Today in History:

1311 Series I Volume XLVII-II Serial 99 - Columbia Part II


campaign of General Johnston. His report, dated October 20, 1864,*

states that he had lost in killed and wounded in infantry and artillery during this campaign, 10,000 men, and rom all other causes, princepally slight sickness, 4,700. Of his cavalry the losses are not stated. His report, however, omits to state what his returns to the Adjutant-General's Office exhibit-a loss of over 7,000 captured by the enemy. His losses, therefore, in infantry and artillery were about 22,000, with out including cavalry. Yet, notwithstanding these heavy losses, General Johnston's returns of July 10, a few days before his removal from command, show an aggregate present of 73,849 men, of whom 50,932 are reported to be effective. But his return of the previous month shows that among those not reported as effective were quite 11,000 men performing active service on extra duty, and as non-commissioned staff officers and musicians. The available force present must therefore have been about 62,000 men. The aggregate present of the 10th of March previous (after the arrival of the part of Hardee's corps that had been detached, although too late to aid General Polk in opposing Sherman's raid through Mississippi) was 54,806, and the effective present 42,408. It thus appears that so largely was General Johnston re-enforced that after all the losses of his campaign his army had increased about 19,000 men present and about the same number of men available for active duty.

As the loss in killed and wounded, sick and prisoners, in infantry and artillery alone was 22,000 men, and would probably be swollen to 25,000 by adding the loss in cavalry, and as the force available on the 10th of July was about 62,000, it is deduced that General Johnston had been in command of an army of about 85,000 men fit for active duty to oppose Sherman, whose effective force was not believed to have been much in excess of that number. The entire force of the enemy was considerably greater than the numbers I hve mentioned, and so was General Johnston's; but in considering the merits of the campaign it is not necessary to do more than compare the actual strength of the armies which have joined the issue of battle. When it is considered that with forces thus mathced General Johnston was endeavoring to hold a mountainous district of our own country with numerous fortified postions, while the enemy was in the midst of a hostile popultion and with a long line of communications to guard, it is evident that it was not the want of men or means which caused the disastrous failure of his campaign. My opinion of General Johnston's unfitness for command has ripened slowly and against my inclinations into a covniction so settled that it would be impossible for me again to feel condidence in him as the commander of an army in the field. The power to assig general to appropriate duties is a function of trust confided to me by my contrymen. That trust I have ever been ready to resign at my country's call, but while I hold it, nothing shall induse me to shrink from its responsibilities or to violate the obligations it imposes.


CHARLOTTE, March 2, 1865.

(Received 12,45.)


Governor Vance objects to alteration of gauge of North Carolina road northeast of Salisbury He does not wish connectioe road west of that place. What are your wishes?



* See Vol. XXXVIII, Part III, p. 612.