Sunday, September 30, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Monday, Sept. 30, 1861

Brig. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, still unsettled by the debacle at Bull Run little more than two months ago, is becoming even more unsettled in Kentucky. Ostensibly neutral, Kentucky’s citizens are a mix of Confederate sympathizers and Union loyalists, and it is important to hold this state for the Union—or the Ohio River will become the border between the Union and the Confederacy. Sherman sees danger everywhere. Today, he writes his father-in-law a litany of complaints and anxieties: most of his soldiers are undisciplined volunteers, whose abilities Sherman does not trust; apathy or disloyalty is rampant among Kentucky’s citizenry; he lacks supplies, and Confederate Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner has a large force nearby (but not as large as Sherman imagines). “I suppose I must meet the shock [of an attack] with what I have,” he concludes gloomily. Sherman will not be attacked....but, in weeks to come, he will suffer a defeat of another kind.

No comments: