Buell and East Tennessee

If a modern General took 4 months to show ANY SIGNS of movement toward a military objective he would be replaced forthwith and that is even discounting our modern communications. General Buell had been given explicit orders to move on East Tennessee SIX TIMES from assuming command on Nov 15, 1861 through February 1862 but Buell ignored or circumvented the orders by suggesting, for example, on November 27, a well concieved, simple, and easy to remember plan to move on….NASHVILLE? All the OR citations are below.  Will TRY and link them to Cornell’s site but…we’ll see. 🙂

Buell’s Ploys

11/15 Buell assumes command.
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME IV [S# 4] CHAPTER XII.p358

11/16 Buell gets reinforcements from Western Virginia with the implied suggestion that McClellan “expects you will be able to organize a proper force for immediate operations in the direction of Cumberland Gap”. Buell takes immediate offense and suggests McClellan “has seen cause to curtail his discretion”
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME IV [S# 4] CHAPTER XII. p358

11/22 Buell describes his plans to McClellan with all the appropriate butt kissing. This message is a masterwork of passive aggression. He does, however, say that the East TN campaign is being prepared for and “I have by no means abandoned the idea which you put forward prominently; on the contrary, I am studying it carefully and preparing for it, for I find some attraction in it; but neither have I determined on it absolutely, unless I am to understand that the Adjutant-General’s letter absolutely requires it. If it does, I shall execute it carefull and with all my might.” This Adj-Gen letter he speaks of is the one from 11/16.
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p443

11/23 Buell, while sending intelligence on the whereabouts of Zollicoffer, breaks down and asks “have you seen cause to curtail my discretion?”
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p445

11/25 McClellan tells Buell that the move on E TN is imperative and that only an emergency should prevent it.
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p447

11/27 McClellan asks about Buell’s seeming reluctance to move on E TN
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p450

Buell responds with a well thought out, robust, simple and easy to remember plan for….Nashville.
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p450

11/29 McClellan agrees to Buell’s overall plan but stresses the importance of E TN as the primary objective
6111 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p457

12/3 McClellan again begs Buell to move on E TN
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p468

12/5 McClellan adds Piketon, where Humphrey Marshall is causing trouble, to the list of ignored imperatives
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p473

12/7 Horace Maynard and Andrew Johnson both pleading Buell for a move on E TN
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p480

12/8 Buell reports to McClellan on his plans, not a word on E TN or Piketon
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p482

Buell responds to Maynard and Johnson claiming he has “no higher honor than that of rescuing our loyal friends in TN”
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p483

Maynard sends a chilly message to Thomas about the failure to move on E TN
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p484

12/10 BG Buell writes to McClellan, again focusing primarilly on the west, leaving E TN folks with “The allegiance of such people
to hated rulers, even if it could be enforced for the moment, will only make them the more determined and ready to resist when the hour of rescue comes.” Wow
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p487

BG Buell sends a portion of Wolford’s Cav to Prestonsburg\Piketon in response to Col Moore’s note on the 9th perhaps?
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p489

AC Haun ordered to be hung for his part in the bridge burnings of Nov 7
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p754

12/17 US BG Buell lays out positions of Garfield’s BDE to War Dept
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p501

12/23 BG Buell forwards summary of activities to MG McClellan…moans about the loss of Carter’s BDE by Schoepf. “The brigade which I had organized in
the Cumberland Gap route has been partially deranged by the unauthorized call of General Schoepf on it to re-enforce Somerset. I shall reinstate it
as soon as possible.” He hadn’t TOUCHED this BDE since taking command.
6112 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p511

FHMason, 42OH, on Buell:
“This command was designated the Eighteenth Brigade, Army of the Ohio. The advanced and exposed position of Marshall offered at that time one of the few opportunities open to the Union Army to strike a direct and effective blow, and Gen. Buell, who had accomplished little or nothing, since taking command of the Department, attached no small importance to the favorable result of the expedition up the Big Sandy.”
FHMason – Pg56

1/4 BG Buell seems disinterested in East TN Campaign. MG McClellan adjusts his attitude on the matter
6201 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p530

1/7 BG Buell continues to suggest the ‘concert of action’ against the western CS Line being the most important
6201 – O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 7 [S# 7] p535

2/10 Buell wants to see his wub-wub McClellan
6202 – O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME LII/1 [S# 109] p208

2/15 McClellan wishes to speak with Buell direct. A response to the plea from Buell the 10th?
6202 – O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME LII/1 [S# 109] p212

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