Friday, November 23, 2012

November 24, 1862 (Monday): Johnston to Command Department of the West

General Joseph Johnston

SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Number 275. Richmond, Va., November 24, 1862.
    III. General J. E. Johnston, C. S. Army, is hereby assigned to the following geographical command, to wit: Commencing with the Blue Ridge range of mountains running through the western part of North Carolina, and following the line of said mountains through the northern part of Georgia to the railroad south from Chattanooga; thence by that road to WEST Point, and down the WEST or right bank of the Chattahoochee River to the boundary of Alabama and Florida, following that boundary WEST to the Choctawhatchee River, and down that river to Choctawhatchee Bay (including the waters of that bay) to the Gulf of Mexico. All that portion of country WEST of said line to the Mississippi River is included in the above command. General Johnston will, for the purpose of correspondence and reports, establish his headquarters at Chattanooga, or such other place as in his judgment will best secure facilities for ready communication with the troops within the limits of his command, and will repair in person to any part of said command whenever his presence may for the time be necessary or desirable.
    By command of the Secretary of War:

   Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 24, Part 1, Page 213.

Johnston having returned to health after his wounding at Seven Pines is now named to command the Department of the West.  He is now in charge of Bragg in Tennessee and Pemberton in Mississippi.  Although there is some logic to having a commander over two armies encompassed within such a large territory, there is still animosity between Davis and Johnston and nothing to suggest a change in the nature of their relationship.  Johnston, like Lee, must win Davis' approval for major undertakings.  Unlike Lee, Johnston has no gift for tact and diplomacy. 

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