Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant

On February 14, 1862, Ulysses S. Grant received command of the newly created District of West Tennessee. Grant’s forces were officially referred as the Army of West Tennessee, but gradually they came to be commonly known as the Army of the Tennessee. [Wikimedia Commons]

Army of the Tennessee (USA) Facts

1862–August 1, 1865

Key facts about the American Civil War Union Army of the Tennessee.

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Formation Date

  • 1862

Dissolution Date

  • August 1, 1865

Commanders

Significance

  • The informal origins of the Army of the Tennessee spring from the troops commanded by Ulysses S. Grant when he commanded the District of Southeast Missouri beginning in September 1861.
  • On February 14, 1862, Ulysses S. Grant was given command of the newly created District of West Tennessee. Grant’s forces were officially referred as the Army of West Tennessee, but gradually they came to be commonly known as the Army of the Tennessee.
  • Soldiers in what would become the Army of the Tennessee participated in the Battle of Shiloh (April 6–7, 1862).
  • Soldiers in what would become the Army of the Tennessee participated in the Siege of Corinth (April 29–May 30, 1862).
  • On October 16, 1862 the War Department issued General Orders Number 159, creating the Department of the Tennessee and placing Ulysses S. Grant in command of the new department. Although still not officially designated the Army of the Tennessee, the informal handle for Grant’s forces was now more closely aligned with the actual name of his command.
  • During the autumn of 1862, Ulysses S. Grant organized the Army of the Tennessee into four corps – the 13th under John McClernand, the 15th under William T. Sherman, the 16th under Stephen Hurlbut, and the 17th under James B. McPherson – as he prepared for an offensive against Vicksburg.
  • The Army of the Tennessee participated in the Vicksburg Campaign (December 26, 1862–July 4, 1863).
  • The Army of the Tennessee participated in the Chattanooga Campaign (October–November, 1863).
  • On October 16, 1863, the War Department issued General Orders Number 337, naming Ulysses S. Grant to command the newly created Military Division of the Mississippi. William T. Sherman succeeded Grant as commander of the Army of the Tennessee.
  • On October 19, 1863, Ulysses S. Grant issued General Orders No. 2, naming William T. Sherman to succeed him as commander of the Department and Army of the Tennessee.
  • The Army of the Tennessee participated in the Knoxville Campaign (November 4 – December 14, 1863).
  • The Army of the Tennessee participated in the Battle of Meridian (February 14-20, 1864).
  • On March 12, 1863 the War Department issued General Orders No. 98, naming Sherman to succeed Grant as commander of the Division of the Mississippi and promoting Major General James B. McPherson to command of the Department and Army of the Tennessee.
  • The Army of the Tennessee participated in the Atlanta Campaign (May 7–September 2, 1864).
  • Major General John A. Logan assumed temporary command of the Army of the Tennessee for six days after James B. McPherson was killed during the Battle of Atlanta (July 22, 1864).
  • On July 26, William T. Sherman issued Special Field Orders No. 44, placing Major General Oliver O. Howard in charge of the Army of the Tennessee. Howard assumed command the next day.
  • The Army of the Tennessee served as William T. Sherman’s right wing during the March to the Sea (November 15, 1864 – December 21, 1864).
  • The Army of the Tennessee served as William T. Sherman’s right wing during the Carolinas Campaign (February – April 1865).
  • On May 19, 1865, the War Department issued General Orders No. 96, naming John A. Logan as commander of the Department and Army of the Tennessee.
  • On May 24, 1865, John A. Logan led the Army of the Tennessee on the grand review through the streets of the nation’s capital.
  • On July 3, John A. Logan issued General Orders No. 26, stating that “all the remaining troops of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps, and of the Provisional Division of the Army of the Tennessee, not included in the muster-out ordered in General Order No. 14 . . .will be at once mustered out of the service of the United States, and placed en route for their respective State rendezvous, there to be paid off and finally discharged.”
  • On August 1, 1865 the War Department issued General Orders No. 131, discontinuing the corps that comprised the Army of the Tennessee.
  • Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant commanded the Department and Army of the Tennessee from October 25, 1862 to October 24, 1863.
  • William T. Sherman commanded the Department and Army of the Tennessee from October 24, 1863 to March 26, 1864.
  • James B. McPherson commanded the Department and Army of the Tennessee from March 26, 1864 to July 22, 1864.
  • John A. Logan commanded the Department and Army of the Tennessee from July 22, 1864 to July 27, 1864.
  • Oliver O. Howard commanded the Department and Army of the Tennessee from July 27, 1864 to May 23, 1865.
  • John A. Logan commanded the Department and Army of the Tennessee from May 23, 1865 to August 1, 1865.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Army of the Tennessee (USA) Facts
  • Coverage 1862–August 1, 1865
  • Author
  • Keywords army of the tennessee
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 2, 2021
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