Do we know why Davis didn't just order Hardee to take permanent command after Bragg resigned?

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Do we know why Davis didn't just order Hardee to take permanent command after Bragg resigned. Also do we know why Davis allowed Pemberton to resign as LT general when Pemberton had simply carried out Davis command to defend Vicksburg at all costs. Both men were competent officers equal to if not superior to Bragg, A S Johnston or Beauregard.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Pemberton was no traitor to the confederacy. As for his subordinates they sure as hell were no beauties. The Vicksburg defense was undermined by a courier betrayal.
What Hardee wanted was immaterial he was a soldier and had a duty to carry out a lawful order.
Davis stoutly defended incompetents like Northrup, Bragg, Hood .
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
As far as Davis allowing Pemberton to resign , Davis' friend Braxton Bragg more than likely put a bug in Davis' ear concerning the situation and said "it would not be advisable" for him (Bragg) to take on a discredited Pemberton. After his exchange and return to Richmond Pemberton waited almost 8 months for his assignment.

I doubt Davis and Bragg should be described as "friends".

They both went to West Point, but Davis graduated in 1828 and resigned in 1835. Bragg graduated in 1837, so they never knew one another in their Regular Army days. Davis did come down to fight in Mexico as colonel of a Mississippi regiment for about 9 months (left New Orleans July 21, 1846) and was with Taylor at Monterey and Buena Vista (where Bragg and Davis won the battle for Taylor). Then Davis was appointed Senator and left. Davis admired Bragg's performance there and his strict sense of duty and efficiency.

Bragg had a decades long record of fighting with superiors about strange things. When he was an Artillery 2nd Lt fresh out of West Point, Bragg started a feud with the head of the Artillery branch, then expanded that to include the commanding general of the Army, Winfield Scott. In the 1850s, when Davis was Secretary of War, they feuded but Davis promoted Bragg to be a major in the new 2nd Cavalry Regiment (a plum assignment that ambitious Army officers would fight to get). Bragg did not want it, digging his heels in and refusing to say when he'd report. Eventually, the 2nd Cavalry wrote to Washington asking if Major Bragg was ever going to show up. Washington put the question to Bragg, who decided to resign (he had married a rich Louisiana woman in 1849, this was 1855) -- Bragg took over a 100+ slave sugar plantation and ran it with Army efficiency, making even more money.

George Thomas got Bragg's spot with the 2nd Cavalry.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
True enough but Bragg was a full general Pemberton was not. I would think Davis would listen to a suggestion from a general rather than a
I doubt Davis and Bragg should be described as "friends".

They both went to West Point, but Davis graduated in 1828 and resigned in 1835. Bragg graduated in 1837, so they never knew one another in their Regular Army days. Davis did come down to fight in Mexico as colonel of a Mississippi regiment for about 9 months (left New Orleans July 21, 1846) and was with Taylor at Monterey and Buena Vista (where Bragg and Davis won the battle for Taylor). Then Davis was appointed Senatoraavis admired Bragg's performance there and his strict sense of duty and efficiency.

Bragg had a decades long record of fighting with superiors about strange things. When he was an Artillery 2nd Lt fresh out of West Point, Bragg started a feud with the head of the Artillery branch, then expanded that to include the commanding general of the Army, Winfield Scott. In the 1850s, when Davis was Secretary of War, they feuded but Davis promoted Bragg to be a major in the new 2nd Cavalry Regiment (a plum assignment that ambitious Army officers would fight to get). Bragg did not want it, digging s heels in and refusing to say when he'd report. Eventually, the 2nd Cavalrywrote to Washington asking if Major Bragg was ever going to show up. Washington put the question to Bragg, who decided t
 

Saruman

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
As far as Davis allowing Pemberton to resign , Davis' friend Braxton Bragg more than likely put a bug in Davis' ear concerning the situation and said "it would not be advisable" for him (Bragg) to take on a discredited Pemberton. After his exchange and return to Richmond Pemberton waited almost 8 months for his assignment.

The fact that Pemberton accepted a lieutenant colonelcy in the artillery when Davis couldn't find another position for him shows him to be truly dedicated to the South. I think other generals in a similar situation would have simply resigned and gone home to sulk (i.e., someone like Joe Johnston).
 

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
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Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
Do we know why Davis didn't just order Hardee to take permanent command after Bragg resigned. Also do we know why Davis allowed Pemberton to resign as LT general when Pemberton had simply carried out Davis command to defend Vicksburg at all costs. Both men were competent officers equal to if not superior to Bragg, A S Johnston or Beauregard.
Davis did want Hardee to take command, so he could prevent Johnston or Beauregard (his only two real options, whom he both despised for reasons both personal and practical). But Hardee flat out asked to be put back in Corps command, and he didn't want to command the AoT. And so, Davis puts Johnston in command. Johnston turns around morale in the army and helps with resupplying units with uniforms and weapons and such. Of course, Johnston was an awful field commander, being good at setting up solid defensive lines, only for Sherman to turn position after position, and had pretty much no real strategy. Johnston gets replaced by Hood, not by Hardee, because Hardee was as milktoast and rigid minded as it got.

Pemberton was an OK general. I'd say he'd have done better under better leadership; maybe he would have been better as an artillery commander. But his reputation is destroyed at Vicksburg, and his northern birth couples to make him very unpopular with the soldiers; hence why he doesn't get a corps command, but resigns, reverts to Lt. Colonel and commands artillery around Richmond.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
Davis did want Hardee to take command, so he could prevent Johnston or Beauregard (his only two real options, whom he both despised for reasons both personal and practical). But Hardee flat out asked to be put back in Corps command, and he didn't want to command the AoT. And so, Davis puts Johnston in command. Johnston turns around morale in the army and helps with resupplying units with uniforms and weapons and such. Of course, Johnston was an awful field commander, being good at setting up solid defensive lines, only for Sherman to turn position after position, and had pretty much no real strategy. Johnston gets replaced by Hood, not by Hardee, because Hardee was as milktoast and rigid minded as it got.

Pemberton was an OK general. I'd say he'd have done better under better leadership; maybe he would have been better as an artillery commander. But his reputation is destroyed at Vicksburg, and his northern birth couples to make him very unpopular with the soldiers; hence why he doesn't get a corps command, but resigns, reverts to Lt. Colonel and commands artillery around Richmond.
Yeah. Pemberton got a raw deal, getting stuck between Johnston and Davis. I blame them for the fall of Vicksburg, not him.
 

Luke Freet

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Define 'ok'
I don't think he's some secret military genius. Pemberton was quite passive, but he's been thrust up the ranks rapidly. He doesn't command troops in battle in the war until Champion Hill. He's ordered by his superiors to hold Vicksburg, which he does to the best of his ability. Only when supplies have dwindled does he surrender, and he gets good terms. He makes a few mistakes. Big Black River being one, but that's based on him not wanting to abandon Loring, who to his knowledge is trying to rejoin his command (Loring doesn't...because he's Loring). Champion Hill is not a crushing defeat; and he handles the defense of Vicksburg well against Grant. I'd imagine if Johnston had made more aggressive maneuvers to break the siege, Pemberton would be better remembered. But no, he surrenders, and is made a pariah in the Lost Cause narrative.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
No Lost Cause narrative [what is that anyway?] Pemberton surrendered 35,000 troops - not an event that adds positively to your resume. Give Johnston credit . I didnt surrender any men and was in charge of a major army by the end of that year.
 

Luke Freet

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No Lost Cause narrative [what is that anyway?] Pemberton surrendered 35,000 troops - not an event that adds positively to your resume. Give Johnston credit . I didnt surrender any men and was in charge of a major army by the end of that year.
I mean, Pemberton surrendered because he had NO SUPPLIES to hold out. He was totally cut off from resupply of food; his men were reduced to eating rats to survive. He held out for two months, while Johnston sat pat and did nothing to help. I do not fault him for surrendering on good terms. To do otherwise in his situation would essentially be murder.
Johnston meanwhile, before the siege had even began, abandons Jackson City without a fight, basically leaving Pemberton in a lurch. Pemberton has orders to protect Vicksburg, so he's not willing to just abandon it. It was basically on Johnston to save the situation...which he doesn't. He sits pat for two months, only moving to do anything just a week before Pemberton is forced to surrender.
And that conceited argument of "if he was so bad, why did he get command of the Aot?", Davis was very reluctant to appoint Johnston, because he sucks; but every other option sucked worse.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Joe J. was the best of a lot of bad choices for AoT Commander. Davis, in my opinion, had similar observations as you have outlined con concerning Pemberton following July 4 and davis defended him and 'stuck' with him as long as he could. Public opinion and Senators - especially from MS - eventually caused Davis to change. Pemberton was a '1 star' general going up against a '5 star' general - He was more than likely going to lose. What if Davis had given T. Holmes command to Johnston? to Pemberton?
 
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