A soldier's opinion of Buell...

Morrow7x

Private
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
I'll post this here since it was written in camp at Nashville, and gives insight into the rumors and grumblings in the ranks between Perryville and Stone's River...

November 2nd, my relative is replying to a letter from his sister, who we can assume has read of the Buell controversy in the newspapers:

"....your opinion of old Buell is the same as all of us hold. As we have seen him and his long train of cavalry pass us, we always thought him an old bogy fogy as well as an old granny and thought it strange if not a traitor at least! The story goes among the boys that at the hospital where the wounded rebels were left at Perryville one of our men asked a rebel what kind of general Buell was, he wanted to know "What Buell?" for General Buell commanded THEIR army! Some of the men say it is their belief that the Battle of Perryville was an agreement between the two gents Buell and Bragg at least a sham fight but many brave men and a few brave commanders fought with terrible earnestness and found a patriot's grave. How eagerly could the 88th have followed the rebels up that very night for twenty miles and how easily could we have done our part in entrapping the entire army of Bragg! There is shame in the tardiness of Buell in ordering the firing to cease and holding us back, eager to follow up the track of the retreating foe. Shame forever and infamy on his name! We hail Rosencrans as our leader and the weary hours seemed shorter when we heard of the happy change...."
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
I'll post this here since it was written in camp at Nashville, and gives insight into the rumors and grumblings in the ranks between Perryville and Stone's River...

November 2nd, my relative is replying to a letter from his sister, who we can assume has read of the Buell controversy in the newspapers:

"....your opinion of old Buell is the same as all of us hold. As we have seen him and his long train of cavalry pass us, we always thought him an old bogy fogy as well as an old granny and thought it strange if not a traitor at least! The story goes among the boys that at the hospital where the wounded rebels were left at Perryville one of our men asked a rebel what kind of general Buell was, he wanted to know "What Buell?" for General Buell commanded THEIR army! Some of the men say it is their belief that the Battle of Perryville was an agreement between the two gents Buell and Bragg at least a sham fight but many brave men and a few brave commanders fought with terrible earnestness and found a patriot's grave. How eagerly could the 88th have followed the rebels up that very night for twenty miles and how easily could we have done our part in entrapping the entire army of Bragg! There is shame in the tardiness of Buell in ordering the firing to cease and holding us back, eager to follow up the track of the retreating foe. Shame forever and infamy on his name! We hail Rosencrans as our leader and the weary hours seemed shorter when we heard of the happy change...."
Interesting. I wonder how he felt about Rosecrans a year later.
 

Morrow7x

Private
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Interesting. I wonder how he felt about Rosecrans a year later.


While Sgt Eugene Lyford was beyond caring about earthly troubles after Stones River, his commander, Colonel F.T. Sherman was still pining for his old leader in 1864. From Quest For a Star, a book that combines an officer's diary and letters with wartime Chicago politics-

"Old Rosey's boots would do more for the success of the cause than the head which is trying to lead us..."

"Every officer and soldier in our Corps will throw up his hat when he (Foster) is relieved... We ought to have old Rosey here, he would bring order out of the chaos that surrounds us..."

His main complaints centered on what he viewed as unfocused, pointless movements, and lack of supplies for the men. "I took up a paper this morning and read that The Army of The Potomac is to be supplied with oysters while this army is starving on less than half a ration." "Everything is done so differently from what Rosecrans did. No one seems to look after the details and see if the men are properly supplied and equipped..." "With a general like Rosecrans ...victory would be organized before we moved out of the camps...we are sent out without any definite plan and go wandering all over the country objectless and aimless- run into a hornet's nest and get out of it the best way we can..."
 
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