This Week in the Civil War - #1034
As Federal forces entered Wilmington, North Carolina, closing the last major port of the South, on the same day—Wednesday, February 22, 1865—Robert E. Lee officially assigned General Joseph Johnston to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and to the Department of Tennessee and Georgia. Johnston was ordered to concentrate all remaining available forces, including those arriving from the West. His appointment was somewhat controversial, given his strained relationship with Jefferson Davis. However, times were so bad that even Davis now acquiesced in Johnston’s appointment. In addition, Lee ordered General Beauregard to report to Johnston for assignment. Though aggrieved at being demoted, General Beauregard cooperated with Johnston. Unfortunately, what these officers lacked was the manpower to resist the Union armies confronting them in the field.