Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 19, 1862 (Friday): Davis Visits the Troops

General Martin Luther Smith
JACKSON, MISS., December 19, 1862
Major-General MARTIN L. SMITH, Vicksburg:
    President Davis and myself leave here by train this evening for Vicksburg, with 6 staff officers.


Official Records, Series I., Vol. 20, Part 2, Page 454.

Davis and Johnston were on the way to visit Pemberton at Vicksburg.  Davis wanted to reinforce Pemberton with Bragg's army, which Johnston opposed.  This would leave Tennessee open to the Union and create an opportunity to shift forces eastward to threaten Lee in Virginia.  Johnston proposed using Holmes army in Arkansas to serve the same purpose, but Davis didn't believe this force was sufficient.  Smith was an engineer by trade and designed the defenses of Vicksburg.  He was a rarity in the army, a native of New York state who fought for the Confederacy.

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