General Pemberton was regularly relieved on the same day, and, in obedience to orders, repaired to Richmond, where, shortly afterwards, he was made a lieutenant-general, and, to the astonishment of all men, even the President's own partisans, sent to take command of the Department of the Mississippi, with headquarters at Vicksburg, one of the most important posts in the South. General Pemberton, as was well known, had not been engaged in any of the battles or actions of the war. He had not been under fire, and was looked upon not only as a new man but as an officer of little merit. He had accompanied General Lee to the Department of South Carolina and Georgia, with the rank of brigadier-general, and had succeeded him some time in December, 1861, receiving additional promotion soon afterwards, for he was made a major-general in January of the following year. Thus, in scarcely more than a year, and merely because he enjoyed the support of the Administration, General Pemberton, who was only a colonel when he joined the Confederate service, became first a brigadier-general, then a major-general, and then again a lieutenant-general, over the heads of many Confederate officers who had already distinguished themselves, and given unquestioned evidence of capacity, efficiency, and other soldierly qualities. As soon as he had sufficiently familiarized himself with the condition of his Department, which was divided into four districts— South Carolina having three, and Georgia one—General Beauregard determined to bring the question of the defence of Charleston and its harbor before a council, composed of the principal military and naval officers who had long been stationed there. His object was, not only to gain enlightenment, but to create
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