Illustration of Joseph E. Johnston

Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1807-1891) grew up in Abingdon, Virginia, son of Judge Peter Johnston, Jr. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1929, in the same class as Robert E. Lee. He left the Army for a brief period, then re-joined as a first lieutenant and served with distinction in the Mexican-American War. He eventually achieved the rank of brigadier general and was appointed the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster General.

When the Civil War broke out, Johnston was the highest ranking member of the U.S. Army to resign and offer his services to his state, however, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed him over for command of its provisional army in favor of Robert E. Lee. Confederate President Jefferson Davis made him a brigadier general and sent him to replace Thomas J. Jackson as commander of Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley. Johnston’s wartime contributions were too numerous to go into detail here, but he served in various capacities for the remainder of the war, finally surrendering in North Carolina on April 26, 1865. He died on March 21, 1891 at the age of 84.

Suggest an addition or revision

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.