Have We a General Among Us?

Saturday, January 17, 1863

At the present moment, however, the most promising of our soldiers is WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS. This officer was selected by General McCLELLAN at the outbreak of the war, and served under him in Western Virginia. He, like McCLELLAN, had served in the army, resigned, and engaged in scientific and business pursuits. When McCLELLAN was ordered to Washington ROSECRANS succeeded him, and thoroughly accomplished his work. He drove the rebels out of Western Virginia, and enabled the people of that State to organize a State government in peace. But for an accident he would have "bagged" FLOYD and his army. After a period of idleness, he was sent to Corinth, where he spent some weeks in necessary preparations, knowing that the enemy must attack him if he remained still. The attack came, and resulted not only in the repulse, but in the destruction of the rebel army, and enabled General GRANT to move forward to Oxford. Promoted then to the command of the Army of the Ohio, he spent six weeks at Nashville in concentrating his forces, and accumulating equipments and supplies for the campaign. He moved on 29th December, and after five days' desperate fighting, completely defeated, and "drove" the rebel army under Bragg, which, according to the Richmond papers, was "to repossess Nashville within a week." As a strategist ROSECRANS has proved himself second to none. In Western Virginia his combinations were most ingenious, and his foresight wonderful. So at Corinth, where he alone or his officers foresaw the battle, and how it would end. His wonderful mathematical ability, which was remarked at West Point, stood him in good stead. At Murfreesboro he seems to have developed personal gallantry of the GRANT order. Twice, at least, in the course of those five days' battles, he saved the day, and repelled the enemy, by galloping into the thick of the fight, and reanimating his troops by the spectacle of his courage. He is a man of enthusiasm, as well as a man of calculation: when his army fights, he is with them. If he pursues the enemy as briskly as he attacked them, none of our Generals will stand higher than ROSECRANS.

Return to Part 4 General Rosecrans