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Trans-Mississippi Department

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  • tlind1@yahoo.com
    In researching on-line I caem across a very good study entilted THE POWERS OF THE COMMANDER OF THE CONFEDERATE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,1863-1865 at the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 30, 2004
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      In researching on-line I caem across a very good study entilted THE
      POWERS OF THE COMMANDER OF THE CONFEDERATE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI
      DEPARTMENT,1863-1865 at the Texas State Historical Association by
      FLORENCE ELIZABETH HOLLADAY.


      It is interesting the great power that Edmund Kirby Smith had.

      In a quote from a report during the convention to decide these
      powers, I realized to an extent, E.K. Smith was not only virtually
      the "President' of the Department but held cabinet level powers.

      "Beleaguered as we are by the enemy," the report continued, "the
      commanding general can neither transmit reports nor receive orders
      from the capital. Hence the safety of our people requires that he
      assume at once and exercise the discretion, power, and prerogatives
      of the President of the Confederate States and his subordinates in
      reference to all matters involving the defense of his department.
      The isolated condition and imminent peril of this department demand
      this policy, and will not permit delay; and we believe that all may
      be done without violating the spirit of the constitution and laws of
      the Confederate States, and without assuming dictatorial powers."

      It was thus agreed that the general should assume war powers in this
      department, for the right to exercise the discretion, power, and
      prerogatives of the President and his subordinates in the defense of
      a department in imminent peril could hardly be less than war powers.

      I also find it interesting that Smith had arranged the convention to
      head off what he believed might be a secession of the department
      from the Confederacy.

      The link to the article is found at
      http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/publications/journals/shq/online/v021/n3/0
      21003279.html

      Any further conversation and input into this ubject is greatly
      appreciated as I believe this is a great overlooked part of the ACW.

      Kindest Regards,
      Tracey
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