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The Confederate government maintained the traditional American subordination of
the military to civilian political authority. Political leaders on several levels were
therefore bound to play an important part in determining which generals would fight the
Confederacy's war in the West and with what resources and strategy.
The first political leaders to take a hand in shaping the Confederate war effort west of the Appalachians were state governors Both sides in the Civil War strongly affirmed the doctrines of federalism and state-rights. Their war efforts were implemented and controlled to a large extent by state governments and their governors. States recruited the regiments of which the armies were composed, and state governors continued to exert their influence on those regiments as well as on the national government and its policies.
The most significant governor for Confederate military operations in the West was Tennessee governor Isham G. Harris. A lawyer in prewar Memphis, Harris had served two terms in the United States Congress and then returned to private practice before being elected governor of Tennessee in 1857, at the age of 39. He was re-elected in 1859 and again in 1861. When Abraham Lincoln was elected president, Harris became an ardent secessionist, eager to lead his state out of the Union together with the cotton states of the Deep South. That did not happen, but when in April 1861 Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina, precipitated war by firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln responded by calling for 75,000 volunteers to put down the revolt, Harris seized the moment. "Tennessee will not furnish a single man for the purpose of coercion," he responded to Lincoln, "but 50,000 if necessary for the defense of our rights and those of our Southern brothers." Harris successfully engineered Tennessee's secession, despite a population that was almost evenly divided on the issue, and then he got down to the business of organizing the state's armed forces before turning them over to the Confederacy.(1)
This was a process that took place in each of the Confederate states. Secession generally preceded formal incorporation into the Confederacy by several weeks. During that time, each state would place itself on a war footing, raising, organizing, and in many cases equipping the troops that would later be turned over to the Confederate government. This included even appointing a major general to command the state's short-lived "army." In Virginia that job went to Robert E. Lee. In the West, other future Confederate leaders received appointments as their states' commanding generals. In Louisiana, Governor Thomas O. Moore appointed Braxton Bragg as the state's commanding general. Across the river in Mississippi, Governor John J. Pettus gave the appointment to his state's most renowned soldier, Jefferson Davis. After Davis resigned the position in order to become president of the Confederacy, Pettus tapped Earl Van Dorn, a major in the regular army's crack Second Cavalry Regiment and later a prominent Confederate general. Political pressures tended to make the states' commanding generals likely candidates for a Confederate general's wreath and stars insignia, and this would have been true even if the persons in question were not, like Van Dorn and Bragg, officers of high repute in the prewar U.S. Army.
That fact is borne out by Harris's choice of a major general to command the Tennessee forces. Born in Tennessee in 1806, Gideon J. Pillow had chosen the career of a lawyer and had made a success of it. From there he had, like many successful lawyers in the South, gone on to planting and then, like many successful lawyers in both sections, to politics. It is strange to contemplate in our own day when lawyers and politicians, as a class, are not held in very high esteem, that Americans of the Civil War generation considered such persons to be great men and natural leaders. Thousands of men were eager to enlist and fight under the banners and the leadership of their favorite politicians. Many politicians, in turn, were more than eager to lead them, hoping to win military glory that they could parlay into even more political success.
Gideon Pillow had not waited for the Civil War in order to begin his quest for amateur military glory. In the Mexican War, a decade and a half before, Pillow had his friend President James K. Polk appoint him a major general direct from civilian life. The move was so obviously political that Polk could not get Congress's approval for it, and he had to avoid submitting his list of general officer appointments to Congress at all, lest his crony be rejected. That was not enough to save Pillow from disgrace. He earned the disdain of the top two U.S. generals in Mexico, Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor, the latter of whom referred to him as "that contemptible fellow." He got himself court-martialed and escaped punishment because he was a much better lawyer than he was a general. His most memorable deed in Mexico was, however, having his men construct a line of field fortificationsbackwards.2)
This background makes it all the more surprising that Gideon J. Pillow was the man whom Isham Harris selected to be the commanding general of Tennessee's forces as he set about organizing a state military establishment in the wake of secession. The key, as always, was politics. Pillow, like Harris, was a good southern Democrat. Though Pillow had not been, like Harris, a supporter of extreme southern rights Democrat John C. Breckinridge for president in the 1860 election (Pillow had backed national Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas instead), the important thing just now was that Pillow had been a staunch advocate of secession at the earliest possible moment after Lincoln's victory in that race. During February and March of 1861 he had helped rally public opinion in favor of Harris and an immediate departure from the Union. If any Tennessean was going to win military glory in the coming war, Harris wanted it to be Pillow. 3
Instead of winning military glory, however, Pillow performed precisely as his previous record had given reason to expect. When the Tennessee forces were incorporated into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America, Pillow found himself holding only a brigadier general's rank in the new Confederate service and subordinate to Confederate Major General Leonidas Polk. Seething at having been superseded by the government in Richmond, Pillow proved a difficult, well nigh impossible underling for Polk, countermanding his orders, refusing to cooperate, and com-plaining constantly that he was not allowed a respectable amount of discretion. Finally he resigned in a huff.4
Unfortunately for the Confederacy, he thought better of this action and sought and received his old job back. The South would have been better off without him. Pillow's two great opportunities to influence the course of the Civil War came in September 1861 and February 1862, the former before his short-lived retirement and the latter after. In August and September of 1861, Pillow played an important role in convincing his superior, Leonidas Polk, to make a military movement that was a supreme political folly. Pillow and Polk took their forces across the state line into avowedly neutral Kentucky in order to seize a favorable defensive position on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River at Columbus, Kentucky. In exchange for the minor military advantage they gained by this move, Pillow and Polk alienated wavering Kentuckians, undercut the efforts of Confederatesincluding Isham Harristo woo the Bluegrass State into the Southern fold, and opened up the entire state of Kentuckyand thus its neighbor to the south, Tennesseefor the advance of Union troops who dared not cross it before. This was particularly ironic in view of the fact that no Confederate was working harder to secure Kentucky's secession than Harris himself, and Harris had been so confident of the happy culmination to his efforts that he had oriented almost all of Tennessee's initial military build-up toward the defense of the Mississippi River Valley, the only viable route of Northern access to Tennessee as long as Kentucky remained forbidden ground to the Federal armies. Pillow and Polk put an end to all of that in a single September morning.
Pillow's second great contribution to Confederate defeat in the West flowed naturally from his first. On February 15, 1862, Pillow was second-in-command of a key post guarding part of the long Tennessee-Kentucky line that his influence had helped make into the Confederacy's indefensible frontier west of the Appalachians. The post was Fort Donelson, blocking Union access to Nashville and the rest of Middle Tennessee via the Cumberland River. Pillow and his superior, Brigadier General John B. Floyd, had been ordered to hold the fort temporarily, allowing time for the retreating Confederate army to get clear of Nashville and the upper Cumberland Valley. Then Floyd and Pillow were to cut their way out of the encircling Union forces and fall back to join the main Confederate army. All went well at first. The fort bought the needed day or two of time. Then the Confederates launched their breakout attempt and in a hard, all-day battle, opened the needed escape route. Pillow chose this point to make his influence felt, pressing upon Floyd his argument that the troops were tired and had not had anything to eat that day. They should go back to their camps, eat, rest, and get ready, and then make their escape. Incredibly, Floyd agreed. The Con-federates withdrew, the Federals surged back and restored their encirclement, and Floyd, Pillow, and company found themselves trapped without remedy. Given that Pillow was a man of such striking military and even political incompetence, it was disastrous for the Confederacy that he was at the same time so remarkably persuasive. The result of his influence at Fort Donelson was the loss of about 15,000 desperately needed Confederate troops, who went into captivity when their continued immediate service to the South might possibly have changed the course of the war. To compound Pillow's shame, he and his boss, Floyd, both managed to make good their own personal escapes while leaving their soldiers trapped like rats. Pillow and several staff officers paddled away across the Cumberland River in a small flatboat they had found tied up along the riverbank.5
It is worth considering, then, when weighing the contribution of Tennessee governor Isham G. Harris to the Confederate war effort in the West, that Gideon J. Pillow in a Confederate general's uniform was largely a monster of Harris's very own creation. That in itself was a serious contribution to Confederate failure in the West.
Nor was Pillow the only questionable general the Tennessee governor imposed on Jefferson Davis. Harris had selected Pillow largely because of the latter's Democratic, pro-secession politics. However, when Davis's initial appointments of Confederate generals from Tennessee included none but Democrats and original secessionists, Harris began to worry that he was getting too much of a good thing. The state was almost evenly divided between ardent secessionists and the more reluctant variety, and many of the latter were former members of the Whig party. Harris feared that drawing all of Tennessee's generals from the ranks of Democratic fire-eaters might leave former Whigs with the idea that this was a Democrats' and fire-eaters' war, and those hotheads should be left to fight it out for themselves. To prevent nearly half the state's population from drawing that very reason-able conclusion, Harris urged Davis to make generals out of some former Whigs too and sent him a list of likely candidates. At the top of the list was the name of Nashville newspaper editor Felix K. Zollicoffer. A Whig, Zollicoffer would cover Harris's political right flank, and though he had scant military experience as a militia officer, he should nonetheless be up to the task of commanding the small force of Confederate troops whose task it would be to suppress the Unionists of East Tennessee. Politically, it seemed like the ideal solution, and Davis readily seized upon it.6
Zollicoffer's case is an example of how dangerous it was for a president to make political appointments to military positions, even in the most apparently innocuous of circumstances. When Pillow and his superior Polk encroached on neutral Kentucky in September 1861, that state's neutrality evaporated, and Zollicoffer's rear-area policing duties turned into a front-line combat command. It can at least be said for the Nashville newspaperman that unlike Gideon Pillow he always showed plenty of pluck. Unfortunately, that was not enough for a general with a semi-independent command. Zollicoffer advanced his small force boldly into Kentucky, took up an ill-sited position on the upper Cumberland River, and soon found himself threatened by a superior Union force. Attacking in hopes of cutting his way out of his desperate situation, Zollicoffer was killed and his force routed at the battle of Mill Springs, January 19, 1862. The results of that debacle could have been even more dire for the Confederacy had not Pillow's cooperative blunder at Fort Donelson the following month presented Union forces with an even more attractive opportunity to tear apart the Confederacy's western front.7
Thus Isham G. Harris's contribution to Confederate officer personnel was more or less a disaster. His role in pushing incompetent officers on Jefferson Davis was probably the most destructive of any southern state governor's in such matters. In fairness, none of the governors was much help in this way. True, Virginia's John Letcher did appoint Robert E. Lee as his state's commanding general, but Lee's reputation in the Old Army guaranteed that he would not be overlooked by Jefferson Davis. If an officer or would-be officer needed a state governor to get him noticed in Richmond, he almost certainly did not merit the position. Furthermore, in Harris's defense, Tennessee presented particular political problems because of its divided loyalties. In essence, the Confederacy paid in military disadvantages and the blood of its soldiers for the need to woo unenthusiastic Tennesseans.
Harris did other things to influence the course of the war in the West. He did much valuable work in organizing military forces in Tennessee, so that the Confederacy could take over a working system of defense in the state. Harris's efforts in 1861 provided the vital core of what would become the Confederate Army of Tennessee, whose remnants finally surrendered to William T. Sherman at Durham Station, North Carolina, in April 1865. Unfortunately for the Confederacy, however, Harris assumed that Kentucky would remain neutral indefinitely and so oriented his defensive efforts primarily toward the Mississippi River. This orientation was natural for him as well as for the other large slaveholders who dominated Tennessee's secessionist politics in that they themselves came overwhelmingly from West Tennessee. This Mississippi River myopia on Harris's part helped to contribute to subsequent Confederate disasters at Forts Henry and Donelson, by which the Mississippi River defenses were turned.
Finally, Harris might have been of more service to the Confederacy had he possessed more knowledge of medicine. During the course of the war, Harris served as a volunteer military aide to several Confederate generals. At the battle of Shiloh, Harris was serving on the staff of General Albert Sidney Johnston, and when that officer was wounded on the afternoon of that battle's first day, Harris was the only staff member present. He led Johnston's horse to a sheltered area and helped the general dismount, but he was unable to locate Johnston's wound and took no steps to stanch his catastrophic loss of blood. Helplessly, Harris watched the general bleed to death, even thought Johnson had a spare tourniquet in his pocket.
Besides governors, other political leaders who exerted an influence on Confederate fortunes west of the Appalachians included certain key cabinet members. Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker was an Alabama fire-eater who had once quipped that he would sop up with his pocket handkerchief all the blood that might be shed as a result of Southern secession. He was not the most successful or influential of the Confederacy's secretaries of war, but he carried out Jefferson Davis's orders and his political instincts proved better than the president's on at least one occasion. When, in September 1861, Leonidas Polk, at Pillow's urging, moved his troops into Kentucky and Isham G. Harris sent an impassioned plea to Richmond for a reversal of this political disaster, Walker at Davis's behest responded immediately by ordering Polk to withdraw. Polk ignored the order and appealed to Jefferson Davis, who unwisely accepted the claims of his old West Point crony that the move was a military necessity and reversed himself. A few days later, Davis replaced Walker as secretary of war, but the Confederacy would have been better off if at least on this occasion Davis had sustained his initial decision and the orders issued by his secretary of war.8
The man who replaced Walker was Judah P. Benjamin. A Louisiana lawyer-planter, Benjamin might have been expected to show great interest in the western theater. However, perhaps to an even greater extent than was true with the Confederacy's other secretaries of war, Benjamin performed as an errand boy for Davis, taking no significant action without the president's direction. The most significant western theater decision to go out over Benjamin's signature was an early 1862 request to Braxton Bragg, then commanding a small force in Pensacola, Florida, to accept a transfer to the trans-Mississippi, which he would then command as a department separate from Albert Sidney Johnston's large western command. This, of course, was Davis's idea, and a very bad one. The Mississippi River was an absurdly obvious potential avenue of Union advance, and the Confederate defenders on both banks of the river needed to report to the same headquarters. In response to Benjamin's overture, Bragg readily agreed to go if ordered but raised a number of reservations about the wisdom of the move. Benjamin, again at Davis's behest, dropped the matter, and for the time being the Confederacy's western defenses remained undivided on the two sides of the Mississippi.
In the late winter of 1862, Benjamin's tenure at the War Department gave way to that of George W. Randolph. A Virginian and former U.S. naval officer, Randolph was in many ways the most able of the Confederacy's secretaries of war. Much of his attention, like that of other top Confederate leaders in the spring of 1862, was directed to the defense of Virginia in general and Richmond in particular. However, in the fall of that year, Randolph made his one special contribution to Confederate efforts in the West by urging trans-Mississippi commander Theophilus Holmes to take his force across the Mississippi to join with Confederate forces on the east bank. This made good sense, but unlike Benjamin's unfortunate overture to Bragg the previous winter, it was the secretary of war's very own initiative and not simply a message passed on from the president. Although Davis had only recently written to Holmes hinting at something of the sort, the outright urging on the part of Randolph seemed to offend the president. He now asserted that he had never suggested anything of the sort and that allowing Holmes and his forces to cross the river would be a terrible idea. He concluded by demanding that Randolph countermand his previous instruction to the general. Randolph did, and promptly resigned. As in the case of Walker on Kentucky neutrality, and even more emphatically this time, Davis would have been better off allowing his secretary of war's action to stand.9
Randolph's replacement was the longest-serving Confederate secretary of war, James A. Seddon. Like Randolph a Virginian, Seddon was capable but fully compliant to Davis. He not only followed the president's policies but made sure that he never appeared to be acting on his own initiative. In council Seddon was generally an advocate of a strong Confederate defense of the western theater, but naturally did not press his views to the point of conflict with Davis. During the Vicksburg campaign, and almost certainly with the president's approval, Seddon vigorously urged General Joseph E. Johnston to take positive steps for the relief of the besieged city, even to the point of offering to take full responsibility for failure if Johnston would only make the attempt. Like all other attempts to goad Johnston into action during the Vicksburg campaign, this one was doomed to failure.10
Aside from the Confederacy's several secretaries of war, one other cabinet member figured significantly in the course of the war in the West and that was Postmaster General John H. Reagan. When Davis and his cabinet met in May 1863 to discuss the military situation and whether Robert E. Lee ought to be allowed to take his army north of the Potomac that summer, Reagan, a Texan, argued the reinforcement of Johnston instead, in hopes that the Confederacy could lift the siege of Vicksburg. Reagan lost that debate, but he was so adamant in his belief that reinforcements ought to be sent to the Mississippi Valley that he urged Davis to call another meeting and revisit the matter the next day. Only when it became obvious that the rest of the cabinet would not support him did Reagan give up his efforts to see the western theater reinforced. Hindsight has made the postmaster general look very wise indeed.
Above them all and most important to Confederate fortunes in the West and elsewhere was Jefferson Davis. More than any other political leader Davis determined how the South would fight its war. It was Davis who acceded to Isham G. Harris's wishes and the perceived political exigencies of Tennessee by making generals of Gideon J. Pillow and Felix Zollicoffer. Davis who also made a general of Leonidas Polk because he believed the Episcopal bishop would, as a general, produce a good political effect on the people of the Mississippi Valley. It was Davis who acquiesced in Polk's foolish and premature squandering of Kentucky neutrality, countermanding the order he had directed Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker to give only hours before. It was Davis as well who dictated to every one of the Confederacy's secretaries of war virtually every significant military action or policy. For better or worseand the end result was much for the worsethe Confederacy's struggle was Jefferson Davis's war.
Davis's performance as Confederate commander-in-chief was good in some ways, bad in others. On the one hand, he lost a very winnable war. On the other, he avoided many mistakes that might have hastened defeat and thereby shortened the war considerably.
Davis's selection of general officers is an example of these two parallel aspects of his tenure. He did make disastrous appointments such as those of Polk, Pillow, John B. Floyd, and John McCown, to name a few. However, at the same time Davis showed a marked preference for trained military professionals and a comprehensive knowledge as to which officers of the old United States Army were held in the highest regard. In Virginia, that preference ultimately gained him a success-ful commander in the person of Robert E. Lee. In the West, the situation was more problematic. Whether Albert Sidney Johnston would have fulfilled his pre-war promise or continued his early war misfortunes became a moot point by 2:30 in the afternoon on April 6, 1862, when Johnston succumbed to the effects of wounds received that day at the battle of Shiloh. Thereafter, Davis's old Regulars of high reputationPierre G. T. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, and Joseph E. Johnston proved less than fully satisfactory commanders. So too did several of Davis's appointments to the rank of lieutenant generalJohn C. Pemberton, William J. Hardee, Daniel H. Hill, and James Longstreet. Each of these men was a West Point graduate but none proved fully successful in the West and some were nothing short of disastrous.
In the cases of Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston, character flaws prevented otherwise talented men from achieving success. Davis failed to anticipate these flaws from the men's prewar record, but he did quickly diagnose the problem in at least Beauregard, whom he subsequently relegated to less important assignments.
Davis seems to have been aware that there was something wrong with Joseph E. Johnston as well, but in that general's case, the Confederate president seemed almost completely unable to set aside the previous high opinion in which Johnston had been held by the nation's military community. For Davis the prospect of getting good service out of the fatally flawed Johnston was a will-o-the-wisp, an alluring prospect that seemed to hang always just out of reach. Somehow, in another assignment, another place, Johnston would turn into the good general everyone had always thought he would be. He never did. By the time Davis realized his error in Johnston's case, the general had already done great damage to Confederate fortunes in the West, by failing to make any effort to relieve Vicksburg during the spring 1863 siege, by allowing the initiative to remain in Union hands during the year that followed, and by surrendering without a fight so much territory in northern Georgia that the fall of Atlanta was already assured well before Davis finally sacked him in mid-July 1864. Even before the fall of Vicksburg, Davis seems to have begun to grasp Johnston's worthless-ness as an army commander, but the Confederate president was boxed in by his own rigid preference for West Point-trained professionalsa preference that served him well at other timesand his stubborn insistence on the primacy of seniority. By that time, few other choices remained open for Davis within the artificial constraints he had erected.
In the way he handled his generals, Davis once again could have done either better or worse. He encouraged his generals to fight when necessary, and his strategic advice was often sound. He also showed a reluctance to reward generals who fomented discontent against their superiors, as Daniel Harvey Hill learned when his all but mutinous behavior during and after the Chickamauga campaign resulted in his virtual demotion from lieutenant general down to the rank of major general.
In this area of endeavor, however, there is far more to criticize in Davis's performance. The Confederate president did not make the most of his available officers. He practiced gross cronyism in his appointments and subsequent indestructible support of the incompetent and massively disruptive Leonidas Polk, handicapping every general who had to try to accomplish anything with the high-ranking but unsuited bishop-general. At least in part to cover his favoritism to Polk, Davis insisted on a rigid adherence to the primacy of seniority in the appointment and promotion of generals, refusing to remove inadequate senior officers (such as Polk) or to advance their more talented juniors.
Davis's most serious misuse of a general was the case of Braxton Bragg. Bragg was a flawed but talented general, a good organizer and strategist and an adequate tactician by Civil War standards. He was less than adequate at the arts of motivating his high-level subordinates. While it would obviously have been desirable to have in Bragg's place some sort of Robert E. Lee-clone, that was an obvious impossibility. Davis was well aware that he would have to make do in this waras in any warwith a very few great generals and a larger number of mediocre ones. All the more reason, then, that Davis should have worked doubly hard to compensate for Bragg's political flaws so that he could get good service out of this in some ways mediocre general. Instead, Davis presented Bragg with a situation that probably no general, including either Lee or Ulysses S. Grant, could have overcome. Davis forced upon Bragg as top-level subordinates, against the latter's expressed wishes, a collection of misfits, malcontents, and malicious schemers, many of them of doubtful quality, including the president's precious crony Polk and such Lee-rejects as Daniel H. Hill. These men undermined Bragg not only by spreading gossip and innuendo against him within the army but also by insuring, through blunders and outright disobedience of orders, the failure of every one of Bragg's major campaigns. As the malcontents intended, Bragg's popularity finally dropped to the point that Davis had no choice but to remove him, but the damage done to the Confederacy by that time was incalculable. Davis should not have permitted this.
More equivocal was Davis's organization of the territory within the western theater. His departmental organization had much to recommend it, as especially during the first year of the war it helped to rationalize and direct the Confederacy's defensive efforts. On the other hand, Davis showed a propensity to allow a lack of cooperation across departmental lines, and, most seriously, he allowed himself to think of the Mississippi River as a tidy departmental dividing line rather than a potential, indeed, certain highway of invasion. The tendency to divide command along the Father of Waters was displayed in his earlier 1862 query to Bragg regarding an independent trans-Mississippi command and in the subsequent creation of such a department under the command of other officers. It became virulent with Davis's refusal to back Randolph's suggestion of cross-river cooperation and combination in the fall of 1862. Long before Vicksburg fell, Davis's policies had already severed the ties of military cooperation across the great river.
In summary, Davis, like other Confederate political leaders, played an important role in shaping the course of military events in the western theater of the Civil War. In the president's case, as in that of the governors and cabinet members, that role was of decidedly mixed quality, sometimes aiding Confederate fortunes and sometimes helping to fasten upon the would-be nation the doom that finally overtook it.
1. Stewart Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War (New York: Facts on File, 1988), 285.
2.Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr. And Roy P. Stonesifer, Jr., The Life and Wars of Gideon J. Pillow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), 49-121; Arndt M. Stickles, Simon Bolivar Buckner: Borderland Knight (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940), 144.
3.Hughes and Stonesifer, Gideon J. Pillow, 157.
4.John D. Martin to Jefferson Davis, July 1, 1861 Manuscript Department, Perkins Library, Duke University; The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1881-1901), vol. 3, p. 317; vol. 4, p. 364; vol. 52, pt. 2, pp. 118-20 (hereinafter cited as OR; all references are to Series I); Stanley Horn, The Army of Tennessee (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1941), 49; Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Army of the Heartland: The Army of Tennessee, 1861-1862 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1967), 49; Joseph H. Parks, General Leonidas Polk, C.S.A.: The Fighting Bishop (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1960), 177-78, 203; Hughes and Stonesifer, Gideon J. Pillow, 174-92.
5.OR vol. 7, p. 255, 296-97; Benjamin Franklin Cooling, Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987), 180; Horn, The Army of Tennessee, 93; Gideon J. Pillow, 237-38.
6.Harris to Jefferson Davis, July 13, 1861, Isham G. Harris Papers, Tennessee State Library and Archives; OR vol. 4, pp. 365-66, 374-75; vol. 51, pt. 2, p. 180; John B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, ed. Earl Schenck Miers (New York: Sagamore Press, 1958), 41.
7.Steven E. Woodworth, Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1990), 62-70.
8.I.G. Harris to Jefferson Davis, September 4, 1861, I. G. Harris Papers, Tennessee State Library and Archives; OR vol. 4, pp. 180-81; Woodworth, Jefferson Davis and His Generals, 40-42.
9. Dunbar Rowland, ed., Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist: His Letters, Papers and Speeches, 10 vols. (Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1923), 5:356-57. 371; OR vol. 13, pp. 906-7, 914-15; Rembert W. Patrick, Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1944), 127-29; Randolph to Davis, November 15, 1862, Randolph Family Papers, Edgehill Randolph Collection, University of Virginia; Woodworth, Jefferson Davis and His Generals, 179-80.
10. OR vol. 24, pt. 1, pp. 227-28.