Sherman and His Campaigns a Military Biography

By S. M. Bowman; R. B. Irwin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV.
THE ARMY OF THE CENTRE.

As the army corps had relieved the commanders of departments from the care of the great mass of minor and personal details relating to the troops under them, so the organization of military divisions, now for the first time introduced into our service--although something similar had been intended when General McClellan was first called to Washington--left the generals selected to command them entirely free to devote their minds to the organization, administration, and movement of their armies against the enemy. Tactical details devolved upon the department commanders. The unit habitually contemplated by the commander of the military division became an army; his detachments were army corps.

The military division of the Mississippi, in the personal command of which Sherman had just relieved the lieutenantgeneral, consisted of the four large departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and Arkansas. Embracing the great central belt of territory from the Alleghanies to the western boundary of Arkansas, it included the entire theatre of war from Chattanooga to Vicksburg. Four large Union armies occupied this central zone.

The army of the Ohio, consisting of the Ninth and Twentythird Army Corps, was at Knoxville. Major-General John M. Schofield had just taken command of it. Longstreet had disappeared from its front, and was retreating into Virginia to join Lee, and the Ninth Corps was on the way to re-enforce the army of the Potomac. The Twenty-third Corps, as it presently took the field, consisted of the divisions of Brigadier-Generals Miles S. Hascall and Jacob D. Cox. Three divisions remained to garrison East Tennessee and Kentucky.

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