Headquarters of the Army, Major General Buell relinquishes the command of the District an Army of the Ohio to Major General W. S. Rosecrans. 

It is impossible for the general without feelings of regard an a warn interest in their future success to part with troops whom he has been the instrument of converting for the most part form raw levies into a powerful army, honored by common consent for its discipline and efficient organization, for its esprit de corps, and for victories unqualified by single reverse, and whose reserve, and whose fortunes he has followed for a twelve mount over a field of operations embracing considerable portions of four States, thorough difficulties and dangers which its fortitude and courage have mastered without accident or failure. It has recently, by a rapid march of some 500 miles, with limited subsistence, often with an inadequate supply of water, returned to Kentucky and driven from her borders a powerful army; and having re-established its communications, is now well on its way to meet the enemy at other points. 

The occasion is not convenient for recounting its services during the past twelve months, but the army may safety recur to them with pride. If anything has not been accomplished which was practicable within the sphere of its duty the general cheerfully holds himself responsible for the failure. 

The general reflects with pride that the army under his command had for the most part been free from petty jealousies and intrigues; that it has neither indulged in vain boasting nor tarnished its high character by bickerings and low criminations. I will enhance his gratification if it shall carry to its new commander, who already has earned its confidence and respect by distinguished service the same noble qualities which have characterized it since its organization. He will pray that it may be the instrument of speedily restoring the union to its integrity, and there is no individual in its ranks in whose honor and welfare he will not feel a special interest. 

By command of Major-General Buell:

Colonel and Chief of Staff.

General George Thomas, who had been ordered to take command of Buell's troops in the failed restructuring attempt of late September, sends his objections to the selection of Rosecrans to General Halleck in Washington.
Ref.:  http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=023/0657

October 30, 1862. Major General

Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army,
Washington, D. C.:

 GENERAL: Soon after coming to Kentucky in 1861 I urged the Government to give me 20,000 men properly equipped to take the field that I might at least make the attempt to take Knoxville and secure East Tennessee. My suggestions were not listened to, bi there passed by in silence. Yet, without boasting, I believe I have exhibited at least sufficient energy to show that I had been intrusted with the command of that expedition at that time (October, 1861) I might have conducted it successfully. Before Corinth I was the command of the right wing of the Army of the Tennessee. I feel confident that I performed my duty patriotically and faithfully and with a reasonable amount of credit to myself. As soon as the emergency was over I was relieved and returned to the command of my old division. I went to duties without a murmur, as I am neither ambitious nor have any political aspirations.

On the 29th of last September I received an ordered through your aid, Colonel McKibbin, placing me in command of the Department of Tennessee, and directing General Buell to turn over his troops to me. This order reached me just as General Buell had by most extraordinary exertions prepared his army to pursue and drive the rebels from Kentucky. Feeling convinced that great injustice would be done him if not permitted to carry out his plans I requested that he might be retained in command. The order relieving him was suspended, but to day I am officially informed that he is relieved by General Rosecrans, yet feeling conscious that no just cause exists for overs laughing me by placing me under my junior, I feel deeply mortified and aggrieved at the action taken in this matter.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

I do not desire the command of the Department of the Tennessee but that an officer senior to me in rank should be sent here if I am retained on duty in it.


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