The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Battle of Missionary Ridge

When was Bragg finally relieved of command?

Jefferson Davis finally removed Bragg in December, replacing him with General Joseph Johnston. He was the same person who had commanded the defense of the Peninsula in 1862 and at the Mississippi defense of Gettysburg in 1863. One of the first comments made about Johnston came from Private Sam R. Watkins:

Allow me to introduce you to old Joe. Fancy, if you will, a man of about fifty years old, rather small of stature, but firmly and compactly built, an open and honest countenance, and a keen but restless black eye, that seemed to read your very inmost thoughts. In his dress he was a perfect dandy. He ever wore the finest clothes that could be obtained, carrying out to every point the dress and paraphernalia of the soldier, as adopted by the war department at Richmond.

All this sounds fine, if ornamental, but Private Watkins and many other men of the Army of Tennessee disliked Johnston’s campaign style, which resembled one elegant retreat after another.


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