Saturday, October 27, 2012

Buell's Support Arrives Too Late

General Buell may have had many powerful detractors, but Kentucky Senator James Guthrie presents this letter in support of the embattled general on this day in 1862.


LOUISVILLE, KY., October 27, 1862 - 11.45 a. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

The renewed rumors of the removal of General Buell I hope are without foundation. If he should be removed a winter campaign with his army - now the best in the service - will be lost, and perhaps Nashville and all Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee in danger, without the possibility of relief to East Tennessee. His army is now again on the march south and good results must be achieved by it. He has confidence of most, if not all, of his generals and of all thinking men here. When he could no longer get supplies by the Tennessee and Cumberland River and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad was destroyed his army was put on half rations. In this condition he could not advance on the enemy. He fell back and saved Nashville; then fell back and saved Bowling Green and Southern Kentucky; then fell back and saved Louisville, and brought through all his baggage trains without loss, and now has driven Bragg and Smith out of Kentucky. The battle of Perryville proves the efficiency of his army and the character of his officers. No reflecting man here believe Bragg would fight Buell's army unless he could throw his whole force on a single division. His retreat is the prof of the correctness of their judgment. No general can now take his place without injury to the service and the cause. The clamors of the press and of unfeeling men for more bloody fields, without regard to results obtained and reasonable future ones, in my judgment should not prevail. The complaint about the organization of his army and the wrong inflicted on the inhabitants are intrude as to the old regiments, but true as to the new ones to a lamentable extent. They are of course being corrected. I repeat again, I hope General Buell has not and will not be removed.


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