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The result of much research has determined there was "bad blood" between Don Carlos Buell and Ulysses S. Grant. This may have been the result of Grant sending wounded Confederate soldiers to Hospitals in Buell's jurisdiction after Fort Donelson. Or it may have resulted from Grant sending Nelson to take possession of Nashville (just hours ahead of Buell.) Possibly, there was some pre-war animosity that simply festered, exacerbated by the above incidents...

One thing that becomes evident upon a close read of the Official Records and Papers of US Grant vol.4: when Buell began the march of his Army of the Ohio from Nashville on March 15th, he believed he was to go to the support of Charles F. Smith [see OR 11 pages 38 and 44.] Upon Buell's arrival at Savannah (where he was told by Halleck that Smith was established) Brigadier General Smith would have been junior to Major General Buell... so Buell would assume de facto command of the operation (pending the arrival of Major General Halleck.) Buell was aware of the removal from "command in the field" of Major General U. S. Grant: as late as March 14th, Buell received a telegram from Grant -- sent from Fort Henry -- in which Grant requested a gunboat on the Cumberland River be sent to him [see Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 361.] And Halleck kept up the deception -- as late as March 17th -- directing Buell: "Move on as ordered, to re enforce Smith."  [Grant had been restored to command on March 15th and arrived at Savannah March 17th -- OR 11 page 44 and 38.]

In Shiloh Revisited, page 490, Buell expresses dissatisfaction with the arrangement: "US Grant was restored to command, and arrived at Savannah March 17th, and he converted the encampment of Pittsburg Landing into the point of rendezvous." It is obvious that Buell felt the sting of the "bait and switch" pulled on him: he was expecting Smith; but sometime after the march commenced, he found out that Grant was in command. This could help explain:

  • the excessive delay of Buell's arrival at Savannah;
  • the attempt by Buell to camp his Army at Waynesboro (and await the arrival of Halleck at Savannah)
  • the convenient delay Sunday, April 6th to make his way to Pittsburg Landing (by whatever means necessary).

But most unsettling: a close read of Buell and Grant's interactions, beginning Sunday afternoon and continuing through April 7th, are not especially inspiring. In fact, the only real coordination between Grant and Buell appears to be, "You take the left, and I'll take the right." The important, "We'll move forward in the morning," seems to have been unspoken, merely assumed.

No way to run a railroad...

Ozzy  

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Buell suffered an ailment of many early war officers. Over inflated ego and a belief they were the only one capable of command.

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