Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Thursday, Nov. 21, 1861

“I Am Not Myself”

Still in Louisville and still in turmoil over the Union cause there, Brig. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (shown on right) pours out his feelings.

“I have never seen daylight” while in command in Kentucky, Sherman writes to Robert Anderson, who had relinquished the same position because of nervous strain. Sherman adds, “I am therefore disqualified to lead….I am not myself.”

To politician-brother John Sherman, Cump writes that he wishes he could “now hide myself in some obscure corner.” In a few days, he will do almost exactly that. He will be transferred out of the Department of the Ohio to the Department of the Missouri, where he will take a mundane staff position under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck.

Fellow Ohioan Don Carlos Buell has taken over Sherman’s Kentucky command and seems headed for glory while Sherman seems destined for oblivion. But stunning reversals of fortune await both Buell and Sherman.

>>> Elsewhere, in an age of open n anti-Semitism, something unusual happens in the Confederacy. CSA Attorney General Judah P. Benjamin, a Jew, becomes the new secretary of war. Benjamin will do as well as anyone could have in an extraordinarily difficult position, but after a few months he will change to the secretary of state’s position and serve there until the end of the war.

Your suggestions, comments, and questions are always welcome. Address the author: Ohioan@bloodtearsandglory.com

For more information about the author’s book, go to http://www.orangefrazer.com/btg

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