Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History

By Richard M. McMurry | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
Confederate Contributions

From the beginning of the Civil War to its end, one side effect of several of the decisions, practices, and policies of the Confederate government was the hampering of the Army of Tennessee. Such a consequence, of course, was not intended by any of the Rebel officials who set the policies and made the decisions, and many of the problems that arose from the government's actions were not unique to the western army. The Army of Northern Virginia, however, was the beneficiary of some of these government policies, and it was less hurt by many others than was the Army of Tennessee.

The earliest--and for the western Rebels probably the most damaging--government decision concerned the location of the Southerners' national capital. The first Confederate capital was Montgomery, Alabama. The city had been chosen as the place to organize the new government because it was conveniently located near the geographical center of the first six states that seceded. Once the Confederate government was organized, it remained in Montgomery for only about three months.

Shortly after Virginia left the Union, Rebel political authorities decided to transfer their seat of government to Richmond. There were several compelling arguments behind their action. Montgomery, with a total population of only about nine thousand, was too small to house a national government with its soon-to-be- bloated bureaucracy, its politicians, its lobbyists, its profiteers, and its assorted other hangers-on. Alabama's capital city was uncomfortable--hot, humid, crowded, dirty, and insect-plagued. Once secession had run its course, moreover, Montgomery was judged to be too far removed from any of the likely areas of major military operations.

-56-

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Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter One - Two Great Armies 1
  • Chapter Two - Some Basic Factors 10
  • Chapter Three - the Yankee Influence 30
  • Chapter Four - Confederate Contributions 56
  • Chapter Five - History's Role 74
  • Chapter Six - Officers and Enlisted Men 87
  • Chapter Seven - the General Officers 106
  • Chapter Eight the Commanding Generals 118
  • Chapter Nine Historians and Generals 140
  • Appendix Known Antebellum Military Experience of Confederate Generals 157
  • Notes 167
  • Bibliography 181
  • Index 189
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