On July 18, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis responded to a message from Generals John Bell Hood, William J. Hardee, and Alex Stewart questioning the timing of Hood's appointment as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
RICHMOND, July 18, 1864.
Your telegram of this date received. A change of commanders, under existing circumstances, was regarded as so objectionable that I only accepted it as the alternative of continuing in a policy which had proved so disastrous. Reluctance to make the change induced me to send a telegram of inquiry to the commanding general on the 16th instant. His reply but confirmed previous apprehensions. There can be but one question which you and I can entertain – that is, what will best promote the public good; and to each of you I confidently look for the sacrifice of every personal consideration in conflict with that object. The order has been executed, and I cannot suspend it without making the case worse than it was before the order was issued.
(Same to Generals Hardee and Stewart.)