Portrait of William J. Hardee

Major General William J. Hardee commanded the Central Army of Kentucky from its creation on December 4, 1861 until February 23, 1862. [Wikimedia Commons]

Central Army of Kentucky (CSA) Facts

December 4, 1861 - March 29, 1862

Key facts about the Confederate Central Army of Kentucky.

Advertisements

Formation Date:

  • December 4, 1861

Dissolution Date:

  • March 29, 1862

Commanders:

  • General Albert S. Johnston, Major General William J. Hardee

Significance:

  • The Central Army of Kentucky traces its roots to a provisional Confederate army assembled soon after the beginning of the Civil War.
  • On June 25, 1861, Samuel Cooper, Adjutant General of the Confederate States of America, informed Brigadier General Leonidas Polk that the Confederate War Department had promoted Polk to the rank of major general of the provisional army and placed him in command of a large area in the west, including parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
  • On July 4, 1861, Assistant Adjutant General Jonathan Withers issued Special Orders, No. 88 creating Department No.2 (aka the Western Department) encompassing much of the area between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River in the South.
  • On September 10, 1861, Assistant Adjutant General Jonathan Withers issued Special Orders, No. 149 announcing that General Albert S. Johnston was assigned to command Department No. 2 (aka the Western Department).
  • General Albert S. Johnston assumed command of Department No. 2 (aka the Western Department) on September 11, 1861.
  • On October 28, 1861, General Albert S. Johnston issued Special Orders, No. 51 (Western Department) assuming “immediate command of the army corps of Central Kentucky.”
  • On December 4, 1861, General Albert S. Johnston issued General Orders, No. 127 announcing that the “command of the Central Army of Kentucky is devolved upon Major-General Hardee.” Johnston, however, retained command of the Western Department.
  • Following the loss of Fort Henry on February 6, 1862, General Albert S. Johnston ordered Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner and Brigadier General John B. Floyd to march a detachment of 8,000 soldiers from the Central Army of Kentucky to reinforce the garrison at Fort Donelson.
  • Under General Albert S. Johnston’s orders, the Central Army of Kentucky evacuated Bowling Green, Kentucky, on February 13, 1862, and to fell back to Murfreesboro, near Nashville, Tennessee.
  • On February 23, 1862, General Albert S. Johnston issued Special Orders, No. 4 reorganizing the Central Army of Kentucky under his personal command.
  • Special Orders, No. 4 reconfigured the Central Army of Kentucky into three divisions commanded by Major General William H. Hardee, Major General George B. Crittenden, and Brigadier General Gideon Pillow, in addition to a reserve brigade led by Brigadier General John C. Breckinridge. At that time, the Central Army of Kentucky numbered roughly 17,000 soldiers.
  • Under General Albert S. Johnston’s orders, the Central Army of Kentucky evacuated central Tennessee in March and headed for a rendezvous with General P. G. T. Beauregard’s Army of the Mississippi at Corinth, Mississippi.
  • On March 29, 1862, General Albert S. Johnston issued General Orders, No. 1-8, announcing the consolidation of the Central Army of Kentucky with Army of the Mississippi. The combined force, under Johnston’s command, assumed the name of Army of the Mississippi, thus ending the existence of the Central Army of Kentucky.
  • The Army of the Mississippi (aka the Army of Mississippi) later morphed into the Army of Tennessee, the Confederacy’s main force in the Western Theater of the Civil War.
  • General Albert S. Johnston commanded the Central Army of Kentucky from October 28, 1861 – December 4, 1861.
  • Major General William J. Hardee commanded the Central Army of Kentucky from December 4, 1861 – February 23, 1862.
  • General Albert S. Johnston commanded the Central Army of Kentucky from February 23 – March 29, 1862.
Advertisements

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Central Army of Kentucky (CSA) Facts
  • Coverage December 4, 1861 - March 29, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords central army of kentucky
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 17, 2021
GET THE BEST OF AMERICAN HISTORY CENTRAL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!
SIGN UP
By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to receive news, offers, updates, and additional information from R.Squared Communications, LLC and American History Central. Easy unsubscribe links are included in every email.
CLOSE [X]