On July 18, 1864, General Joseph E. Johnston replied to orders from Confederate President Jefferson Davis to transfer command of the Army of Tennessee to General John Bell Hood.
NEAR ATLANTA, July 18, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Your dispatch of yesterday received and obeyed. Command of the Army and Department of Tennessee has been transferred to General Hood. As to the alleged cause of my removal, I assert that Sherman’s army is much stronger compared with that of Tennessee than Grant’s compared with that of Northern Virginia. Yet the enemy has been compelled to advance much more slowly to the vicinity of Atlanta than to that of Richmond and Petersburg, and has penetrated much deeper into Virginia than into Georgia. Confident language by a military commander is not usually regarded as evidence of competency.
J. E. JOHNSTON