In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Richard Taylor briefly commands the Army of Tennessee

On today's date in 1865, Hood officially was relieved of command, and he departed the Army of Tennessee for Richmond, having commanded it for a disastorous 6 months. He addressed his troops in a farewell message:

Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood
Soldiers: At my request I have this day been relieved from the command of this army. In taking leave of you accept my thanks for the patience with which you have endured your many hardships during the recent campaign. I am alone responsible for its conception, and strived hard to do my duty in its execution. I urge upon you the importance of giving your entire support to the distinguished soldier who now assumes command, and I shall look with deepest interest upon all your future operations and rejoice at your successes.
 J. B. Hood, General

Few of his men were sorry to see him go.

Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor
Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, son of former U.S. President Zachary Taylor and brother-in-law of C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis, was named successor to Hood as commander of the remnants of the Army of Tennessee. After looking to the immediate care and reequipping of the shattered troops assigned to him, his primary role was organizing the transfer of the unitsincluding Great Grandfather's 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regimentto North Carolina, once again to oppose Sherman. This operation was under way by January 19th.

After the war, Taylor was active in Democratic party politics in Louisiana, opposing the policy of Northern Reconstruction. He also interceded for Jefferson Davis after the demise of the Confederate States. In 1879, a week before his death, Taylor's memoir of the war, Destruction and Reconstruction, was published. His book continues to retain its status among the acclaimed accounts of the American Civil War.

Sources: Advance and Retreat, John B. Hood; Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898, Dunbar Rowland; Official Records, Vol. 45, Pt. 2

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