The departmental system and Confederate strategy in the West
Toews, Ryan Peter.
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The system of geographically defined military departments set the parameters for both the planning and the implementation of Confederate strategy during the American Civil War. This thesis shows how specific changes in the departmental organization interacted with the changes in southern strategy in the West. First, the growth of the departmental system is chronologically outlined and discussed in terms of the various factors which influenced its development. Second, the problems in the evolving departmental structure are examined; these primarily were rooted in the inherent tensions between regionally based departments and the need for greater unity of command. Within this context, Jefferson Davis is evaluated in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate army. Finally the departmental system is considered regarding its contribution towards the final Confederate defeat in the West.