Three Years in the Army of the Cumberland
by James A. Connolly
Paul M. Angle, editor
Indiana University Press, 1959
page 133-5

                                                                                                        Chattanooga, Nov. 5, 1863.
Dear wife:

   It is now ten o'clock at night.  I took up a paper tonight and read the remarks of General Rosecrans at Cincinnati; I laid the paper down, mad, indulged myself with a mental denunciation of all Generals, except "our Rosy," took up the paper again and read Henry Ward Beecher's address at Manchester, England, and felt better; am decidedly in favor of Beecher and his political theories; hurrah for Beecher, Gerrit Smith, Wendell Phillips, and every other earnest man who has sense enough to know what is right politically as well as morally, and has courage enough to proclaim it and act it.

   I am as confirmed an abolitionist as ever was pelted with stale eggs, but I rarely think of it except when I see the operations of old stay-at-home politicians to drag down and ruin every earnest man who, in these days of action and earnestness, is supplanting them in the affections of the people.  Rosecrans relieved!  Then comes the starveling crew of home politicians to defame his character, to defame a name that should stand bright on the pages of history, to steal away laurels that such as they can never win.  If such men and such reports are to mould public opinion, God help the Republic!  I have no patience to think about it, much less to write about it.  The scoundrels!  How can men be so depraved?  General Rosecrans was my beau ideal of a leader; I would follow him with the devotion of the crusaders for "Peter the Hermit."  This entire army was an army of crusaders under his leadership.  He was the light and life of this army.  When the order for his removal was made public this army said nothing, it was dumb, the blow was too sudden and too severe for speech; we all now pursue our way quietly, as soldiers bound to obey the orders of our superiors; we used to obey because we loved our leader, but let it be announced tomorrow that Rosecrans was to command us again, and every silent tongue in this quiet army would find a voice, whose loud acclaim would almost wake again to the deadly shock our sleeping comrades on Chickamauga's banks.  But enough; we'll triumph under Grant, just as well as Rosecrans, and perhaps it is right that Generals should be dealt with unjustly sometimes, as well as privates.


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