January 9, 1865: Jeff Davis micromanages the cavalry

Jefferson Davis

In case there was any doubt about President Davis’ tendency to micromanage military affairs, here’s a series of dispatches between him and Hardee about the cavalry.


RICHMOND, VA., January 7, 1865.
General W. J. HARDEE,
Charleston, S. C.:

You will give special attention to the organization of the cavalry of your command, so as to promote discipline and efficiency, recommending specifically any action which you desire to be taken here. Battalions should, as far as consistent, be organized into regiments, and regiments into brigades of proper numerical strength, attention being given to the prospect of recovering absentees.

JEFF’N DAVIS.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., January 8, 1865.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
Richmond, Va.:

Wheeler’s cavalry has been reorganized under my direct supervision, and now consists of three divisions and eight brigades. It is a well organized and efficient body. The reports of its disorganization and demoralization are without foudnation, and the depredations ascribed to his command can generally be traced to bands of marauders claiming to belong to it. I know of nothing at present to add to its effectiveness except the promotion of Brigadier-General Allen to major-general, and of Colonel Dibrell to brigadier-general, for which recommendations have been sent on.

W. J. HARDEE,
Lieutenant-General.

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RICHMOND, VA.,
January 9, 1865.
General W. J. HARDEE,
Charleston, S. C.:

Have you cavalry around Savannah to prevent the enemy from foraging on the surrounding country? If so, have you a good commander for it? If not, do circumstances permit you to employ a small but adequate force for that purpose?

JEFF’N DAVIS.

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