Commanding generals and chiefs of staff, 1775-2010 : by William Gardner Bell; Center of Military History

By William Gardner Bell; Center of Military History

From the Foreword: management is of surpassing significance of fingers. Judgment, competence, and braveness frequently count number for greater than armed could on my own achieve luck. Generalship is punctiliously studied by means of infantrymen who will lead males in strive against, whether they aspire to general-officer rank themselves. through the years our relatively younger military has built a powerful record of senior officials who've ably Read more...

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62 If the commanding general’s authority was circumscribed, so was his rank. When Sheridan took over the senior officer’s position, he retained his three-star rank because of the Army Appropriations Act of 1870 provision specifying that “the offices of General and Lieutenant General of the army shall continue until a vacancy shall occur . . and no longer. . 63 Congressional sentiment against upper-level institutional rank, firm during periods of peace and routine operation, had a way of softening to meet special individual circumstances.

50 Like his three immediate predecessors, William Tecumseh Sherman had graduated from the United States Military Academy. Commissioned in 1840, he held various assignments in the southern states and then served as an aide and adjutant in the East and in California during the Mexican War. He resigned in 1853 to try his hand at banking and law, but his lack of success turned him to the more compatible and more successful occupation of superintendent of a military college in Louisiana. Back in the Army in time to command a brigade in the 1861 Bull Run disaster, he was transferred to the western theater and participated in a succession of operations that culminated in his command of the Union forces there and final defeat of the Confederate armies in the deeper South.

With the disruptive issue settled through constitutional processes but with none of the parties—president, Congress, secretary—so substantially vindicated as to revel in victory, Stanton resigned and the turmoil subsided. The president and the Congress, perhaps subdued by the experience, agreed, although for different reasons, upon Major General John M. Schofield as a candidate to pick up the war office portfolio. Only months later Grant, little damaged by the imbroglio, was elected president of the United States.

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