View single post by barrydancer
 Posted: Mon May 18th, 2009 03:26 am
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barrydancer
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For those interested, here is the relevant passage regarding Logan, from Lewis' Sherman, Fighting Prophet, as mentioned above on page 375. 

"Jealousy of Grant was the curious reason given by Don Piatt for Sherman's decision to attack Kenesaw [sic].  Piatt, who disliked Sherman, said after the war that Logan had told him of a dramatic interview in McPherson's tent on the night of June 26.  Sherman was reading a newspaper filled with accounts of how, early in the month, Grant, abandoning his bloody frontal assaults on Lee, had dropped below the James River and suddenly appeared on Lee's flank, attacking from the south-his Vicksburg technique again.  Logan said that Sherman had looked up from the newspaper to say

that the whole attention of the country was fixed on the Army of the Potomac and that his army was entirely forgotten.  Now it would fight.  Tomorrow he would order the assault.  McPherson quietly said that there was no necessity for the step, sicne Johnston could be outflanked and that the assualt would be too dear.

But Sherman had answered that 'it was necessary to show that his men could fight as well as Grants.'"

The book's citations are atrocious, so I have no clue as to where Piatt's account comes from, but some things stand out.  One, the anecdote is second hand.  The source for Logan's assertions is not Logan himself, but rather Don Piatt, to whom Logan told this story sometime "after the war."  Was Logan still alive to corroborate the story when Piatt made his claim?  Was anyone else present for Logan's telling of the story?  If Piatt didn't like Sherman, as Lewis claims, then does that cast some doubt on his Piatt's criticisms of Sherman?

Secondly, I think it's a leap, at least from what is presented by Lewis, to accuse Sherman of being jealous of Grant's "butchery."  From this, it sounds more like Sherman is jealous of the Army of the Potomac getting all the headlines, and Grant for managing to slip below and outflank the Army of Northern Virginia.  Sherman then made his mind up to go at Johnston so he too could get in the paper for a grand battle.

I'm not sure how this is presented in the Castel and McKinney works, but their sources may be Piatt, as well.

Last edited on Mon May 18th, 2009 03:26 am by barrydancer

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