View single post by cklarson
 Posted: Tue Nov 3rd, 2009 06:41 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 23rd, 2007
Posts: 111

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RE: Anna Ella Carroll: You're exactly correct. As one commentator noted, any competent military mind should have been able to figure out the Tenn. R. was better than the Mississippi. And so did Halleck and Foote and C. F. Smith and Grant. Unfortunately McClellan was relying on Buell for thinking and not at all communicating with Lincoln. Many thought E. TN was the key strategic point.

Most historians solely credit Grant, relying on his writings and the memos in the campaign section of Vol. 7 of the ORA. But you need to go through all the background correspondence, the Navy records, Lincoln's and Stanton's records, Thomas Scott's bio and Carroll'l papers and congressional testimony to learn the real story. I just figured that neither Grant nor Carroll were wrong, but the story was bigger than the two of them which it was. I took a lateral cut across the administration and all the pieces fell perfectly into place.

You can read my whole Tenn. R. chapter online at - right sidebar, scroll down. Of course, I'd like people to buy my book too, since it was totally self-funded and due to discrimination I was unable to engage a trade publisher and had to self publish, in spite of excellent recommendations. There are a lot of people out there who don't want to give a woman credit for critical historical evnts, particularly military ones.

Also a note on Greenhow. Like Van Lew and Carroll, she was a Washington society doyenne, had cultivated the scions of DC for years as her husband had been a top State Dept. official. She had been a protege of Calhoun and was an informal political adviser to Buchanan. At the end of the war Jeff Davis entrusted her with an imporant diplomatic mission to Europe. She was said to be having an affair with Sen. Henry Wilson, from whom she allegedly obtained some of her information. These were very important women, but women aren't supposed to be important historically so they are consistently marginalized.

C. Kay Larson
Author: Great Necessities: The Life, Times and WRitings of Anna Ella Carroll, 1815-1894 (

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