Days of Glory
The Army of the Cumberland, 1861–1867
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Cover, Title Page, Copyright
THE OVERALL HISTORY of the Army of the Cumberland has been neglected. This indifference is perhaps understandable in light of how the nation has chosen to view the Civil War, namely through the eyes of the eastern armies. Even in light of more-recent western revisionism...
I am deeply indebted to Albert Castel of Hillsdale, Michigan, and Steven Woodworth of Fort Worth, Texas, for reading the manuscript in its entirety and offering valuable criticisms, suggestions, and encouragement. While I was doing research at the Ohio Historical...
Part 1: The Anderson-Sherman Legacy
1. Birth of an Army: The Anderson Legacy
IN THE SUMMER of 1861, troops chiefly from the Ohio Valley formed the genesis of what would become the North's second-most-powerful army. Tough, hard-fighting, and sometimes undisciplined and atrocious, these rugged westerners were soldiers second to none in the Federal...
2. Sherman Takes Command: A Baleful Sway
WITH ANDERSON GONE, command of the department devolved upon forty-one-year-old Sherman, an officer as psychologically unprepared for the post as his predecessor. Indeed, the Ohio brigadier had accepted his assignment upon the explicit promise that he would not be called upon...
Part 2: The Buell Influence
3. Organization and Strategy: The Arrival of Buell
ON THE NIGHT of November 14, 1861, the new commander of the enlarged and renamed Department of the Ohio arrived in Louisville on a delayed train. At eight o'clock the next morning, in company with Sherman, he walked from the Gait House to headquarters...
4. The Drive South: The Buell-Halleck Feud
IN MID-JANUARY 1862 an unknown correspondent of the New York Tribune toured several of the divisions of the Army of the Ohio. Having just come from Virginia and an unofficial inspection of the Army of the Potomac, he was in a position to make a cursory comparison. He showed restraint...
5. The Mettle Tested: The Battle of Shiloh
BY EARLY MARCH 1862, the strategic situation in the West had dramatically changed. Johnston's army at Murfreesboro had withdrawn south to Shelbyville. Leonidas Folk's corps at Columbus, Kentucky, also fell back, partly down the Mississippi River to Island No. 10 and partly to...
Part 3: Decline of the Buell Influence
6. The Chattanooga Campaign: Conservative War Aims
FROM THE OUTSET, Buell opposed approaching Chattanooga along the line of the Memphis and Charleston. The railroad crossed the Tennessee River at two points, and with both bridges down, the troops would have to be ferried across. The army would be strung out for miles...
7. Retreat to Kentucky: A Season of Blunders
ON AUGUST 8 a routine night patrol in the Sequatchie Valley by several companies of the 2d Indiana Cavalry collided with a squad of twenty or so Rebel cavalry. Shots were exchanged, and the enemy quickly disappeared into the pitch-black darkness. The incident would have been...
8. The Collapse of Command: The Anti-Buell Faction
THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 25-30, i862, became a microcosm of the problems that debilitated the Army of the Ohio. Buell allowed five days to reorganize and resupply his divisions and formulate an offensive plan, yet the time was squandered in bickering and intrigue...
9. Faltering Communications: The Battle of Perryville
AT 9:00 P.M. ON SEPTEMBER 30, Buell summoned Thomas and all three corps commanders for a meeting at the Gait House. The army would move out early the next morning. Sill's veteran division (10,000 strong), along with Dumont's raw Twelfth Division...
10. A Failure to Perform: The Removal of Buell
HAVING DETERMINED THAT BRAGG had concentrated his forces at Harrodsburg, Buell moved both northeast after the Rebel army and east toward Danville to cut off the retreat route to Cumberland Gap. On October 10 Crittenden's corps advanced east beyond Salt River, screened...
Part 4: The Rosecrans Era
11. Army of the Cumberland: The Rosecrans Influence
"I WILL LEAVE TOMORROW for General Buell's headquarters." Thus wrote Major General Rosecrans in response to the order dated October 24, 1862, directing him to report to Louisville and relieve Buell of command. He arrived at the Gait House on the thirtieth. Since the War...
12. The Weight of Command: Clash at Stones River
ON THE MORNING of December 26, 1862, the Army of the Cumberland snaked out of Nashville in three columns. Jefferson C. Davis's division of McCook's corps, in a driving rain, slogged out the Edmonson Pike. At Prim's Blacksmith Shop, the column veered onto an old country...
13. Interlude: The Business of War
THE BATTLE WON, Rosecrans found himself deep within enemy territory, some 212 railroad miles and 250 turnpike miles from his main base in Louisville. The winter rains, which began in late December 1862, continued throughout January 1863, punctuated with sleet and snow...
14. The Politics of War: Rise of the Anti-Rosecrans Faction
DURING THE EXTENDED Murfreesboro encampment, Rosecrans strengthened the army's infrastructure and readiness. Morale remained high, numbers were bolstered, and discipline improved. Unfortunately, the army commander's personality quirks—enjoyment of verbal...
15. Tullahoma: Military Gain, Political Vexation
THE FALL OF VICKSBURG and the not-so-gentle prodding of Washington authorities finally prompted Rosecrans to move in late June 1863. The Army of the Cumberland had mass, but there were weaknesses. The XIV Corps, led by the revered George Thomas, had four divisions under the mixed...
Part 5: The Decline of Resecrans
16. An Aura of Vanity: The Road to Chattanooga
FOR SIX WEEKS the Army of the Cumberland remained in and around Tullahoma as the Federals repaired bridges, stockpiled supplies, and established forward depots. Rosecrans maintained frequent personal inspections, one of the hallmarks of his popularity with the troops...
17. Fatal Decision: The Battle of Chickamauga
FOR TWO WEEKS the opposing western armies danced around each other in the mountains of North Georgia. On the frost-covered morning of September 19, they finally joined in a two-day combat of huge proportions along Chickamauga Creek. Even with inferior numbers...
18. The Removal: Purge and Reorganization
THE ARMY OF THE Cumberland remained in severe straits throughout late September, brought about more by strategic bungling than by Rebel force. During October, Rosecrans's erratic behavior—confident one moment, hopeless the next— coupled with quarreling and reprisals within...
Part 6: The Emergence of Thomas
19. Chattanooga: Thomas Takes Command
FORTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD, RED-HEADED George H. Thomas, the fifth commander of the Army of the Cumberland, established his headquarters in an unassuming one-story frame house on Walnut near Fourth Street in Chattanooga. When Thomas, at age twenty, was clerking in a Virginia law...
20. The Army Remodeled: Winter at Chattanooga
FOR THE EAST TENNESSEE relief column, a bitterly cold New Year's Day came and went with depressingly little fanfare. According to John Beatty, murders and robberies in that mountainous area were as commonplace "as marriages in Ohio, and excite about as little...
21. The Atlanta Campaign: "A Spirit of Jealousy"
MILD, SPRINGLIKE, but unusually dry weather ushered in May, as Sherman made final arrangements to advance his armies. The soldiers stripped down to light marching order, leaving behind all cooking utensils except coffeepots, frying pans, and an occasional camp...
22. Command Fracture: The Grand Old Army Divides
BEGINNING IN LATE JUNE and extending through early August, a series of command changes occurred in the Army of the Cumberland that would affect all three corps commanders, four division commanders, and several leaders at the brigade level. Unfortunately...
WHILE SHERMAN'S COLUMNS tramped through Georgia, Hood kept his army, now reduced to 30,600 men, on the move. He crossed the Tennessee River at Tuscumbia, Alabama, and raided into Tennessee. The IV and XXIII Corps finally concentrated at Franklin, their flanks firmly anchored...
Orders of Battle
Page Count: 512
Publication Year: 2006
OCLC Number: 835764621
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