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Army of the Ohio and Army of the Cumberland

        The Department of Kentucky, which constituted the whole of that State within a hundred miles of the Ohio River, was merged in the Department of the Cumberland, comprising the States of Kentucky and Tennessee, August 15, 1861. On November 9th, it was renamed the Department of the Ohio, the States of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana being added. The troops in this region (over whom McClellan, Rosecrans, O. M. Mitchel, Robert Anderson, and W. T. Sherman had, at different times and places, control) were now organized into the Army of the Ohio, with Major-General Don Carlos Buell in command. Although the department was merged into that of Mississippi in March, 1862, the Army of the Ohio retained its name. This was the body that brought such timely assistance to Grant at Shiloh and drove Bragg out of Kentucky. The army was organized into three corps in September, 1862, but the following month (October 24th) the Department of the Cumberland was recreated to consist of eastern Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, and the Army of the Ohio, which had operated chiefly in that region, now became officially the Fourteenth Army Corps, but better known as the Army of the Cumberland. On October 30th, Buell was replaced by Major-General W. S. Rosecrans, and the Fourteenth Corps was reorganized into the Right Wing, Center, and Left Wing, later the Fourteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-first Army corps. The last two were afterward consolidated as the Fourth Corps. With this army, Rosecrans fought the battle of Stone's River, drove Bragg across the Tennessee, and was defeated at Chickamauga. Major-General George H. Thomas succeeded to the command October 20, 1863. The army distinguished itself on Missionary Ridge and through the Atlanta campaign (as a part of the Military Division of the Mississippi), and in the campaign against Hood in Tennessee. The army had four divisions of cavalry. It had a reserve corps for a short time, and received two corps from the Army of the Potomac, which were finally consolidated into the reorganized Twentieth Corps.
        Major-General Don Carlos Buell (U. S. M. A. 1841) was born March 22, 1818, near Marietta, Ohio, and served in the Mexican War. When the Civil War broke out he assisted in the organization of volunteers, and in November, 1861, took charge of the Department and Army of the Ohio. He was soon raised to the rank of major-general of volunteers. His last service in this army was the driving of Bragg out of Kentucky, for this, with the preceding Tennessee campaign during the summer of 1862, aroused such criticism that he was replaced, October 30th, by Major-General Rosecrans and tried before a military commission. An adverse report was handed in, and Buell resigned from the army June 1, 1864. He then became president of the Green River Iron Company, and, 1885-89, was pension-agent at Louisville. He died near Rock-port, Kentucky, November 19,1898.
        Major-General William Starke Rosecrans (U. S. M. A. 1842) was born at Kingston, Ohio, September 6, 1818. He served in the Engineer Corps and as assistant professor at West Point. In 1854, he resigned from the army to practice architecture and civil engineering, but at the outbreak of the Civil War he tendered his services to the Government and was made brigadier-general of the regular army, and major-general of volunteers in March, 1862. He succeeded McClellan at. the head of the army of occupation in western Virginia after his victory at Rich Mountain, and held it until Major-General Fremont took charge of the Mountain Department, March 29, 1862. From June 26th until the end of October, Rosecrans was Pope's successor in the Army of the Mississippi and, taking command of the District of Corinth, he defeated the Confederate forces at Iuka and Corinth. He now replaced Buell in the Army of the Cumberland. As general commanding he won the battle of Stone's River, but was defeated at Chickamauga, and was succeeded by Major-General George H. Thomas. He then spent a year in command of the Department of Missouri, during which he drove Price out of the State, and on December 9, 1864, was relieved of active command. After resigning his commission, in 1866, he was United States minister to Mexico, and was in Congress from 1881 to 1885. In 1889, Congress restored him to the rank and pay of brigadier-general. He died at Redondo, California, March 11, 1898.
        Major-General George Henry Thomas (U. S. M. A. 1840) was- born in Southampton County, Virginia, July 31, 1816. He served in the Seminole and Mexican wars, and had risen to the grade of lieutenant-colonel when the Civil War broke out. In August, 1861, he was made brigadier-general of volunteers. His first services in the war were rendered in the Departments of Pennsylvania and of the Shenandoah. His division of the Army of the Ohio defeated the Confederate forces at Mill Springs, Kentucky, January 19, 1862. This victory first brought him into notice, and shortly afterward he was made major-general of volunteers. He was put at the head of the Center (Fourteenth Corps) of the reorganized Army of the Cumberland, and in October, 1863, he assumed the chief command, distinguishing himself at Missionary Ridge, in the Atlanta campaign, and in the crushing defeat of Bragg at Nashville. He was promoted to major-general in the regular army for his services at Nashville, December 15, 1864. He narrowly escaped this honor, for, impatient at his delay in attacking Hood-a delay occasioned by the very inclement weather-Grant had sent Major-General Logan to relieve him, and the latter was on the way. He had also shown himself a gallant fighter in the earlier battles of Stone's River, and Chickamauga, where he held the left wing of the army against tremendous odds. This feat is considered one of the most glorious of the whole war. With the right wing of the army routed and in utter confusion, Thomas kept his position against the whole of Bragg's army until ordered to withdraw. He declined the brevet of lieutenant-general, which President Johnson offered him in 1868. Two years later he died in San Francisco, March 28, 1870.
Source: "Photographic History of the Civil War"

This Page last updated 03/21/04

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