The Buell Commission

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,121
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#41
On December 28, 1862, the court met for the last time that year. Their army was advancing on Murfreesboro and in a few days the Battle of Stone's River would be fought. Again, the court welcomed a short day by calling one Government witness; 1st Lieutenant Charles Allen of the Third Ohio Volunteers. He worked as an acting commissary of subsistence for his division and was stationed in Nashville in August 31, 1862, as Buell fell back to guard his supply lines and the city against depredations. He was questioned but 11 times, and being shown the reports of shipping, he was asked to supply a breakdown of subsistence on hand for that date; also whether or not any units were bringing in subsistence from the field on foraging expeditions. He answered in the negative on the latter question and pointed out another officer had records he needed, so the court decided to break and return after relocation to Louisville, Kentucky, about January 10, 1863.
When they reconvened after 13 days, 1st Lt. Charles Allen was called again and supplied the court with the necessary information.
Lubliner.
 

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Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,121
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#42
Instead of recapping again the first month, though it is a solid way-post in the trial, I would prefer to venture a directional bearing as to what I believe will transpire. It appears to me, this court has acted entirely on it's own determination without a meddlesome push from Washington. The pace has been swift and the meetings pressed forward. Meanwhile a struggle for filling the vacuum of leadership up and down the chain of command has been taking place. A battle is to be fought and won before the next session, but the consequence is horrific. Nashville is deluged with the sick and wounded, and 10 days to celebrate a belated Christmas, with whatever furlough, cannot be much to the remaining men. The Army is basing the trial where it is most advantageous for the witnesses to appear. Somehow, with the charges being defused against Buell, the court is finally able to consider it's own activity and draw from it. It has stabilized, and possibly a full disclosure for due process has been granted the officials in Washington; just possibly, for it may cause bias.
The argument against General Buell is still strong, but the shifting of fault and blame keeps being put on Commissary, and the inability for the engineers to prove tangible lines keeping open communication. This is just the precursor to the battle of Perryville. The real fault has been the failure to apprehend the enemy, being unprepared to face the enemy when found, and allowing the enemy a clean disengagement and escape without a chase. This is a hardball judgement from me, as it should also be with the court, but they appear determined to keep the cart steady, and only slight admonishment is felt in it's own timidity. Woe to the underling taking the fall.
This will be continued soon; Lubliner.
 

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,121
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#43
January 10, 1863 in Louisville, Kentucky, the court reconvened and called three witnesses during the day. (p. 280) The first witness was Lt. Charles Allen who had been interrogated at the previous session on Dec. 28, in Nashville. He was subordinate to Captain Little of the commissary subsistence, and the Lt. was in charge of one storehouse for provisioning the citizen employees serving the army in the several departments. Captain Little had a few storehouses at the depot to receive supplies and provision the army, and also funneled the rations to his Lieutenant for issuance. Little dealt mainly in bulk. Lieutenant Allen submitted the returns of rations on hand, as requested of him, for August 31, 1862 and Sept. 30, 1862. These can be found on pages 288 and 289.

The next witness was a citizen and resident of Munfordville that was there and witnessed to surrender; F. A. Smith. He knew Colonel Wilder before the battle, and when General Bragg moved in, Smith visited him and spoke with his staff as well. The court was mainly interested in the strength of Bragg's army, and Smith states as being told 60 regiments. His source he claims to be a Colonel Schultz of New Orleans, who claimed to be a staff officer. Smith took this information after the surrender to General Buell, who had arrived a couple days afterward, and freely spoke of Bragg's strength and possible heading toward Bardstown, via Hodgenville. He called the fight there at Munfordville severe, and says the confederates claimed 150 dead. Wilder estimated 350 killed and some wounded, and citizens claimed the total for both at about 400 to 500 dead. The rebels were a full day ahead of Buell when he reached Munfordville.

The last witness was Captain P. P. Oldershaw, for General Buell (defense), who was the assistant adjutant-general to Brig. General James Jackson, commander of the 10th division, First Corps, Army of the Ohio, under A. McD. McCook. Oldershaw was present when Jackson was killed as the confederates began skirmishing. He had been witness up to that time of the meetings for army troop dispositions, and the placement of cannon, and says the General fell on the first return fire by the confederates after placement.

When the court recessed, after this first day, it decided to reconvene on the January 12, skipping a day most likely to situate and make available the next witnesses to be called.
Lubliner.
 

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,121
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#44
In Post #43 above, I need to mention again the witness F. A. Smith, a resident of Munfordville (see 2nd paragraph above).
Being questioned by the court if any confederates were obligated to tell him truthfully to what he asked, he responded, 'no'.
As well, the court did not ask him if he had received any compensation for the information he provided, such as Pratt, nor did he admit any answer voluntarily. The court did not offer to cover expense.
Thanks, Lubliner.
 



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