Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween at Bowling Green

General McCook's First Corps is heard from indirectly on this day in 1862.  This Halloween day is the one appointed for the arrival of the Seventeenth Kentucky to arrive at Bowling Green, as per previous orders.  They were no longer with the Fighting McCook when this telegram was transmitted.


LOUISVILLE, KY., October 31, 1862.

Colonel A. STAGER:

A dispatch from General McCook to-night says Bragg is attempting by forced marches to reach Nashville ahead of our troops. A special states Bragg's intention is to push for Chattanooga for the purpose of advancing on Nashville. Has no provisions. Green River Bridge completed to-day. 


The following reply from General Halleck to General Thomas's letter of the previous day is printed out of sequence both here and in the Official Records in the interest of completeness.  Thus closing the book on General Buell's tenure as the embattled general is being ordered to submit to a court of inquiry concerning his well-published failings.


WASHINGTON, November 15, 1862.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.:

 GENERAL: Your letter of October 30 is just received. I cannot better state my appreciation of you as a general than by referring you to the fact that at Pittsburg Landing I urged upon the Secretary of War to secure your appointment as major-general, in order that I might place you in command of the right wing of the army over your then superiors. It was through my urgent solicitations that you were commissioned.

When it was determined to relieve General Buell another person was spoken of as his successor and it was through my repeated solicitation that you were appointed. you having virtually declined the command at that time it was necessary to appoint another, and General Rosecrans was selected.

You are mistaken about General rosecrans being your junior. His commission dates prior to yours. But that is of little importance, for the law gives to the president the power to assign without regard to dates, and he has seen fit to exercise it in this and many other cases.

Rest assured, general, that I fully appreciate your military capacity, and will do everything in my power to give you an independent command when an opportunity offers.

It was not possible to give you the command in Tennessee after you had once declined it.

Truly, yours.

And Thomas's response follows by the same reasoning.

Ref.:  ibid

GALLATIN, TENN., November 21, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK,
Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.: 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of its tone.I should not have addressed you in the first place if I had known that General Rosecrans' commission dated prior to mine. The letter was written not because I desired a command but for being superseded, as I supposed, by a junior rank when I felt that there was no cause for so treating me. 

I have no objection whatever to serving under General Rosecrans now that I know his commission dates prior to mine, but I must confess that I should feel very deeply mortified should the President place a junior over me without just cause, although the law authorizes him to do so should he see fit. 

I am, general, very truly, yours,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

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