Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 15, 1888)
o! soul he judged better of himself than did the administra- must lay out the lines of operations, with reference to toho
... . .....j. JulllJsloll, x.ums.ac, in grapny and the enemy's force; and his corps commanders ex-
superseding McClcllan virtually received a command to fight; ccutc the details. In battle he must likewise supervise all
and the disaster at Fiedencksburg is attributable more to the j and allow to his subordinates the minutiae The crisis nut
larf that HurnciHi Mr 4 ?.. : : i . . . I ..
.. -- - man 10 any aenoeraie tall upon one of his lieutenants; and yet he is superior in
intention. Burmr rrm..n.r. ,.;.., v.:.- oj . . - r '
intention. Bumsidc remained will. .; .... -,--. a ,...
.--. ...w vt W4 u J -kAIA 4 ."
tricved his honor at Knoxvilleand in the overland campaign.
Although without a superior as a corps commander, he will
never be named among the great generals of the war.
The Chancrllorsville campaign was brilliant in its con
ception, vigorous in its beginning, and disastrous in its cul
mination. To leave Sedgwick to masquerade at Fredericks
burg, while Hooker secretly and swiftlv placed the rMnalmW
of his force on Lee's left, was brilliantly conceived and cxe-
vu.cu. crc nooKer lost his balance, for instead of pushing
vigorously forward by the left, connecting with Sedgwick,
and intrenching on the heights, he remained supinely at
the river, giving Lee time to concentrate and to take up
all the advantageous positions. The inteiest, far from cen
tering in the army of the Potomac, is transferred to Lcc's
masterly stroke in preventing a union of Sedgewick and
Hooker, and in driving the former across the Rappahannock,
and to "Stonewall" Jackson's brilliant flank movement.
Hooker lacked the well balanced mind, and the imperturba
tion that is an essential military quality. Consequently he
also must remain off the roll of great generals.
Genera Sherman's career presents a remaikable parallel
to that of General Grant. Being but a colonel at Bull Run,
he quietly gained his renown in the west, winning his first
laurels in his stubborn defence of Shiloh church. At Vicks
burg he conducted his flank creditably, but alter that he
i-eemed to loose s.ome of the confidence centered in him by
his operations in his strategic triangle, while at Chattanooga
his presence is overshadowed by the army of the Cumber
land. In May, 1864. like Grant, but on a more equal foot
ing with his opponent, he began a great offensive campaign
from Chattanooga to Atlanta, the second Richmond, and
against Johnsion, the second Lee. Had Hood not super
seded Johnston, the siege of Atlanta would have been par
allel to the siege of Petersburg and Richmond. Sherman's
march to the sea is remarkable only for its magnitude; and
the surrender of Johnston was consequent only on the fall of
Lee. Sherman was one .of the great generals. He was
conservative in methods, and his campaigns were unmarked
by eccentric failures. Still to a stubborn adherence to sound
principles, he added sufficient judgment and strategic in
stinct to avoid becoming a mere ditch digger. He was meth
odical and sure; and, although! he never opposed the storm
of battle like Thomas at Chickagamauga, nor turned defeat
o victory like Sheridan at Cedar Creek, his glory, won by
;pdicic-us adherence to sound methods, is equally great.
Added to this clabS of really or practically independent
cowiMiandere, there is another class-those division or corps
cotolrtanders-who art distinguished by exemplary conduct
in operations or by brilliant aid which they gave their su
pfl-ioj. Schofield's retreat from before Hood will always be
onf-of the most interesting episodes in the history of the in-vaefou-ol
Tennessee. Hancock's brilliant manipulation of
Loips jn me Gettysburg -and overland campagns will
jun-i tic jurgiuicn.
CMtfkAiSkDgai" is well earned: and Khprirfn..' a ,
IVtntJhester to Cedar Creek is fitly celebrated in verse. Still
thy tffefti'tutlhe executors of another's will; and the mind
w.c p,ai.5 is superior to the arm which executes. To the
commanding general sue!, an opportunitv seldon. " Z ZL TT T ; "t,naj d the
K.tn0.,i.. ,..- . vi- 1 - , . ' ,u,":w iiicuvcj-, ne more resembled a -powerful electric
.nsAe-office-to th.nk ana not to fight. In strateg 3lc , Imttery, lnfB.lne Into all whom be met -mstimS
generalship to his lieutenants as mind is superior to mnsclp.
There is one general that we have nearly forgotten, and
10 forget him would be great injustice; for in the qualities of
decission, iorce of character, Jcommand of resource and ex
pedient, quickness of comprehension, instinctive knowledge
of time and circumstance, and especially strategic ability
which constitute the military leader, he far exceeded his con
temporaries. I refer to the victor of Stone's rix-er, the cap
tor of Chattanooga, W. S. Rosecranr. He first appears
prominently in the battle of Iuka, Mississippi; and, about
this time, appears a lack of harmony between him and Grant.
This is not strange, for wc can well understand that Rose
cranr, with his rare powers, found himself hampered by
the dullness of Grant. The second commander of the Army
of the Cumberland, he found a weapon admirably forged and
tempered; and how he carried it from Nashville to Chicka
mauga is a matter of history.
The battle of Stone's Rivei was brilliantly planned. To
make a feint attack with the right, which was then to retreat,
while the left, followed by the centre, rapidly ciossed the
river and fell on Uragg's right, leaves nothing to be desired.
By these means Rosecranr expected, and not unreasonably,
to envelop Bragg, cut off his retreat by getting in his rear,
and force him into the country in the direction of Salem.
The success, then, depended on the right maintaining its
position, at all odds, for at least three hours, until the left
had crossed the river and overwhelmed Bragg's right.
Rosecranr made his mistake and who could foresee the
result in placing McCook, a man on whom he knew he
could not depend, on the right; and McCook, shortsighted
that he was, who had solemnly promised to hold his ground
at all harards, made his mistake in prolonging his line of
camp fires far beyond his flank, and thus leading Btsgg 10
greatly prolong his left. Truly do momentous disasters
follow little failures. Had Thomas been placed -on the right,
upon which the success of the battle depended, the result
would have been different, for Thomas was loo brilliant a'
general to have blundered, and loo stubborn a fighter to
The battle of Stone's River, opened as had been planned;
but, curiously enough, Bragg had formed for his plan an
exact counterpart of Rosecranr's. Brace nlaced Btrlm.
ridge, on whom he could rely, on the right, and massed his
torce on the lett. No sooner, therefore, had the battle
opened, than McCook found himself assaulted and far out
flanked by the "best of Bragg's army. His right dmsioii
gave way immediately and went skurryingto the rear,
followed by his centre division. Seeine what was ..,..-
Sheridan, commanding the left division, connected with
icgn.-y, commanding i nomas' right division, and, far refus
ing his own right, protected the rear of Negley's lines. Here
the repeated rebel charges were fearful and the carnage
great; out snenaan held last. This brief respite nave' Rose-
cranr time to form a new linet iin.1 1.,-n. j ... .-. r.
i-i ,. , -... w ....-. .u jh, iuicj iujU acre in me midst 01
swarms of yelling rebels far outflanking him, "Old Rosy"
first showed that remarkable executive ability for which' Mr
is famous. Undismayed, grasping with Mb brilliant mind all
the stages and conditions, and almost intuitively seeing1 the'
Powered by Open ONI