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Johnston, Joseph Eggleston (1807-1891) to Jubal Early

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02461.13 Author/Creator: Johnston, Joseph Eggleston (1807-1891) Place Written: Centreville, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 February 1862 Pagination: 1 p. ; 23 x 14 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses "preparing your division for action," removal of officers wives, enemy at Harper's Ferry, and makeup of the Confederate Cabinet. Wishes to have "the necessary instructions now" for preparing the troops for battle, and if he should go "beyond the removal of the sick." Believes "Officers wives should be regarded as the greatest incumbrance - & ordered away from our camps entirely. Hears the enemy are "occupying Harper's Ferry in force." Also relates the contents of a telegraph from "Mr Banks." It conveys a list of "what is confidentially known to be the composition of the new Cabinet." Listed for the posts are Judah B. Benjamin as Secretary of State, Robert E. Lee as Secretary of War, Christopher Memminger as Secretary of the Treasury, George W. Randolph as Secretary of the Navy, Herschel Vespasian Johnson as Attorney General, and Henry as Postmaster General. In fact, only one of these men would end up ever holding the cabinet post which the letter predicts. Five days earlier Jefferson Davis had been officially elected President of the Confederacy, previously he had been provisional president.

Full Transcript: I am uncertain whether, in our conversation in relation to preparing your division for action. Motion. I went beyond the removal of the sick. If not, please give the necessary ...instructions now. For at least as little baggage as the Yankee's allow in their "light machinery order". Officers wives should be regarded as the greateset incumbrance. & ordered away from our camps entirely.
The enemy is reported by Genl Jackson to be occupying Harper's Ferry in force.
Mr Banks gives me, by telegraph, what is confidentially known to be the composition of the new Cabinet. Benjamin State. Genl Lee - War. Mr Mep[ as Treasury. Genl Randolph Navy. H.V. Johnson, A. Genl. Henry P.M. Genl
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People: Johnston, Joseph Eggleston, 1807-1891
Early, Jubal Anderson, 1816-1894

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Confederate States of AmericaConfederate General or LeaderCivil WarMilitary HistoryWomen's HistoryChildren and FamilyGovernment and CivicsBattleHealth and MedicalTelegraphPost Office

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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