Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9, 1863

February 9, 1863

---Lt. General Edmund Kirby-Smith is given command of the Department of the Trans-Mississippi, which includes all of the Confederacy west of the Mississippi.  Things are in a bad way: the Union army controls most of northern and eastern Arkansas, most of Missouri, and most of the eastern half of Louisiana.  Gen. Magruder in Texas (about 11,000 men) and Gen. Richard Taylor in Louisiana (only 9,000 men) are able commanders---but Gen. Theophilus Holmes, with 25,000 men in Arkansas, is neither able nor willing.  The regular troops are poorly equipped and supplied, and the troops often resort to taking freely whatever they want from the locals populace.  The loyalty of the Cherokee and other nations in the Indian Territory is wavering.  The area is also rife with strong pockets of anti-Confederate feeling, and bands of outlaws and armed Unionists and Jayhawkers often have free reign in much of the territory. 

Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby-Smith

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