On December 16, 1863, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed General Joseph E. Johnston to command the Army of Tennessee.
RICHMOND, December 16, 1863.
General J. E. JOHNSTON:
You will turn over the immediate command of the Army of the Mississippi to Lieutenant-General Polk, and proceed to Dalton and assume command of the Army of Tennessee. Give to Lieutenant-General Polk full information as to the condition of the department, and leave with him the officers of the general staff. A letter of instruction will be sent you at Dalton.