Biography of Joseph Eggleston Johnston


Johnston, Joseph Eggleston (18071891), an American soldier. He was born at Cherry Grove, Virginia, and received his education at West Point. At the outbreak of the Civil War he held a position of importance in the United States Army, - that of quartermaster-general, with the rank of brigadier-general, and he had served with distinction in the Black Hawk, the Seminole, and the Mexican Wars. When Virginia seceded, however, he resigned his commission and before long became one of the five generals of the Confederate Army. In the Confederate victory at Bull Run, Johnston took an active part, charging the enemy with the colors of the 4th Alabama in his hands. He had operated against McClellan in the peninsular campaign of 1862, and was wounded at Fair Oaks in May. His wound unfitted him for active service until the following May, when he attempted, but vainly, to relieve Vicksburg, then besieged by Grant. In 1864 he succeeded to the command of Bragg's army, which he led in a masterly retreat before Sherman from Dalton to Atlanta. Johnston finally surrendered to Sherman in April, 1865, at Durham Station, North Carolina. He is regarded on either side as one of the best leaders of the war. Grant said of him, "I have had nearly all the Southern generals in high command before me, and Joe Johnston gave me more anxiety than any of the others." After the war General Johnston engaged in business. In 1876 he served a term in Congress, and in 1885 was made United States Commissioner of Railroads. He is the author of A Narrative of Military Operalions During the Late War. At the funerals of Grant and Sherman, General Johnston was a pallbearer.