Monday, May 5, 2014

March 11, 1864 (Friday): Halleck Steps Aside

General Henry Halleck

Washington, March 12, 1864.

The President of the Untied States orders as follows:
I. Major General H. W. Halleck is, at his own request, relieved from duty as General-in-Chief of the Army, and Lieutenant General U. S. Grant is assigned to the command of the Armies of the United States. The Headquarters of the Army will be in Washington, and also with Lieutenant-General Grant in the field.
II. Major General H. W. Halleck is assigned to duty in Washington as chief of staff of the Army, under the direction of the Secretary of War and the lieutenant-general commanding. His orders will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
* * * *
V. In relieving Major-General Halleck from duty as General-in- Chief the President desires to express his approbation and thanks for the able and zealous manner in which the arduous and responsible duties of that position have been performed.
     By order of the Secretary of War:

     E. D. TOWNSEND,
     Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series III., Vol. IV, Part 1, Page 172.

Halleck was called the most unpopular man in Washington.  He was an able administrator but a poor strategist.  Knowing Grant was to be named general-in-chief, Halleck was allowed to transfer to the position of Chief of Staff, which better suited his abilities.  For the remainder of the war he was mainly involved in managing the supply of the two major armies in the field. 

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