Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston

Gen. Johnston, the bogus report of whose capture at Fort Donelson gave him a biographical fame two months ago, is now certainly disposed of at last, as his dead body is in our hands. He was one of the five rebel Generals, the other four being Beauregard, Lee, Cooper and Joe Johnston. He was for half a year commander of the rebel department of Kentucky, with his headquarters at Bowling Green, which famous stronghold he evacuated six weeks ago. He is 60 years of age, a native of Kentucky, and graduated at West Point in 1826. He was engaged in the Black Hawk war, in the Texan war of independence, and the Mexican war, and in the war against the Mormons. He was a Brigadier-General in command of the Military District of Utah, and at the opening of this rebellion was in command of the department of the Pacific. Shortly after the rebellion got under way, his loyalty was suspected, and Gen. Sumner was sent out to supersede him. Before Gen. Sumner reached California, Johnston had left to join the rebels. For fear of being caught, he took the overland route, with three or four companies on mules, and passed through Arizona and Texas, and thence to Richmond. At first he was appointed to a command on the Potomac; but upon the great importance of the western department being seen by Jeff Davis, he was appointed to take chief command at Bowling Green. He did everything to strengthen that position, and bring as large a force as could be got for its defence. But on being outflanked by our advance up the Cumberland, he incontinently deserted his stronghold, fled to Nashville, from thence to Decatur, and from thence to Corinth, and now has fallen – a traitor to his native State and to his country. Johnston was a little over six feet high, of a large, bony, sinewy frame with a grave, gaunt and thoughtful face, of quiet, unassuming manners – forming in all a soldier of very imposing appearance. He was considered by military men to be the ablest General for command, in the rebel service, and his loss will be a severe blow to the tottering rebellion.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, April 21, 1862, p. 2

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