Saturday, December 1, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Monday, Dec. 2, 1861

“Take Your Husband Home”

Cump Sherman has flamed out. Again.

Less than two weeks after reporting to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck’s headquarters in St. Louis, Brig. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman over-reacts once more. Having resigned from command of Union forces in eastern Kentucky because of nervous strain, Sherman has been given what was thought to be a less stressful position of Halleck’s staff. He was to tour Missouri and report on the condition of Halleck’s troops.

But as he travels the region, Cump quickly grows alarmed at what he thinks is a likely attack on Union forces at Sedalia, Missouri. He orders two divisions of troops forward to reinforce Sedalia.

Information reaching Halleck from other sources, however, convinces him that no attack is imminent. He countermands Sherman’s orders and directs Cump to return to headquarters.

Worried about her husband, meanwhile, Ellen Sherman goes to St. St. Louis to see Cump. Halleck suggests a 20-day furlough for the frazzled Ohioan and tells Ellen, “Take your husband home and don’t let him talks politics or read newspapers for two weeks.” The Shermans leave for Lancaster, Ohio, their hometown, today.

It looks as if William Tecumseh Sherman is headed for oblivion, unable to cope with the demands of war.

>>> President Lincoln tells Halleck he can suspend Habeas Corpus within his department. Although Missouri remains in the Union, it is still a slave state and has enough Southern sympathizers to worry Halleck.

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