I was looking to see if somone could provide any other reasonable explaination as to why with the shortages of manpower that the A.N.V. was suffering in early 1863. with the coming summer campaign, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, With the repeated requests for men to be sent from other theaters to Virginia, why were these men not kept and used? Especially when they could not reasonable be returned to their original home theater of operation.
If they could not be sent home, then why send them to The Army of Tennessee? Was that the rational, that the A.o.T. was as close to home as they could be sent? Was the A.o.T.'s need for troops any greater than those of the A.N.V.? Neither of those arguments, nor the argument that they belonged to this department, or that, or not. That makes no sence when the Army of Northern Virginia contain soldiers from every state of the Confederacy. And after all these units were not militia, but had been mustered in and accepted for CONFEDERATE service, which meant that the Confederate Government was paying their paychecks.
It would seem that as desperate as Richmond was for more troops to be sent to Virginia, they didn't want THESE troops. I can understand the Department commanders refusing such request not wanting to send any, because that would mean them stripping their own army of the troops that they needed. The same with Bragg not wanting to send troops from his Army in Tennessee to Joe Johnston in Mississippi in 1863. But these men were intentionally sent to Virginia, by Grant, in order to remove them from his theater of operations, knowing that they would not come back in time to be a factor in his operation that summer. Holmes also had to be aware of that fact also, that those troops were never going to be returned to the Trans-Mississippi Department.
Yes they did fight well in the A.o.T. and proved themselves. Which goes to show the shortsightedness of those in command in Richmond.