Joseph E. Johnston


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Up | Robert E. Lee | Stonewall Jackson | P. G. T. Beauregard | J. E. B. Stuart | General James Longstreet | Nathan Bedford Forrest | Joseph E. Johnston | George Pickett | John S. Mosby | Patrick Ronayne Cleburne | General John Bell Hood | Albert Sidney Johnston | John C. Breckenridge | General Braxton Bragg | General William Barksdale | General Jubal Anderson Early | General Ambrose Powell Hill | General Richard Stoddert Ewell | General John Hunt Morgan | General Lewis Armistead | Admiral Raphael Semmes | General Edmund Kirby Smith | General Wade Hampton | General Leonidas Polk | General Benjamin Cheatham | General Joseph Wheeler | John Pemberton | General John B. Gordon | General Daniel Hill | General William Hardee

Confederate Generals

Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Up | Joseph E. Johnston Biography

Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1807-1891)


Johnston, JOSEPH EGGLESTON, military officer; born in Longwood. Va., Feb. 3, 1809; graduated at West Point in 1829, and entered the artillery. He served in the wars with the Florida Indians, and with Mexico, in which he was twice wounded. He became lieutenant-colonel of cavalry in 1855, and quartermaster-general, with the rank of brigadier-general, in June. 1860. He joined the Confederates in the spring of 1861, and was commissioned a major-general the Army of Virginia. He was in command at the battle of Bull Run, and fought gallantly on the Virginia peninsula, until wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines (1862), when he was succeeded by Robert E. Lee. He afterwards opposed Grant and Sherman in the Mississippi Valley. He was in command during the Atlanta campaign in 1864 until July, when he was superseded by General Hood.

Joseph Eggleston Johnston

When Johnston heard of Sherman's raid, and perceived that Polk could not resist him, he sent two divisions of Hardee's corps, under Generals Stewart and Anderson, to assist Polk. Grant, in command at Chattanooga (February, 1864), sent General Palmer with a force to counteract this movement.

Palmer moved with his corps directly upon Dalton (Feb. 22), where Johnston was encamped.  The confederates were constantly pushed back and there was almost continual heavy skirmishing. In the center of Rocky Face Valley, on a rocky eminence, the Confederates made a stand, but were soon driven from the crest by General Turchin, after a severe struggle. The Confederates rallied, and, returning with an overwhelming force, retook the hill. Palmer, finding his adversaries


gathering in force larger than his own, and learning that the object of his expedition had been accomplished, in the calling hack of Hardee by Johnston, fell back and took post (March 10) at Ringgold. In this short campaign the Nationals lost 350 killed and wounded; the Confederates about 200. With the surrender of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War was virtually ended. Although he was general-in-chief, his capitulation included only the Army of Northern Virginia. That of Johnston, in North Carolina, and smaller bodies, were yet in the field. When Sherman, who confronted Johnston, heard of the victory at Five Forks and the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, he moved on Johnston ( April 10, 1865) , with his whole army. The latter was at Smithfield, on the Neuse River, with fully 39,000 men, Jefferson Davis and the Confederate cabinet were then at Danville, on the southern border of Virginia, and had just proposed to Johnston a plan whereby they might secure their own personal safety and the treasures they had brought with them from Richmond. It was to disperse his army, excepting two or three batteries of artillery, the cavalry, and as many infantry as he could mount. with which he should form a guard for the "government." and strike for the Mississippi and beyond. with Mexico as their final objective. Johnston spurned the proposition, and deprecating the example of Lee in continuing what he knew to be a hopeless war, had the moral courage to do his duty according to the dictates of his conscience and his nice sense of honor. He refused to fight any more, or to basely desert his  army far away from their home, as the "government" proposed, and stated frankly to the people of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, included within his military department, that "war could not be longer continued by them, except as robbers," and that he should take measures to stop it and save the army and people from further evil, and " avoid the crime of waging a hopeless war." Sherman was pushing Johnston with great vigor, when the former received a note from the latter (April 14, 1865), asking if a temporary suspension of active hostilities might he arranged to allow the "civil authorities to enter into the needful arrangements to terminate the existing war." Sherman promptly replied that he would do so, and was willing to hold a conference. He said that, as a basis of action, he would undertake to abide by the terms made by Grant and Lee at Appomattox Court-house. Sherman and Johnston met at Durham's Station, half-way between Raleigh and Hillsboro, at ten o'clock. April 17. Johnston said he regarded the Confederate cause as lost, and admitted that Grant's terms were magnanimous; but he insisted upon conditions involving political guarantees, which Sherman had no authority to grant. At a second conference the next day, Sherman consented to a memorandum of agreement as a basis for the consideration of the government, which, if carried out, mould have instantly restored to all persons engaged in the rebellion every right and privilege, social and political, to which they had enjoyed before the war, without any liability of punishment. It was adroitly drawn up by Breckinridge, and was signed by the respective commanding generals. The national government instantly rejected it. and General Grant was sent to Raleigh to declare that rejection, which he did April 24, and proclaimed that the truce would end in  forty-eight hours. This notification was accompanied by a demand for the surrender of Johnston's army, on the terms granted to Lee. The capitulation was agreed upon at the house of James Bennett, near Durham's Station, April 26. About 25,000 troops were surrendered.

The capitulation included all the troops in Johnston's military department. General Taylor surrendered at Citronelle, Ala., to General Canby, on the same terms, and the Confederate navy on the Tombigbee River was surrendered by Commander Farrand to Rear -Admiral Thatcher. After the war he engaged in the fire insurance business; was a Democratic member of Congress in 187678; and United States commissioner of rail-roads in 188589. He died in Washington, D. C., March 21, 1891.




site stats


Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection,


privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.