American Generals in the War


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
15,945
Location
los angeles ca
#62
Perhaps because Rosecrans saved Grant and his career in 1862 and it was Grant who was vindictive and relieved him twice. Rosecrans is of course all but unknown today in part because of the work of 20th -and 21st - century Grant biographers.
This divisiveness and rancor in discussing Rosecrans and Grant is not new nor something imagined by the few (courageous?) writers who’ve written about it. Consider the following from the 1905 reunion of the Society of the AOTC pages 70 ff especially page 74. https://books.google.com/books/about/Reunion_of_the_Society_of_the_Army_of_th.html?id=row-AAAAYAAJ

As far as Rosecrans’ vote on denying Grant a pension his position was that Grant had won and lost a fortune and shouldn’t be bailed out by the federal government. Interestingly Charles Dana took the same position. It should be remembered this was in an age when federal pensions and assistance were almost non existent. No doubt Rosecrans was motivated by his dislike of Grant.
My use of the word courageous in parenthesis above reflects what historian Albert Castel said a writer about Rosecrans would have to be.
The quote in p.74 is from former Governor of Missouri and Confederate general Sterling " old Pappy" Price. An interesting figure in Civil War history without doubt.
Was "Old Pappy " a military genius or even a well regarded general in terms of military acumen? Not really confident mainstream ACW scholar's would go along with that.
A good politician who knew what to say and where? No doubt.
Leftyhunter
 

Cavalry Charger

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
5,586
#63
OK, I'm going to add something to the mix which may or may not give a different impression of certain people and events:

"Again, the General sent for me to join him at Jackson, Tennessee. His headquarters was a straggling old country house, part log, part frame, with a long, low piazza fronting south. As usual, many general officers with their staffs called to pay their respects to me. McPherson, Hurlbut, and, I think, Marsh, with one or two more, remained after the others left. General Rawlins, having just entered, McPherson said to me: 'Mrs Grant, we are very glad to have you with us again for more reasons than one. We want to reach the General's ear through you. In justice to General Grant - in fact, in justice to ourselves - General Rosecrans ought to be relieved.' I said: 'General Rawlins mentioned this to me this morning, and I have already spoken to the General about it.' He expressed great regret, saying, 'Rosecrans action was all wrong,' but that it was his (Grant's) right to find fault, and that he had not done so, knowing Rosecrans 'to be a brave and loyal soldier with the best of military training, and of this kind we have none to spare at present. Besides 'Rosy' is a fine fellow. He is a bit excited now but he will soon come around alright. Do not trouble yourself about me, my dear little wife,' and smiling, said: 'I can take care of myself.' This he said to me, but, of course, I did not repeat it all to these officers, not more than the first sentence: 'Rosecrans action was all wrong.'

The General had returned to his office at the east end of the piazza before this conversation. When he returned to me, I repeated it to him, including what they had told me about an address Rosecrans had published to his men which has given these officers great dissatisfaction. The General replied: 'Yes, I know. I cannot understand Rosecrans. I feel reluctant to part with him and hope that he will yet come out right.' We sat in silence for a while, both thinking of our late conversation. I liked Rosecrans too. He was handsome and brave, and I liked him also because the General did. So it was with regret I heard of his disaffection, but I could not sympathize with General Grant in his disbelief of this disloyalty to him, which General Rosecrans has since so glaringly proven.

The General rose silently and again went to his office. After an absence of fifteen or twenty minutes, he came back looking so happy, and smilingly holding up a slip of paper, he said: 'There is good news, good news. Rosecrans is promoted and ordered to take command of the Army of the Cumberland. I feel so happy. It is a great compliment, and he leaves us feeling friendly in place of the other way, which I fear would have come, as he was going wrong and I would have had to relieve him. His promotion is a real pleasure to me. I could not bear to relieve him.'"

The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (pg 104-5)
 
Last edited:

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
1,757
Location
Washington, DC
#64
The quote in p.74 is from former Governor of Missouri and Confederate general Sterling " old Pappy" Price. An interesting figure in Civil War history without doubt.
Was "Old Pappy " a military genius or even a well regarded general in terms of military acumen? Not really confident mainstream ACW scholar's would go along with that.
A good politician who knew what to say and where? No doubt.
Leftyhunter
The quote in p.74 is from former Governor of Missouri and Confederate general Sterling " old Pappy" Price. An interesting figure in Civil War history without doubt.
Was "Old Pappy " a military genius or even a well regarded general in terms of military acumen? Not really confident mainstream ACW scholar's would go along with that.
A good politician who knew what to say and where? No doubt.
Leftyhunter
That isn’t Confederate General Sterling Price but rather Brevet Brig Gen Samuel W Price who fought under Rosecrans and later became an artist and painted the portrait of Rosecrans that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington (and which graces the cover of my book.) See page 218 for info on his Sociey of AOTC membership.
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
15,945
Location
los angeles ca
#65
OK, I'm going to add something to the mix which may or may not give a different impression of certain people and events:

"Again, the General sent for me to join him at Jackson, Tennessee. His headquarters was a straggling old country house, part log, part frame, with a long, low piazza fronting south. As usual, many general officers with their staffs called to pay their respects to me. McPherson, Hurlbut, and, I think, Marsh, with one or two more, remained after the others left. General Rawlins, having just entered, McPherson said to me: 'Mrs Grant, we are very glad to have you with us again for more reasons than one. We want to reach the General's ear through you. In justice to General Grant - in fact, in justice to ourselves - General Rosecrans ought to be relieved.' I said: 'General Rawlins mentioned this to me this morning, and I have already spoken to the General about it.' He expressed great regret, saying, 'Rosecrans action was all wrong,' but that it was his (Grant's) right to find fault, and that he had not done so, knowing Rosecrans 'to be a brave and loyal soldier with the best of military training, and of this kind we have none to spare at present. Besides 'Rosy' is a fine fellow. He is a bit excited now but he will soon come around alright. Do not trouble yourself about me, my dear little wife,' and smiling, said: 'I can take care of myself.' This he said to me, but, of course, I did not repeat it all to these officers, not more than the first sentence: 'Rosecrans action was all wrong.'

The General had returned to his office at the east end of the piazza before this conversation. When he returned to me, I repeated it to him, including what they had told me about an address Rosecrans had published to his men which has given these officers great dissatisfaction. The General replied: 'Yes, I know. I cannot understand Rosecrans. I feel reluctant to part with him and hope that he will yet come out right.' We sat in silence for a while, both thinking of our late conversation. I liked Rosecrans too. He was handsome and brave, and I liked him also because the General did. So it was with regret I heard of his disaffection, but I could not sympathize with General Grant in his disbelief of this disloyalty to him, which General Rosecrans has since so glaringly proven.

The General rose silently and again went to his office. After an absence of fifteen or twenty minutes, he came back looking so happy, and smilingly holding up a slip of paper, he said: 'There is good news, good news. Rosecrans is promoted and ordered to take command of the Army of the Cumberland. I feel so happy. It is a great compliment, and he leaves us feeling friendly in place of the other way, which I fear would have come, as he was going wrong and I would have had to relieve him. His promotion is a real pleasure to me. I could not bear to relieve him.'"

The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (pg 104-5)
What is the time line for Julia Grant's recollections ? I thought Rosecrans was transferred to Missouri after he was relieved of command of the AoC post Chickumungua.
Leftyhunter
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
1,757
Location
Washington, DC
#66
OK, I'm going to add something to the mix which may or may not give a different impression of certain people and events:

"Again, the General sent for me to join him at Jackson, Tennessee. His headquarters was a straggling old country house, part log, part frame, with a long, low piazza fronting south. As usual, many general officers with their staffs called to pay their respects to me. McPherson, Hurlbut, and, I think, Marsh, with one or two more, remained after the others left. General Rawlins, having just entered, McPherson said to me: 'Mrs Grant, we are very glad to have you with us again for more reasons than one. We want to reach the General's ear through you. In justice to General Grant - in fact, in justice to ourselves - General Rosecrans ought to be relieved.' I said: 'General Rawlins mentioned this to me this morning, and I have already spoken to the General about it.' He expressed great regret, saying, 'Rosecrans action was all wrong,' but that it was his (Grant's) right to find fault, and that he had not done so, knowing Rosecrans 'to be a brave and loyal soldier with the best of military training, and of this kind we have none to spare at present. Besides 'Rosy' is a fine fellow. He is a bit excited now but he will soon come around alright. Do not trouble yourself about me, my dear little wife,' and smiling, said: 'I can take care of myself.' This he said to me, but, of course, I did not repeat it all to these officers, not more than the first sentence: 'Rosecrans action was all wrong.'

The General had returned to his office at the east end of the piazza before this conversation. When he returned to me, I repeated it to him, including what they had told me about an address Rosecrans had published to his men which has given these officers great dissatisfaction. The General replied: 'Yes, I know. I cannot understand Rosecrans. I feel reluctant to part with him and hope that he will yet come out right.' We sat in silence for a while, both thinking of our late conversation. I liked Rosecrans too. He was handsome and brave, and I liked him also because the General did. So it was with regret I heard of his disaffection, but I could not sympathize with General Grant in his disbelief of this disloyalty to him, which General Rosecrans has since so glaringly proven.

The General rose silently and again went to his office. After an absence of fifteen or twenty minute, he came back looking so happy, and smilingly holding up a slip of paper, he said: 'There is good news, good news. Rosecrans is promoted and ordered to take command of the Army of the Cumberland. I feel so happy. It is a great compliment, and he leaves us feeling friendly in place of the other way, which I fear would have come, as he was going wrong and I would have had to relieve him. His promotion is a real pleasure to me. I could not bear to relieve him.'"

The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (pg 104-5)
Written decades after the events
What is the time line for Julia Grant's recollections ? I thought Rosecrans was transferred to Missouri after he was relieved of command of the AoC post Chickumungua.
Leftyhunter
This is after Corinth in 1862. As book editor John Y Simon notes Julia was in error about Rosecrans’ promotion which had already occurred and USG didn’t know Rosecrans was going to the AOTCumberland. At any rate Julia’s Memoirs were written decades after the War and not even published until the late 20th century (1975). The accuracy of the Memoirs on military events is subject to doubt. (Page 116-7 Note 34)
 

Cavalry Charger

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
5,586
#67
Written decades after the events

This is after Corinth in 1862. As book editor John Y Simon notes Julia was in error about Rosecrans’ promotion which had already occurred and USG didn’t know Rosecrans was going to the AOTCumberland. At any rate Julia’s Memoirs were written decades after the War and not even published until the late 20th century (1975). The accuracy of the Memoirs on military events is subject to doubt. (Page 116-7 Note 34)
Think you've got your answer here @leftyhunter . Thanks for the clarification @David Moore . Julia's memoirs raise other questions for me around the address Rosecrans gave to his men and possible dissatisfaction among other officers in relation to him. While her timeline and some of the details may be wrong, I'm wondering if these elements are correct.
 
Last edited:

DanSBHawk

First Sergeant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
1,133
Location
Wisconsin
#68
Think you've got your answer here @leftyhunter . Thanks for the clarification @David Moore . Julia's memoirs raise other questions for me around the address Rosecrans gave to his men and possible dissatisfaction among other officers in relation to him? While her timeline and some of the details may be wrong, I'm wondering if these elements are correct.
Actually, Cavalry Charger, Julia's memory may not be too far off. Grant did not "know" Rosecrans was assuming command of the AOTC, but he immediately had a strong suspicion that where Rosecrans was heading.

On Oct 23rd, in the letter informing Rosecrans to report to Cincinnati, Grant wrote "I predict an important command where in the course of events we may cooperate."

And on the 24th, still with no confirmation of Rosecrans destination, Grant wrote Ord "Gen. Rosecrans is ordered to Cincinnati to receive orders. I suspect he is going to take Buells place."

So Julia may have only been mistaken in remembering it as a known fact rather than a strong suspicion. The main point remains that Grant was relieved Rosecrans was being ordered away.
 

DanSBHawk

First Sergeant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
1,133
Location
Wisconsin
#69
Think you've got your answer here @leftyhunter . Thanks for the clarification @David Moore . Julia's memoirs raise other questions for me around the address Rosecrans gave to his men and possible dissatisfaction among other officers in relation to him? While her timeline and some of the details may be wrong, I'm wondering if these elements are correct.
The "address" Julia is referencing may be the one Rosecrans gave to his men criticizing 2nd Division, the division that had done most of the hardest fighting over the two days of the Battle of Corinth, as cowards.

This greatly angered many in the command, notably General Davies the division officer, and Grant who had fought with those men at Shiloh.
 

DanSBHawk

First Sergeant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
1,133
Location
Wisconsin
#70
Here is a message from General Davies of 2nd Division to Rosecrans, and Rosecrans reply. The date is October 23 1862, the same day Rosecrans received orders to leave Corinth.

"Hdqrs. Second Div., Army of West Tennessee, Corinth, Miss., October 23, 1862.
Major-General Rosecrans :


Sir: On the afternoon of October the 4th, after the victories of that day and of the 3rd, you said upon the battlefield, among the piles of the dead and groans of the wounded, slain by the Second Division, Army of West Tennessee, that they were a set of cowards; that they never should have any military standing in your army till they had won it on the field of battle; that they had disgraced themselves, and no wonder the rebel army had thrown its whole force upon it during the two days engagement.

My report is now before you. The effect of the official announcement which you made is having a demoralizing effect upon the brave men and working injury to them throughout the country. It has been the basis of newspaper articles and of strictures upon the military conduct of the division.

I would most respectfully ask, for the benefit of the service and for the honor of the division, that if you have changed your opinions you would as publicly give a refutation to these charges.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. A. DAVIES."

And the reply:

"Hdqrs. Army of the Miss., Third Div., Dist. West Tenn. [General Davies :]

General: In reply to your note just received I will say that having read your very clear and creditable report of the operations of your division, I am satisfied they fought very nobly the first day, and that many of them, especially on the right, did the same the second day, and so much so that I shall overlook the cowardly stampeding of those under my immediate observation on the second day, which gave rise to the public indignation I expressed in your presence and in theirs. Assure the brave officers and men of your division that I will endeavor to do them public and ample justice, which will be more than all the newspaper talk to their disparagement. You will oblige me by making this letter known to the command, and you may use it publicly if you wish while waiting my official report.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
Major General."

OR series 1, vol 17, part 1, page 267.


It's no coincidence that "newspapers" are mentioned in both messages. That is how Rosecrans operated. By making sure newspapers received his version of events.
 
Last edited:



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top