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[172] During the month (January) the Congress adopted this resolution: ‘That if the President will appoint Gen. J. E. Johnston to the command of the army of Tennessee it will, in the opinion of the Congress of the Confederate States, be hailed with joy by the army and will receive the approval of the country.’ President Davis did not at once make the appointment himself, but a month later, on the 22d of February, Gen. R. E. Lee, having been made general-in-chief, called General Johnston to the command of the army of Tennessee and of all troops in the department of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, with instructions to concentrate the troops ‘and drive back Sherman,’ but it was too late. The change imparted a sense of relief, gave hope to the country, and revived the spirit of the troops; but Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville and the retreat from Tennessee with its untold horrors, had forced the conviction upon the mind of the soldiers that success was not attainable. Nevertheless, to the honor and glory of the South, the troops entered upon the final campaign with loyalty and unmatched constancy. Cheatham, with the mass of the Tennesseeans, except the West Tennesseeans on furlough, arrived at Augusta, Ga., on the 9th of February, and halted to meet a threatened advance of the enemy at that place. On the 14th, orders were received to move to Columbia, S. C., and after a march of forty miles in two days the command was halted at Newberry. On the 21st, a march of twenty-one miles was made to the Ennoree river, where orders were received from General Beauregard to return to Newberry. In a day or two the command was ordered to Chester, S. C., and halted there for several days. After another detention at Charlotte, N. C., and another provoking delay at Salisbury, occasioned by a change of gauge of the railroad tracks and the want of cars, orders were received to unite with General Johnston. At noon of the 21st the troops joined him and went into position on the field of Bentonville.

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