Johnston, Joseph Eggleston

Life Span
Full name
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Slave State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Peter Johnston (father), Mary Wood Valentine (mother), Lydia Mulligan Sims McLane (wife, 1845)
West Point (US Military Academy)
Political Parties
US House of Representatives
US military (Pre-Civil War)
Confederate Army

Joseph Eggleston Johnston (American National Biography)

Johnston's defense of North Georgia in the spring and summer of 1864 is the most controversial aspect of his career. Because Johnston was heavily outnumbered by the three armies of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman (who had 100,000 men to Johnston's 60,000), Sherman was able to maneuver him out of position after position: from Rocky Face Ridge in North Georgia, to Resaca, to Allatoona, and to Kennesaw Mountain west of Marietta. Each time, Sherman was able to hold Johnston's army in position with superior forces and send a flanking column to threaten the Confederate left. Each time, Johnston responded by abandoning his position and hurrying southward to interpose his forces once again in front of Sherman--but of course he had to surrender territory to do so. Engagements were fought at Resaca (13-15 May), New Hope Church (26-28 May), and Kennesaw Mountain (27 June). Though Johnston held his own in each, he was unable to inflict the kind of defeat that would drive Sherman from Georgia.

In Richmond, Davis grew increasingly concerned that Johnston was giving up so much territory. As a result of his retrograde movements, the Yankees had occupied Rome, Georgia, an important industrial town, and Johnston seemed unwilling to launch a serious counterattack. By the second week of July, Davis sent Braxton Bragg to Atlanta to inquire about Johnston's future plans. Unsatisfied with Johnston's response, Davis ordered him relieved and appointed John Bell Hood to command the army (17 July 1864).
Craig L. Symonds, "Johnston, Joseph Eggleston," American National Biography Online, February 2000,

Joseph Eggleston Johnston (Congressional Biographical Directory)

JOHNSTON, Joseph Eggleston,  (brother of Charles Clement Johnston and uncle of John Warfield Johnston), a Representative from Virginia; born in Longwood, Prince Edward County, Va., February 3, 1807; moved with his parents to Panicello, near Abingdon, Va., in 1811; attended the Abingdon Academy; was graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1829; pursued a career in the Army and was promoted through the ranks to brigadier general and quartermaster general; resigned April 22, 1861, to enter the Confederate service; during the Civil War was appointed major general of the Virginia State forces on April 26, 1861; commissioned brigadier general, Confederate States Army, May 14, 1861, and general on August 31, 1861, in which capacity he served until April 26, 1865, when the terms of surrender of his army were agreed upon; settled in Savannah, Ga.; was president of a railroad company in Arkansas; and engaged in the general insurance business in 1868 and 1869; returned to Virginia and settled in Richmond in 1877 and became president of an express company; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1879-March 3, 1881); was not a candidate for renomination in 1880; was appointed Commissioner of Railroads by President Grover Cleveland in 1887 and served until 1891; died in Washington, D.C., March 21, 1891; interment in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.
“Johnston, Joseph Eggleston,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present,
Date Event
Joseph E. Johnston appointed Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army
- The first pitched battle of the war between armies results in a Union disaster at Bull Run
On the Virginia Peninsula, the Army of the Potomac advances to besiege Yorktown
In Virginia, Union artillery outside Yorktown delivers a preliminary barrage on Confederate defenses
- In eastern Virginia, thousands of Confederate troops make a stealthy withdrawal from Yorktown
Near Williamsburg, Virginia, forty-thousand pursuing Union troops clash with the Confederate rearguard
At Eltham's Landing, Confederate units thwart Union attempts to cut off their retreat from Yorktown
- Largest battle yet in the eastern theater fought at Fair Oaks, Virginia near Richmond
Commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia badly wounded on the battlefield
Robert E. Lee is appointed field commander of the Army of Northern Virginia
Grant's Union Army captures Jackson, the state capital of Mississippi
Union forces withdraw from the Mississippi state capital of Jackson after inflicting heavy damage
In Georgia, Sherman's direct assault on Confederate positions on Kennesaw Mountain fails with heavy losses
Confederate President Davis removes General Joe Johnston as commander of the Army of the Tennessee
In North Carolina, CSA General J. E. Johnston opens surrender talks with Union General W. T. Sherman
General W.T. Sherman, negotiating Confederate surrender in North Carolina, makes a political blunder
In North Carolina, against orders, CSA General J. E. Johnston surrenders the entire Army of the Tennessee
Chicago Style Entry Link
Govan, Gilbert E.and James Weston Livingood. A Different Valor: The Story of General Joseph E. Johnston, C.S.A. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1956. view record
Lash, Jeffrey N. Destroyer of the Iron Horse: General Joseph E. Johnston and Confederate Rail Transport. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1991. view record
Symonds, Craig L. Joseph E. Johnston: A Civil War Biography. New York: Norton, 1992. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Johnston, Joseph Eggleston," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,