In trying to build an independent nation, the Confederate government had to cope not only with the Federals, but with Southern state legislatures as well. Many Southerners saw the war as a defense of states' rights and were not convinced that these were served by Richmond.
Most Southerners went to war to defend states' rights, and for them the state was the most important governmental organization, the one to which the individual's primary allegiance was given. This philosophy affected the entire cause, but it first affected the efficiency of the Confederate Army in northern Virginia in a negative way. In the fall of 1861, army commander General Joseph E. Johnston recalled, “The President's visit to the army seems to have suggested to him its reorganization in such a manner, as far as practicable, as to put regiments of each State into the same brigades and divisions. The organization then existing had been made by General Beauregard and myself, necessarily without reference to States. The four or five regiments arriving first formed the first brigade, the next four or five the second, and so on. As the regiments united in this manner soon became attached to each other and to their commanders, it had been thought impolitic, generally, to disturb this arrangement. Soon after the President's return to Richmond, orders were issued directing me to organize the troops anew, so that each brigade should be formed of regiments belonging to the same State.”
Johnston, on October 11, protested this arrangement, which made no military sense, to the secretary of war: “In reference to the changes recommended by the President in uniting the troops from each State, as far as possible, into the same