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Ozzy

Friends march to Corinth

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I hadn't given this much thought before, but while studying the Campaign for Island No. 10, it became obvious that Henry Halleck and John Pope were on good terms: Halleck even indicated in one telegram to Pope that 'he trusted Pope's judgment.' [Could never imagine a similar message going from Halleck to Grant.] (Note 1)

 

Don Carlos Buell was seen as an equal to Halleck, until Halleck absorbed his Department of the Ohio into the new Department of the Mississippi. Afterwards, Buell was treated as if he was equal to Halleck: this may have extended to overlooking Buell's tardiness in marching 150 miles from Nashville to Savannah, prior to Battle of Shiloh... in three weeks.

 

George H. Thomas was the Hero of Mill Springs. One of the few connections I can find (Thomas to Halleck) is William T. Sherman: Thomas and Sherman were roommates at West Point (both Class of 1840), and served together at several diverse locations after graduation. It is known that Halleck 'helped Sherman through his anxiety problem,' by assigning him to duty as overseer at Benton Barracks, for a term. (Halleck did a similar thing for Stephen Hurlbut, but in this case, it may have been because Hurlbut was a friend of Sherman's... or President Lincoln.) Returning to Thomas, it is said that Halleck spent a lot of time visiting George Thomas, during the weeks prior to the final stroll into Corinth.

 

West Point connection?  Pope was USMA Class of 1842; Buell was USMA 1841; Thomas was Class of 1840; and Henry Halleck was USMA Class of 1839, so all four men would have attended the Academy at the same time, and would have known of each other. (The classes were only 50-60 individuals, during that time frame.)

 

Anyway, I was just trying to make sense of why Thomas, Buell and Pope were selected to lead the major wings and center of Halleck's Army, during the Expedition to Corinth...

 

Any thoughts?

 

Ozzy

 

 

References:  Cullum's Register of West Point graduates   http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/1090*.html

 

Note 1:  OR Series 8, page 629: telegram sent March 21, 1862. 'I trust your judgment...'

 

             OR Series 8, page 602: telegram sent March 10, 1862.  'Give Pope all the siege cannons he wants...'

 

http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar&cc=moawar&idno=waro0008&q1=Halleck+Pope&view=image&seq=614&size=100   (see third message down the page)

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I hadn't given this much thought before, but while studying the Campaign for Island No. 10, it became obvious that Henry Halleck and John Pope were on good terms: Halleck even indicated in one telegram to Pope that 'he trusted Pope's judgment.' [Could never imagine a similar message going from Halleck to Grant.] (Note 1)

 

Don Carlos Buell was seen as an equal to Halleck, until Halleck absorbed his Department of the Ohio into the new Department of the Mississippi. Afterwards, Buell was treated as if he was equal to Halleck: this may have extended to overlooking Buell's tardiness in marching 150 miles from Nashville to Savannah, prior to Battle of Shiloh... in three weeks.

 

George H. Thomas was the Hero of Mill Springs. One of the few connections I can find (Thomas to Halleck) is William T. Sherman: Thomas and Sherman were roommates at West Point (both Class of 1840), and served together at several diverse locations after graduation. It is known that Halleck 'helped Sherman through his anxiety problem,' by assigning him to duty as overseer at Benton Barracks, for a term. (Halleck did a similar thing for Stephen Hurlbut, but in this case, it may have been because Hurlbut was a friend of Sherman's... or President Lincoln.) Returning to Thomas, it is said that Halleck spent a lot of time visiting George Thomas, during the weeks prior to the final stroll into Corinth.

 

West Point connection?  Pope was USMA Class of 1842; Buell was USMA 1841; Thomas was Class of 1840; and Henry Halleck was USMA Class of 1839, so all four men would have attended the Academy at the same time, and would have known of each other. (The classes were only 50-60 individuals, during that time frame.)

 

Anyway, I was just trying to make sense of why Thomas, Buell and Pope were selected to lead the major wings and center of Halleck's Army, during the Expedition to Corinth...

 

Any thoughts?

 

Ozzy

 

 

References:  Cullum's Register of West Point graduates   http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/1090*.html

 

Note 1:  OR Series 8, page 629: telegram sent March 21, 1862. 'I trust your judgment...'

 

             OR Series 8, page 602: telegram sent March 10, 1862.  'Give Pope all the siege cannons he wants...'

 

http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar&cc=moawar&idno=waro0008&q1=Halleck+Pope&view=image&seq=614&size=100   (see third message down the page)

That's a very good summary. One of Henry Halleck's faults was his prejudice in favor of fellow West Pointers. Consequently, he had little but disdain for officers such as Lew Wallace and John McClernand, no matter how competent. When Halleck concentrated the three armies after Shiloh, he had to make a decision on the commands. He stuck both Wallace and McClernand in the reserve. Grant was in disfavor after the surprise and lack of preparation at Shiloh, so Halleck made him second-in-command. With Buell and Pope in command of two of the three wings, Halleck had to push a major-generalcy for Thomas, so he could take command of the third wing.

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Hmmm..

 

I don't think there was a selection as such for "wing commander". The wings were simply the three armies; Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi. Buell and Pope maintained control of their respective commands as their was no reason to remove them and it would not be easy to do so even if Halleck wanted to. He had recently failed in his attempt to remove Grant from army command. The only decision to be made was what to do with Grant, who we know Halleck neither trusted nor liked. From an administrative perspective Halleck's decision to elevate Grant to second-in-command was brilliant. He quite effectively shelved Grant and then bypassed him at every turn. The only real choice Halleck had to make was who to select to replace Grant. Joseph Rose is spot on; the first requirement for a new army commander was to have attended West Point. The potential leader also had to be a major general. That brought the pool of candidates to an even two; Thomas and Sherman.Sherman was still carrying too much baggage from his Kentucky breakdown which left Thomas as the only real choice. 

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A reply to Tom concerning the command organization of Halleck's  army after Shiloh.  I believe this post to be a very good description of Halleck's handling of a very difficult position (for Halleck).  It is, although short, very clear and concise.  It explains the relationships between the various officers, many of which I already knew but  not all.  Tom's post makes it clear and a light went on in my brain. 

Thanks 

Ron       

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I hasten to add one more name to the list of 'friends marching (or riding) to Corinth,'  A.J. Smith.

 

Seen by some as 'in command of the Cavalry Component,' Brigadier General Andrew J. Smith accompanied Henry Halleck from St. Louis, and is said to have orchestrated the use of Union cavalry 'in a marvelous way, during the Siege of Corinth.'  Another West Point graduate, Class of 1838 (the same as Beauregard, Hardee and McDowell) Smith was in the USMA class just above Halleck (who was USMA Class of 1839), and would have known Sherman, Thomas and Buell (but Pope arrived after he graduated.)

 

Cheers

 

Ozzy

 

 

References:  http://www.48ovvi.org/oh48ajsmith.html   (Profile of Andrew J. Smith, USMA 1838)

 

http://archive.org/stream/fortyfourthindia00reri#page/n131/mode/2up    (mention of A.J. Smith, in command of fifth part of Halleck's Army, page 62 of History of the 44th Indiana.)

 

 

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Another friend (USMA Class of 1829) who marched to Corinth was Thomas A. Davies, who arrived at Pittsburg Landing after April 14th 1862 (at the request of U.S. Grant -- see Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 44) and was installed as Commander of the Second Division, replacing the unfortunate General WHL Wallace. (See Special Orders No.54 of 14 April 1862, signed by John Rawlins -- Papers Of US Grant vol.5 page 44.) Brigadier General Davies was a veteran of Bull Run, where he commanded a Brigade of General Mile's Fifth Division. After Bull Run, Davies was assigned responsibility for the defense of Union-occupied Alexandria Virginia (just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.) at which place he was serving until called west to join the Army of the Tennessee.

Unfortunately, at the end of May 1862 the heat, poor food and bad water caught up with General Davies as the Conquest of Corinth loomed... and in early June he was forced to take a Leave of Absence in an attempt to restore his damaged health. And the departure of Thomas Davies opened the door for "another friend" ...who was not required to march to Corinth, but merely was "parachuted in" -- Edward Otho Cresap Ord, USMA Class of 1839 (same West Point class as Henry Halleck.)

At the commencement of the Civil War, Captain EOC Ord was serving in the Pacific Northwest; and after the Disaster at Bull Run he was called east and installed as a Brigade Commander in the badly-requiring-organization Army of the Potomac. Apparently, Ord's efforts were noticed: he was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers, effective 14 September 1861; and on December 20th General Ord's force of approx. 5000 men was accorded credit for the victory over General J.E.B. Stuart (4000 men) at Dranesville Virginia. Promoted to Major General of Volunteers effective 2 May 1862, Edward Ord was serving as Division commander in the Department of the Rappahannock when he received orders to head west and join Halleck's Army at Corinth. Major General Ord arrived in Mississippi in time to replace Major General George Thomas as commander of the Post of Corinth, effective 22 June 1862.

[As for Thomas Davies, he recovered from his illness and returned to the Army of the Tennessee in time to assist Edward Ord at the September 19th 1862 Battle of Iuka.]

Just a bit more of the story...

Ozzy

 

References:  Papers of US Grant vol. 5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Corinth_Union_order_of_battle  (see Right Wing, AoT 2nd Division commander)

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/565*.html  Thos. Davies career

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/1002*.html  EOC Ord's career

http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Army_of_the_Potomac  Army of the Potomac at Encyclopedia of Virginia

 

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