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Army of West Tennessee- Army of Mississippi

        Major-General Van Dorn was transferred June 20, 1862, from the Army of the West to the Department of Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana. His troops occupied Vicksburg, and a force from the Reserve Corps of the Army of the Mississippi, under Major-General Breckinridge, fought the battle of Baton Rouge, August 6th. On September 28th, Van Dorn's troops joined the Army of the West to oppose Rosecrans' activities in northern Mississippi, and the combined force was denominated the Army of West Tennessee, with Van Dom at the head. It fought the battle of Corinth (October 4th), and on December 7th its name was changed to the Army of Mississippi. It consisted of two corps, headed by Van Dorn and Price, the chief control having passed to Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton, at the head of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. Van Dorn, with his cavalry, made a famous raid in northern Mississippi in December, capturing the Federal supply depot at Holly Springs. In January, 1863, the corps were changed into divisions. The title, Army of Mississippi, ceased to be used shortly after this date. The chief force under Pemberton surrendered at Vicksburg. Meanwhile, Van Dorn had been killed in Tennessee, May 8, 1863, and Price had been ordered to the Trans-Mississippi Department, February 27,1863.
        Lieutenant-General John Clifford Pemberton (U. S. M.A. 1837) was born in Philadelphia, August 10, 1814, and served in the Seminole and Mexican wars, making a noteworthy record in the artillery service. He entered the Confederate army in April, 1861, as major and chief of the Virginia artillery, being made brigadier-general in June. In November, 1861, he was transferred to South Carolina, and appointed major-general in January, 1862, when his command was enlarged to include Georgia and East Florida. In October, he was advanced to the rank of lieutenant-general and sent to the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, where he took chief command of all the troops therein, including the Army of West Tennessee (or Mississippi) under Van Dorn and Price. He surrendered Vicksburg to Major-General Grant, July 4, 1863, and after exchange resigned his commission on account of criticism resulting from the surrender. In May, 1864, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he was given command of the artillery defenses at Richmond where he served until the close of the war. He became a farmer in Virginia, and died in Penllyn, Pennsylvania, July 13, 1881.
Source: "The Photographic History of the Civil War"

This Page last updated 03/28/04


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