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Davis-Johnston Controversy


DAVIS-JOHNSTON CONTROVERSY, the factional differences between Confederacy president Jefferson Davis and his friends on the one hand, and Gen. J. E. Johnston and his partisans on the other. Disagreements included (1) the relative ranking of general officers after the First Battle of Bull Run; (2) transfer of command of the Army of Northern Virginia from Johnston to Robert E. Lee in the spring of 1862; (3) Johnston's assignment to command the forces in Tennessee, where he served in the winter of 1862–1863; (4) the unsuccessful defense of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863; and (5) Johnston's relief by Gen. J. B. Hood during the Atlanta campaign in the summer of 1864 and his restoration nearly a year later, after Hood had wrecked his army (see Hood's Tennessee Campaign) and the Confederacy was near collapse. For many years the arguments and accusations between the Davis and Johnston factions echoed savagely throughout the South, contributing to the violent anti-Davis sentiment of the winter of 1864–1865.


James, A. P. "General Joseph Eggleston Johnston, Storm Center of the Confederate Army." Mississippi Valley Historical Re-view. (1927).

Symonds, Craig L. Joseph E. Johnston: A Civil War Biography. New York: Norton, 1992.

Woodworth, Steven E. No Band of Brothers: Problems in the Rebel High Command. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

Thomas RobsonHay/t. d.

See alsoAtlanta Campaign ; Tennessee, Army of (Confederate) .

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