Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 200
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 200
the balance against the Confederates, who sustained moreover the loss in morale. In 1865, however, Grant declared that “Murfreesborough was no victory” for the North; 1 and William T. Sherman wrote at the time that Rosecrans’s “victory at Murfreesborough is dearly bought.” 2  35
  If the student confines himself to the literature of this campaign alone, he will feel that the extensive claims of a victory made by the President and the people of the North were a clutching at straws; but if he looks ahead he will see that they were wiser than they knew, for he will then comprehend that to hold Tennessee Bragg needed a decisive success, and that his failure and the serious crippling of his army opened the way for the Union advance to Chattanooga the following summer. The campaigns of Perryville and Stone’s River were moreover a favorable augury to the cause of the North, inasmuch as they showed that in the Army of the West an education of generals was going on, that native military talent was in the process of development. George H. Thomas, a Virginian of the same good stuff as Washington and Robert E. Lee, was serving as second in command to Buell and to Rosecrans; he joined to ability in his profession and a scrupulous loyalty to his superiors, a conviction of the justice of the cause which, contrary to the example of his State, he had espoused. Although at first he had not unreasonably believed that injustice had been done him in that he was not made commander of the Army of the Cumberland at the time of Buell’s displacement, he gave a magnanimous and efficient support to Rosecrans, who could say of him that he was as wise in council as he was brave in battle. Philip H. Sheridan had distinguished himself at Perryville and now did gallant work at Stone’s River.  36
Note 1. N. & H., X, 281. [back]
Note 2. Sherman Letters, 182. [back]


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