On December 2, 1863, Confederate General Braxton Bragg issued General Orders, No. 24, announcing that Lieutenant General William J. Hardee was replacing him as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 214.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Dalton, Ga., December 2, 1863.
Upon renewed application to the President, his consent has been obtained for the relinquishment of the command of this army. It is accordingly transferred to Lieutenant-General Hardee.
The announcement of this separation is made with unfeigned regret. The associations of more than two years, which bind together a commander and his trusted troops, cannot be severed without deep emotion. A common cause and dangers shared on the many hard-fought fields from Pensacola to Chickamauga have cemented bonds which time even can never impair.
The circumstances which render this step proper will be appreciated, however, by every good soldier and true patriot, and the last appeal the general has to make to the gallant army which has so long and so nobly sustained him, is to give to his successor that cordial and generous support s~ essential to the success of our arms. I that successor you have a veteran whose brilliant reputation you have aided to achieve. He cannot fail, if properly sustained, to fill the measure of our country’s expectations.
To the officers of my general staff, who have so long, so zealously, and so successfully struggled against serious difficulties in support of the army and myself, is due, in a great degree, what little of success and fame we have achieved. In bidding them and the army an affectionate farewell, they have the blessing and the prayers of a grateful friend.
General, C. S. Army.