A Frontier State at War: Kansas, 1861-1865

By Albert Castel | Go to book overview

IX
The Tribulations of General Blunt

NO one in the radical camp hated General Schofield more than did General Blunt. His reasons were not merely political, they were personal. Early in 1863, following the Battle of Prairie Grove, Schofield had written to Curtis that Blunt should be relieved of field command and assigned exclusively to the primarily administrative duties of the District of Kansas. Blunt's campaign against Hindman, declared Schofield, had been "a series of blunders," and his army had "narrowly escaped disaster where it should have met with complete success." Blunt learned of this letter and very naturally was incensed. He intrigued with Curtis against Schofield and through Lane's influence thwarted Schofield's confirmation as major general by the Senate.1

With this background, the placing of Blunt under Schofield's command in May of 1863 was bound to lead to trouble between the two generals. All that was needed was an occasion, and this was soon supplied. Schofield, by dividing the District of Kansas in half and by transferring Blunt's headquarters to Fort Scott, deprived Blunt of control over the quartermaster depot at Fort Leavenworth. This control, for reasons previously explained,

____________________
1
OR, ser. I, XXII, pt. 2, 6, 94-95; Schofield, Forty-six Years, pp. 63-64; Blunt, "Civil War Experiences," KHQ, I ( May, 1932), 240.

-154-

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