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
- Isis Palmyra demolition has begun with ancient God Lion statue destroyed
- Moving Photographs of Japanese American Internees, Then and Now
- A One-of-a-Kind Trove Reveals What 19th-Century American Boyhood Was Really Like
- St. Louis University moves controversial statue after protests
- UNC Renames Building That Honored Ku Klux Klan Leader
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize