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Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 7: Atlantic coast defenses.-assigned to duty in Richmond as commander in chief under the direction of the Southern President. (search)
d. Forts Henry and Donelson had fallen in February before the combined attacks by land and water of the Federals, opening the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and resulting in the capitulation of Nashville, the capital of Tennessee. The outlook was a serious one from a Southern standpoint, and demanded the counsel of the wisest, coolest, and most courageous leaders. The great interests at stake induced the President to summon General Lee from the Southern Department to Richmond, and on March 13th he was assigned to the position of commander of the armies of the Confederacy and charged with the duty of conducting all the military operations of the Southern armies under the direction of the President. A few months previous to this his name had been mentioned in connection with the position of Secretary of War. The appointment, however, was not made, possibly because it was considered unwise to confine such great military talent within the bureau of a cabinet officer. General Le