Army of the Northwest

The Army of the Northwest was a Confederate army early in the American Civil War.

On June 8, 1861, Confederate troops operating in northwestern Virginia were designated the "Army of the Northwest" with Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett as commanding general. Troops of this command were engaged by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Department of the Ohio forces in a series of battles and skirmishes early in summer 1861. Garnett's army was defeated at Battle of Rich Mountain, and pursuing Union troops killed Garnett at Corrick's Ford July 13, 1861.

After Garnett's death, Brig. Gen. Henry R. Jackson briefly commanded the force, but Brig. Gen. William W. Loring arrived to take charge on July 20. Loring commanded until November, when he was given three Army of the Northwest brigades as a division (still designated Army of the Northwest) paired with the Stonewall Brigade under Stonewall Jackson's command for the Romney Expedition. The army was disbanded February 9, 1862, but a separate small force under Brig. Gen. Edward Johnson which operated in the northern Shenandoah Valley became known as the "Army of the Northwest" and after involvement in the Battle of Camp Allegheny was styled the "Army of the Allegheny". Johnson acquired his sobriquet "Allegheny" in command of this force.

The troops assigned to operate in northwestern Virginia were placed under the command of Brigadier-General R. S. Garnett on June 8, 1861, and were subsequently known as the Army of the Northwest. This was the force that opposed McClellan and Rosecrans in West Virginia, and was defeated at Rich Mountain and other places. On July 13th, Garnett was killed while retreating, and Brigadier-General Henry R. Jackson was put in command, to be superseded, within a week, by Brigadier-General W. W. Loring. Early in 1862, dissension arose between Loring and T. J. Jackson, commanding the Valley District (Department of Northern Virginia), which led to the latter preferring charges against the commander of the Army of the Northwest. As a result, the Secretary of War, on February 9, 1862, divided the army, sending some of the regiments to Knoxville, some to the Aquia District, and the remainder to the Army of the Potomac (Department of Northern Virginia). After this, the forces under Brigadier-General Edward Johnson stationed at Camp Alleghany, and sometimes called the Army of the Alleghany, continued to be called the Army of the Northwest. Its aggregate strength in March, 1862, was about four thousand. It finally came under Jackson in the Valley District and passed into the Army of Northern Virginia.

Brigadier-General Robert Selden Garnett (U. S. M. A. 1841) was born in Essex County, Virginia, December 16, 1819, and served in the Mexican War as aide to General Taylor. At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Confederate service, and in June, 1861, was appointed brigadier-general, with command of the Army of the Northwest. In the action at Carrick's Ford he was killed, June 13,1861.
Brigadier-General Henry Rootes Jackson was born in Athens, Georgia, June 24, 1820, and became a lawyer. He served in the Mexican War as colonel of the First Georgia Volunteers, and was charge d'affaires at Vienna, in 1863. As United. States district attorney for Georgia he aided in trying slave-trading cases. At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Confederate Army as a brigadier-general, succeeding to temporary command of the Army of the Northwest after Brigadier-General Garnett was killed. He resigned his commission because he could not obtain leave of absence to take charge of the Georgia coast defenses, to which post he was called by the Governor of Georgia, who made him a major-general in command of the State troops. After these became part of the Confederate army, in 1862, Jackson received no commission until July, 1864, when he was assigned a brigade in the Army of Tennessee. During the battle of Nashville he was made prisoner and not released until the close of the war, when he returned to Savannah to practice law. He was United States minister to Mexico in 1885, and died in Savannah, May 22, 1898.

Major-General William Wing Loring was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, December 4, 1818, and served in the Seminole and Mexican wars. In the latter he lost an arm. Later, he was colonel of a regiment sent against the Indians in New Mexico. He resigned from the army to enter the Confederate service, and came into command of the Army of the Northwest, July 20, 1861. He was made major-general in February, 1862. His chief active service was in Kentucky, and in Mississippi, before and during the Vicksburg campaign ; in that same State under Polk, and as division commander in the Army of Mississippi in the Atlanta campaign, and in the Army of Tennessee at Franklin and Nashville, and under Johnston in the Carolinas. After the war he went to Egypt, where he served as general in command of a division in the army of the Khedive. He died in New York city, December 30,1886.

Major-General Edward Johnson (U. S. M. A. 1838) was born in Chesterfield County, Virginia, April 16, 1816, and served in the Mexican War. He entered the Confederate army and was made a brigadier-general, commanding the Northwest forces directly under Major-General T. J. Jackson, in May, 1862. The next year (February, 1863), he was made major-general. He had a division in the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, and in September, 1864, was assigned to the division of the Second Corps, Army of Tennessee. He died in Richmond, Virginia, March 2,1878.

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