Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863
The Army of Northern Virginia Moves North
What did Jefferson Davis say?
Earlier in the war, Jefferson Davis had put his fullest trust in one man, General Albert Sidney Johnston, who died at the Battle of Shiloh. Davis still had a tendency to play favorites with his generals—Joseph Johnston, for example, was not one of them, but Davis saw clearly when it came to Lee. There was only one person whom the Army of Northern Virginia would follow into any and all danger, and that was Lee.
Davis, therefore, gave his blessing to the invasion of the North, and, typically, he gave Lee a great deal of freedom in the design. Davis did not fear for the safety of Richmond because the Yankees would have to defend Washington. What he was concerned with was the situation at Vicksburg, but it had slipped beyond his control.