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[71] Johnston, to rank from May 28th; third, R. E. Lee, from June 14th; fourth, J. E. Johnston, from July 4th; and, fifth, G. T. Beauregard, from July 21st, the date of the appointment previously conferred upon him.1 This action was altogether illegal, and contrary to all the laws enacted to regulate the rank of the class of officers concerned. Those laws were:
  • 1. The act of March 6th, fixing the military establishment of the Confederacy, and providing for four brigadier-generals, that being the highest grade created.
  • 2. The act of March 14th, adding a fifth brigadier-general, and authorizing the President to assign one of the five to the duties of adjutant and inspector-general; and, 3. Enacting further, “that in all cases of officers who have resigned, or who may, within six months, tender their resignations from the army of the United States, and who have been, or may be appointed to original vacancies in the army of the Confederate States, the commissions issued shall bear one and the same date, so that the relative rank of officers of each grade shall be determined by their former commissions in the United States army, held anterior to the secession of these Confederate States from the United States.”
  • 4. The act of May 16th: “That the five general officers, provided by existing laws for the Confederate States, shall have the rank and denomination of general, instead of brigadier-general, which shall be the highest military grade known to the Confederate States.... Appointments to the rank of general, ”

1 See the President's telegrams on p. 21.

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