The Union’s Most Undervalued Generaltags: Civil War, Chickamauga, George Thomas
Despite his brilliant victory at Vicksburg in July, some lingering doubts remained about Gen. Ulysses S. Grant when he took command of the besieged Union forces at Chattanooga, Tenn., on Oct. 23, 1863. Earlier, when his army was taken by surprise at Shiloh, he had amplified the misgivings of critics by denying the attack was unexpected and falsely claiming he was outnumbered two-to-one. More recently, a limp resulting from a horseback-riding accident during post-Vicksburg victory celebrations in occupied New Orleans fed persistent rumors of alcoholism.
But when Union infantry swept Confederate general Braxton Bragg’s army off Chattanooga’s battlefield on Nov. 25, 1863, they also brushed away any remaining doubts about Grant among the nation’s leaders. Newspapers immediately promoted him as a presidential candidate. After Grant convincingly denied the aspiration, President Lincoln called him east, and gave him full command of all Union armies.
But until it proved successful, Grant had angrily denounced the unauthorized assault that chased the rebels away from Chattanooga and brought him glory, muttering that, should it fail, “somebody will suffer.” And Grant had a very particular somebody in mind, a leader he persistently disparaged because he dreaded the man as a rival: Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas....
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- History Camp "unconference" returns for the second year in Boston
- History Department at Connecticut College deplores Facebook post on Palestinians
- Historians join other scholars in protesting Georgia's anti-gay legislation
- Homeland Security historian builds winning case against Salvadoran leader who oversaw crimes
- What Howard Zinn taught the students of Spelman College