Chapter 37: the end.
- Not reckless. -- estimates of character by Colonel Munford, by General Preston, by Major Haydon, Colonel Jack. -- reminiscences of Rev. -- R. D. Chapman, of Rev. E. Fontaine, of Dr. D. W. Yandell. -- description in Harper's Weekly. estimate by Thomas F. McKinney, by the New York times, by General William J. Worth. -- reminiscences of Rev. Dr. Galleher, of Colonel J. W. Avery. -- estimate by General W. C. Whitthorne. -- anecdote by Lieutenant J. M. Fairbanks. -- Scott and Davis almost agree. -- estimate by Judge Ballinger, by Colonel W. J. Green, by Governor I. G. Harris, by President Jefferson Davis, by Major Alfriend, by professor A. T. Bledsoc, by General Richard Taylor. -- epitaph by John B. S. Dimitry. -- a filial estimate. -- the end.
It has been the writer's aim in this biography to let a truthful narrative of facts reveal the character of its subject. He has not been prepossessed with any especial ideal to which he has striven to conform General Johnston's acts or motives. Whatsoever of error or inconsistency these facts may exhibit in a character very simple and noble --let it stand. Although the writer has made a study of General Johnston's life, in a spirit and temper which he hopes has been as nearly judicial as was possible under the circumstances, yet he is aware that his relations were too close, and his attachment too strong, to offer an impartial portrait of the man. Hence, he has chosen, often at the cost of brevity and with the sacrifice of artistic effect, to speak, where it was possible, in the words of others. Delicacy, or rather fairness, seemed to require that the evidence for his opinions, instead of merely his conclusions, should be laid before the reader. This has been done; and he who has read these pages has a better conception of what General Johnston really was than the most labored characterization could  give. Nevertheless, it may not be deemed amiss that he should now supplement this memoir with some incidents and anecdotes which have not fallen into place in the course of the narrative, and with some estimates of its subject which have not been included in the body of the work. Immediately after General Johnston's death the opinion prevailed that the unjust censures of the press and people had driven him to desperation, and that he had lost his life through reckless exposure. The idea, originally suggested by popular regret, could only be held by those unacquainted with the facts and with the serene strength of his character. It is believed that it has effected no lodgment in the public mind, though it has been repeatedly published. His staff, and many of his officers, indignantly contradicted it at the time, and since. General Johnston was moved solely by a sense of duty and the requirements of the situation. He held his own life at no higher value than that of the humblest private in the ranks, where duty called. And his notion of duty was that of a soldier — that general, as well as private, ought in battle to be and to go where most effective, and that the question of danger was not to be considered. Colonel Munford, in his address, spoke as follows:
The impression is almost universal at the South that General Johnston, stung to madness by the bitterness with which he had been denounced, recklessly exposed his life. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the narrative of simple facts already given is not sufficient, other proofs are abundant, and in justice to his memory shall be given.After narrating an anecdote already given (page 515), illustrating General Johnston's perfect confidence in the result of the campaign, Colonel Munford continues:
Another reason why I know he was not “affected to recklessness” by all this clamor is, the unflinching firmness with which the President stood by him from its outbreak, and General Johnston's perfect knowledge of that fact. At Decatur, Alabama, the day before we left for Corinth, the general handed me for perusal two private letters to him from President Davis, assuring him of his continued confidence in his ultimate triumphant success, and of the resolute purpose of the Government to sustain him. He therefore had nothing to fear. It was in reply to one of these letters from the President that he used those noble words: “With the people there is but one test of merit in my profession, that of success. It is a hard rule, but I think it right.” Surely the man who thus felt, and thus wrote under the circumstances, was not capable of being made “reckless.” It will be noted, too, that when he fell a most brilliant victory was already his, and every motive would have prompted him to live. He did not secure himself from any legitimate danger, but at no moment was he reckless, or even imprudent in unnecessarily exposing himself to injury. The pressure upon Sidney Johnston was from no selfish thought or narrow feeling, but from  the circumstances under which he had “ordered the battle for to-morrow morning at daylight,” and the disparity of his forces compared with those of the enemy. If with a thoroughly-trained army, under skillful leaders, devotedly attached to their chieftain, and accustomed to victory, the first Napoleon at Jena excused himself for taking personal risks, by saying, “I must needs see how things are going,” surely Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh will not be misinterpreted. Surely, there, he “must needs see how things were going.” No, no, he fell in the path of duty, thinking not of self.General Preston wrote :
I felt at Shiloh, when your father fell, that our last hope of victory perished, and that his place would never be supplied.Major Haydon, in his “Rough notes on Shiloh,” says:
Thus fell one of the greatest generals of the age. He fell where heroes like to fall — in the arms of victory upon the battle-field. It is a mistake to suppose that the censure of ignorant men about his recent maneuvers drove him to a rash exposure of person. In this battle he was elated from the very beginning; he knew that victory was certain, and his countenance gleamed with the enthusiasm of a great man who was conscious that he was achieving a great success, that was carrying his name down to the “latest syllable of recorded time.”His aide-de-camp, Lieutenant (afterward Colonel) T. M. Jack, writing to Judge Ballinger, from New Orleans, soon after the battle, thus closes an account of General Johnston's death:
How much of manliness, and virtue, and patriotism, and heroism, and high resolve, were cut down by that random ball! There was no rashness or desperation in his conduct. He regretted certain censures against him, but they did not actuate his motives, or affect his plans. He was sustained by the President. He had the approval of his military brethren. He looked with confidence to the final approbation of all his countrymen. On the field of battle, and in the hour of trial, he seemed not forgetful that he was a Texan, remarking that Moore's regiment must have a chance at the enemy, and specially ordering it forward to the attack. His remains lie here in state, to be placed in the vault to-morrow. He will no doubt be buried in Texas. He once remarked, in the presence of his military family, that he desired of his country six feet of Texas soil. Surely that noble State will be all the nobler with such bones resting in its bosom!Colonel Jack, in a letter addressed to the writer in 1877, says:
The only orders, now remembered, which I carried for your father on the field, were to direct Breckinridge through the woods and to place him in line; to order forward a Texas regiment to an effective position; and to move a battery, on the left, so as to play on a point where the enemy offered stubborn resistance. Up to this time I had been almost constantly with him on all parts  of the field. In the execution of this last order, I was separated from him; and, changing his position with the changes of the battle, when I rejoined him, he had already received the fatal ball, and his life-blood was rapidly flowing. Before this he had remarked to me, slapping his thigh and smiling, upon a spent ball which had struck and stung him. No special incident of the battle of Shiloh survives in my memory having an important bearing on the general result. The entire scene is, of course, as vivid as of yesterday; the advance; the forward movement of troops, quick and eager; the line of battle; the shock of arms; the thundering of the gunboats; the retreating lines of the enemy; and the victorious shouts of the Confederate troops. But these are all familiar to you; and so are the conduct, bearing, action, and appearance, of your father on the field-composed, self-poised, cheerful, and confident of the devotion and courage of his men. He appears to me now, as he did then, like an inspired genius of battle and victory, lit up and glowing along his lines; a matchless example of a great man on a great occasion, and rising loftily and steadily to all the duties of that day when the fate of his flag and the cause of his country seemed to rest upon his sword.The following extracts are taken from Colonel Munford's “Historical Address before the Confederate Association of Memphis,” delivered November 21, 1871. Though an account has been elsewhere given of General Johnston's personal appearance, Colonel Munford's quick observation and graphic force entitle his remarks to reproduction. The writer thinks the description of General Johnston's eyes inaccurate. They were deep set, but not small or dull. Heavily shadowed by his brows, they were wonderfully calm and steady, and by some considered searching, in repose; but under excitement they flashed with an electric light, which changed their color from blue to gray:
In person General Johnston was tall, square-shouldered, full-chested, and muscular. He was neither lean nor fat, but healthily full, without grossness, indicating great bodily strength. His bust was superb, the neck and head mounting upward from the shoulders with majestic grace. His compact jaws terminated in a chin somewhat prominent and but slightly square, above which one of the very few really ornamental mustaches ever worn by man partly concealed, but could not render ferocious, the sweet and genial expression of his mouth. Over this stood somewhat boldly forth the clear-cut and expanded nostrils of a broad-based nose which, slightly inclining upward, grew out from beneath his prominently developed brow where thought sat as upon a throne. His full and angular though rounded forehead rose upward till its high “window's peaks” were lost under dark-brown hair a little mixed with gray, extremely fine and wavy almost to curls. His deep-set, blue-gray eyes, small, and, when unexcited, somewhat dull, were of that sort which Campbell describes as “melting in love and kindling in war.” Over these features a skin naturally soft, white, and clear, though now slightly bronzed from exposure, completed a picture of more than ordinary manly beauty. Courage and modesty, intellect and goodness, cheerfully divided the empire over his expressive face. When absorbed in thought his head leaned forward and his body slightly  bent. At all other times he was strikingly erect. His soldierly port, devoid of stiffness, was characterized by a dignified and benevolent repose, at once calm, self-poised, simple, and unostentatious. I do not remember a man filling high position so utterly uncontaminated by that vulgar “divinity which doth hedge a king.” There was, in both his appearance and bearing, that nameless something which, while it chastened impertinence, invited confidence, and rendered even the humblest at perfect ease in his presence. He was eminently approachable to everybody of every rank and condition in life. Neither his movement while walking, nor his manner in repose, could justly be called awkward, yet neither was light and airy; in fact, there was in both something too ponderous for grace. On horseback his appearance excited universal admiration. A cavalier by instinct and training, he sat upon a horse as if, centaurlike, he had grown up part of him. Whenever his soldiers caught sight of him in the saddle their shouts were irrepressible. Ordinarily his conversation was grave, the style being simple, vigorous, and rigidly concise. His manner of talking was slow, measured, and thoughtful, evincing an anxious care to choose the very words which would express only his exact meaning. From this care to say just the thing he meant he never departed. Still, socially, he was one of the most interesting of men. His scholarship was ripe-his knowledge of books, of men, and of things, was extensive and varied. His views, always comprehensive and clear, never failed in their expression to rivet attention and confer pleasure. To his cheerful temper was superadded a fund of the richest humor, which not unfrequently sparkled into diamond-pointed wit. The prominent and distinguishing features of his intellect, however, were an intense perception and realization of surrounding circumstances; a power of analysis which no complication of facts could baffle; a logical accuracy of thought which could follow the most delicate clew through the mazes of any labyrinth; and a solid judgment which correctly estimated forces and values. Of the use of these faculties he was perfect master. They were thoroughly disciplined-enlightened by extensive knowledge, and perfected by a larger experience. His sound sense, therefore, was of that perfect kind which constitutes wisdom. To strangers, his intellectual action seemed to be slow. This was a misapprehension, requiring for its correction only a better knowledge of the man. In communicating his thoughts to the outer world, in the use of the mere machinery of words, he was simply unready. Where words were not to be used, but things were to be done; where his thoughts were to be translated directly into acts, they moved with all the quickness and force of the electric flash. Of oratorical power he had none. Like Moses, he was “slow of speech,” and could write better than he spoke. Some men can both speak and write greatly above their true intellectual worth. In neither could Sidney Johnston approach the very high mark of his own, and he was fully conscious of the defect. In counsel he was always great — in action, greater still; as at Shiloh, where in penetrating the designs of the enemy, and thwarting them — in seizing at a glance the decisive points of the battle-field, and concentrating upon them more troops than could be opposed to him — in grasping his army, hurling it like a thunderbolt upon the foes and scattering all opposition from before him-his genius blazed forth in all its full-orbed splendor and glory. In his short career as a Confederate general, that victory is his greatest monument. Alas! that the “proud temple he builded there” should have crumbled into dust at his  death. But its memory and his will live in the bosoms of his countrymen as long as there is left on earth one true Confederate heart-beat. To these high intellectual gifts was united a large-hearted goodness of which he was “full as the dew-drop of the morning beam.” Together they shed upon his name a lustre belonging of right only to the immortals. Such was Sidney Johnston-the model soldier, gentleman, and patriot. I close this sketch with a few illustrative anecdotes. While we were at Bowling Green, a man claiming to hail from Nashville presented himself at headquarters and inquired for me. Being shown in, he said a certain friend of mine had directed him to make my acquaintance, as he had something important to communicate. I soon saw he only desired to get into communication with the general, and presented him. He was a glib talker, but had a countenance at once acute, sinister, and malignant. I saw the general fix his gaze upon him as the fellow went on to tell how “above all earthly things he had the Southern cause at heart; that he believed Andrew Johnson was the most dangerous enemy we had in Tennessee, if not in the whole South, and that his death would be a public benefaction; that he knew just where he was in Southeastern Kentucky, and that he could be easily disposed of at a trifling cost of money.” The general rose up and said: “Sir, the Government which I serve meets its enemies in open and honorable warfare. It scorns alike the assassin's knife and the debased scoundrel who would suggest its use!” It is scarcely necessary to add that there was a vacant seat instantaneously in that room. The general turned to me and said, “That scoundrel wanted me to bribe him to assassinate Andrew Johnson.” On another day, while riding, we came unexpectedly upon a colonel who was a West-Pointer, and had made a most favorable impression at headquarters. He was in the midst of a portion of his regiment, cursing and d-ning the men at a furious rate. After we had passed, the general remarked: “That man has not as much sense as I had believed; he does not know how to command men. It is an error to suppose it can be done by fear. The true secret of command lies in the exercise of moderation, united with superior sense and justice. No man can command others with permanent success unless he has learned to command himself. Nor is this a regular army; these are people who have left their homes to fight for their independence. All they require is a little patient instruction.” And few officers know this. General Johnston's piety was a principle. I shall not discuss, with those who see nothing but impiety in others who do not adopt their cherished dogmas, whether or not his views were orthodox. I know, however, that his piety was deep and sincere, and, as illustrative of this trait, state that he and myself had been at work till long after midnight, when he proposed to me to “adjourn to his bedroom, take a drink, say our prayers, and go to sleep.” I told him I would take that night a glass of water, and feared he would find me no better at praying than drinking. He bent on me a look of almost paternal tenderness, and said solemnly, “I never lay my head upon my pillow at night without returning thanks to God for his protecting care, and invoking his guidance in future.”The following reminiscences of General A. S. Johnston were furnished by Rev. R. M. Chapman:  I spent the first half of the year 1839 at Houston, Texas, where I boarded at the house of Colonel Gray, in company with President Lamar, General A. S. Johnston, Secretary of War in Lamar's cabinet, and several other distinguished gentlemen. The opportunity thus afforded me of seeing much of General Johnston was enhanced by his kindness in conversing with me often in a manner less public than at a large table. Of that kindness I have ever retained a most grateful remembrance, in connection with a profound admiration of the nobleness of his character. Especially do I cherish in my memory his last words to me. When the time came for me to go away, I was undetermined whether or not I should return to make my permanent residence in Texas. In taking leave of me, General Johnston pressed my hand and said: “Come back; and, if I have only a blanket, you shall have half of it.” It was in the spring of that year that Bishop Polk, then missionary Bishop of the Southwest, made his first visitation in Texas. During his stay in Houston he was entertained at Colonel Gray's. His meeting there with General Johnston was particularly gratifying to them both, as they had been contemporaries at West Point, and for a part of the time room-mates. Of course, at such an interview (and I believe it was the first they had had since leaving the Academy), no topic of conversation would so readily present itself as recollections of their student-life. I remember one exceedingly interesting conversation of that kind which they had one day, as we sat on the porch after dinner. They had been recalling one and another of their old comrades, and telling what each knew of their later lives and fortunes, when the bishop said, in an impulsive manner, “It is remarkable, general, that out of the three composing our staff at the Point two are in the ministry and you are left alone.” General Johnston was affected by the words, and replied, with evident sensibility: “It is true, bishop, and I cannot say that it is not my fault. But I assure you it is not pride or any such thing that keeps me from confessing the same faith. If I could be convinced, I would preach from the house-tops.” To this the bishop replied, warmly, “I know you would, general — I know you would.” Shortly after, General Johnston left us to go to his office; and then Bishop Polk, by way of apology for his confidence, so feelingly expressed, in his friend's sincerity even of unbelief, related to me the history of his own conversion. While he was in the Academy a very considerable religious awakening occurred among the cadets under the ministry, as chaplain, of the Rev. C. P. McIlvaine, afterward Bishop of Ohio. Polk was one of the first to feel this new concern, and, being entirely ignorant of the first principles of Christian belief, he set to work to inform himself on the subject, beginning with the study of “Christian evidences.” Johnston had no feeling in the matter, but, seeing his room-mate so deeply interested, he read with him such books as the chaplain put into their hands. The event was Polk's entire satisfaction, followed by his joining the church, and determination to leave the army for the ministry, which he did. Though General Johnston paid small attention to dogmatic theology, it has been seen that he was deeply impressed with certain fundamental religious truths, and that his religious aspirations were simple, as they were fervent and direct. During General Johnston's residence at Austin, the Rev. Edward  Fontaine was the Episcopal minister at that place. He was a gentleman of culture, of military education (I believe), and of great zeal and enthusiasm. He saw a good deal of General Johnston, and, after his death, published some reminiscences of him in the Jackson Mississippian, from which the following has been clipped:
If I were selected by the South to award the palm of merit to the most worthy of all the illustrious dead who compose “the noble army of martyrs” who died in defense of our constitutional liberty, I would lay the sacred symbol of peerless excellence upon the tomb of Albert Sidney Johnston. If he were living, and in arms, with Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, and Beauregard, ready to take the field again, and I had to appoint one of these illustrious heroes the generalissimo of our army, I would not hesitate a moment to give him the command of the whole, with a feeling of confidence that each one of them would obey his orders willingly, and that no master of the art of war could improve the orders he would give. In all the virtues which constitute the true patriot and chivalrous hero, these idols of the Southern States were endowed by Nature with equal measures; and whether it be attributable to blood or education, or both, although differing widely in personal appearance, they will be exhibited to future ages by history as much alike in character. Of all his living compeers among our country's defenders, General A. Sidney Johnston resembled, most in disposition and all his marked characteristics, his namesake, General Joseph Eggleston Johnston. They were not at all related by blood; but two men were never more alike in everything except personal appearance. General Joseph E. Johnston is well formed, but under the medium size. His head is unusually large; and, to a painter, it seems a little out of proportion when compared with his body. General A. Sidney Johnston was a very large man — not corpulent, but well proportioned-and weighed at least two hundred pounds. He would have been observed among a thousand good-looking men, as one formed to command others. His wasThe eyes of our living hero, I believe, are dark hazel. Those of him who fell at Shiloh, while lighting his hosts to victory, were like those of Napoleon and Washington-clear gray. They were deeply set, and the heavy shadows of the projecting brows gave them a dark-blue shade. Both possessed the same temperament-full of fire, but so smothered by perfect self-control that few of their most intimate friends have ever witnessed its flashing under any circumstances. But none could doubt that enough of it was embodied to make its possessor formidable as a sleeping lion or silent volcano. A wife, child, or servant, or intimate associate in private life, might be with General Sidney Johnston for a lifetime without ever discovering the slightest manifestation of ill-temper. It has been said that “no man appears great to his valet.” This saying, which might have been true when applied to Charles XII., Frederick the Great, or the Duke of Marlborough, was not so in regard to him. He was the same great man in private and public; and it was his unselfish, generous amiability,  his strict regard to truth and justice, his warm and sympathetic friendship, his tender regard for the rights and sensibilities of others, and the self-control which governed his words and actions, which made his companions love him. His profound learning, his strong common-sense, and the quickness, clearness, and the originality of his thoughts upon all subjects, excited their respect and admiration. I will leave to the historian the task of assigning to him his just position among men as a public servant and as a general; I shall speak of him only as I saw him in private life, and mention a few circumstances which will perhaps illustrate his character. Soon after the Mexican War, a large number of the officers of the United States Army, who had distinguished themselves and received promotion for their gallantry during that struggle, were assembled in Austin, where General Johnston was then stationed. The citizens gave these heroes a splendid ball. But, when the company met, General Johnston was absent, and his presence was considered almost indispensable on such an occasion. The committee of arrangements were much mortified when it was ascertained that, in issuing tickets of invitation to the officers of the army, they had forgotten to send one to General Johnston. They were greatly embarrassed to know how to apologize to him for their neglect. The truth was, that he had lived among them so long, and there was so little of the “pomp and circumstance” of the officer about him, that he was regarded by them as a plain citizen, and as one of themselves; but they did not know how he would be pleased with such an excuse. When he learned the difficulty he was evidently much gratified, and told them riot to feel in the least unpleasant about it, as they had paid him, without intending it, a high compliment. Rev. Mr. Fontaine also relates the following anecdotes:The lofty port, the distant mien,
Which seems to shun the sight, yet awes if seen;
The solemn aspect and the high-born eye,
That checks low mirth, yet lacks not courtesy.
I never heard Sidney Johnston make a public speech. His modesty made him averse to any display of his talents; but he was highly gifted in conversation; and, whether his companions were ladies or gentlemen, he never failed to amuse and to instruct them. He spoke fluently but deliberately, and always used the most correct and appropriate words to express his ideas. In the course of many years, in camp, in garrison, in his own parlor, and while traveling with him through the wilds of Texas, I never heard him say a rude or silly thing, or utter an expression obnoxious to the most refined Christian lady. Yet his conversation abounded with anecdotes, and was spiced with wit and humor. His knowledge of ancient and modern history, and especially that of our country, was thorough; and his acquaintance with every department of natural science was very extensive. He was particularly fond of discussing the merits of all the recent discoveries in geology, and the various branches of natural history. I recollect an incident which will give you some idea of his humor: A clerical friend, who was often his companion in his angling-excursions in the Colorado bottom, brought upon himself a severe attack of intermittent fever by indulging too freely in this innocent amusement during the “dog-days.” Wading in the cold water with an August sun burning upon his head at noon, and inhaling the miasmatic vapor from the decaying moss and aquatic plants left dead upon the sand-bars of the river, shrunk within its narrowest limits in the dry season, had given him “the chills.” The general, with some other friends,  called to see him during his illness. One of them asked him how he made himself sick. He replied that he could not account for the attack, unless it had been caused by getting wet in Barton's Creek and the Colorado River. General Johnston then said: “I will answer your question for my friend. I know his habits well, and I have been with him frequently lately, and but for a very strong constitution I would probably be now in his condition; but he is a clergyman, and as such he does not like to confess that he has made himself sick by frequenting too much low places.” He was a regular attendant at church; but I never knew him to commune at the sacrament of the Lord's supper. His wife was a very pious and useful member of the Episcopal Church. I do not recollect ever to have heard him express his opinion upon the subject of religion but once. I dined with him Sunday after preaching a sermon upon “The doctrine of a special Providence,” to which he listened with profound attention. After dinner, and while conversing with him and Mrs. Johnston, he remarked: “Your sermon to-day interested me very much. I believe firmly in the doctrine of a particular Providence which directs or controls the destiny of the worlds or atoms; and I will relate an incident in my own life, which, with many others of a similar character, has confirmed me in my belief, and which I think will serve to illustrate the truth of your sermon. As the paymaster of this department of our army, I have for the last four years visited Fort Croghan, Fort Worth, and other garrisons in Texas, regularly once in three months, to pay our troops. I have generally had the same escort of soldiers whom I can trust. I have had the same ambulance, the same mules, and the same driver; and, during each quarterly trip between Fort Croghan and Fort Worth, I have invariably camped about one hour before sunset under a certain post-oak tree, near a fine spring, at the end of my first day's journey from Fort Croghan. The mules were so accustomed to the spot that, whenever I reached it, they went to the oak-tree, and turned the wagon around in a position suitable for unloading and pitching the tent under it. I used the body of the tree as a support for the tent, one end of which was fastened to it. In order to reach this camping-place in proper time, I was in the habit of starting punctually at eight o'clock in the morning, and I do not remember to have deviated five minutes from that hour in four years except on one occasion. The ambulance and escort were all ready and willing for the order to march. But I sat conversing with the officers and ladies of the post one hour later than usual. I remember thinking several times that I had better be off; but I felt an aversion to starting, for which I could give no good reason. At length I found that I had idled an entire hour, and gave the order to move. One hour later than usual, traveling four miles an hour, I was at a distance of four miles from the camping-place when I met a furious storm from the northwest. The wind, rain, and hail, accompanied with tremendous thunder and incessant lightning, beat full in our faces with such violence that I was compelled to halt in the prairie, turn the front of the ambulance and the heads of the mules from the storm, and remain where we were until it was over. It continued until late in the night; and we remained upon the spot in a very uncomfortable situation until the next morning. As soon as it was light, I ordered a move to our usual camping-place, where there was plenty of wood and water. and where I intended to breakfast. In an hour we reached it. But the post-oak was gone. A flash of lightning had shivered it in fragments, and torn many of  the roots of it out of the ground; and from the effects of the terrible stroke I am confident that I should have been killed, and all with me would have perished, if I had reached it at the usual time, and if the tent had been pitched where it had been once in every three months for four years. I felt truly thankful for my escape. Now, sir, I can only account for it in this way: I suppose, unconsciously to myself, the Great and all-pervading Spirit influenced my own spirit, and kept me employed or amused in conversation at Fort Croghan. It was necessary that the particular spot of earth where I usually camped should be electrified; but it was not necessary that I should then be killed. Hence a Divine Providence interrupted the regularity of my movements, and saved my life.”General Johnston's deliberation is illustrated by his remark to a precipitate friend who was about to run across a street in front of a carriage driving rapidly: “There is more room behind that carriage than in front of it.” Dr. D. W. Yandell, General Johnston's medical director, furnishes the following incident:
While at Corinth, the owner of a drug-store, living in Tennessee, near to Donelson, represented to the general that his entire stock of drugs had been taken by a Confederate quartermaster for the use of his command, and paid for in Confederate money, which was useless to him. He had come to ask the general if he might not be paid at least its equivalent in Tennessee funds, the difference between the two being then ten or fifteen to one. General Johnston requested me to look over the druggist's account, and see if the prices, etc., were honestly stated. He said, “Scrutinize every item.” I had at the time an experienced druggist acting as clerk in my office. He examined the accounts and found them square. I so reported to the general. He directed his quartermaster to take back the Confederate money, and give instead its equivalent in Tennessee currency, remarking to me at the time, “It wouldn't be honest to pay a man in the enemy's lines in money which had no value to him.” After he had written at Tuscumbia, Alabama, his report of the operations of the army from Bowling Green, he read it to General Preston and myself. I was struck with the expression, “Success is the test of merit,” and objected to its use. He said, “Well, critically perhaps it is not correct, but, as the world goes, it is true, and I am going to let it stand.”The following brief and discriminating description is an extract from an article in Harper's Weekly, published at the time of the Utah Expedition:
Colonel Johnston is now in the matured vigor of manhood. He is above six feet in height, strongly and powerfully formed, with a grave, dignified, and commanding presence. His features are strongly marked, showing his Scottish lineage, and denote great resolution and composure of character. His complexion, naturally fair, is, from exposure, a deep brown. His habits are abstemious and temperate, and no excess has impaired his powerful constitution. His mind is clear, strong, and well cultivated. His manner is courteous, but rather grave and silent. He has many devoted friends, but they have been won and secured rather by the native dignity and nobility of his character than by  his powers of address. He is a man of strong will and ardent temper, but his whole bearing testifies the self-control he has acquired. As a soldier he stands very high in. the opinion of the army. As an instance of this it may be mentioned that, in a large assembly of officers and gentlemen, the gallant and impetuous Worth, when asked who was the best soldier he had ever known, replied, “I consider Sidney Johnston the best soldier I ever knew.”Colonel Thomas F. McKinney, the Robert Morris of the Texan Revolution, in a letter from Austin, dated December 28, 1872, writes thus:
General Johnston's life will be a difficult one to write, as in his action he was always up to the full measure of purity, excellence, and high moral tone. It has often been remarked that General Albert Sidney Johnston possessed more good and high qualities, in an eminent degree, than any man we have ever known; and, though I have heard it repeatedly said where many were present, no one was ever found who did not approve the assertion.General Johnston's ability and conduct were recognized by some persons and public journals at the North, even through the white heat of civil war. A San Francisco paper said:
From an able and dispassionate article in the New York Times, reviewing the career of General Johnston, we take the following extracts:
He was the man who, of all others, had been until lately looked upon in the South as a commander without a peer for active field-work-combining in himself science, skill, daring, coolness, resoluteness, experience, and whatever other characteristics or elements of success are supposed to belong to a great leader. This was the fourth war in which he had seen and done service; and in each of the previous wars he had gained only renown and achieved always success. . . . He perpetually threatened our army with assault and annihilation, kept Louisville, and even Cincinnati, for a time, in a state of perturbation, and delayed the progress of our arms until it seemed his end was on the eve of accomplishment.Speaking of the battle of Pittsburg Landing, the New York Times also said :
It is clear that, while the rebel generalship of Sunday was the best, and ours of that day all but the worst ever seen on this continent, the steady valor of most of our soldiers and the gallant bearing of their officers, converted what would naturally have been a terrible Union disaster into a decided Union victory. And, again, the Times declared that “the rebels, led by their very ablest General, Albert Sidney Johnston, were pressing 30,000 disorganized Unionists down a steep bluff to a deep river, in which the great mass of them must have been drowned, but for the timely arrival of two gunboats.” The writer having found among General Johnston's papers a very complimentary testimonial to the services of Colonel John N. Galleher so well and favorably known as General Buckner's chief of staff, sent it to him. Colonel Galleher, who has, since the war, entered the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church, replied in the following note:
Some extracts from an editorial article of Colonel J. W5r. Avery will be pardoned, as they disclose in part the secret of General Johnston's wonderful influence over his soldiers, which stirred every man with the conviction that he was under the eye of his commander. This gentleman says:  The records of no war show a knightlier warrior than the one whose name heads this sketch. We may be pardoned for laying a leaf upon his bloody yet most honorable grave. He was the first general to whom we reported, as the youthful leader of a cavalry band of gallant Georgians. We had raised this company, and it was unarmed, and we went to him for munitions. Passing by some eulogy by the author on General Johnson's fortitude in the retreat from Nashville, and compliments to the affability of his staff, we come to his description of General Johnston:
General Johnston reminded us of the pictures of Washington. He was very large and massive in figure, and finely proportioned. He measured six feet two inches in height, and had flesh to give him perfect symmetry. His face was large, broad, and high, and beamed with a look of striking benignity. His features were handsomely moulded. He was very straight, and carried himself with grace and lofty and simple dignity. He dressed neatly, but always in full Confederate-gray general's uniform, that suited him admirably. His whole appearance indicated, in a marked degree, power, decision, serenity, thought, benevolence. We thought him then at first flush, and thought it unvaryingly afterward, and think now, in the hallowing memory of his noble manhood, made sacred by the consecration of his thrilling and heroic death for the Southern cause, that he was one of the sweetest and most august men we ever met. His character was entrancing in its pure nobility. We thought him an object for deep veneration; and, whenever we look at the familiar and majestic features of the great Pater Patrice, we always think of Albert Sidney Johnston. We stated our name, and presented our introductory note from General Hardee, when, greeting us courteously and kindly, General Johnston requested us to be seated. It was pretty early in the war then — in November, 1862. Old army-officers were wont to assume much pretension and style, to the great awe of civilian officers, upon whom they generally looked with very unconcealed disdain. To have been a West-Pointer was the grandest of earthly accidents; and to have grown up an unmilitary civilian was an unspeakable and ignominious misfortune. It will be remembered how many of the first class lorded it over the latter. But in Johnston there was none of it. Simple as a child, unassuming and modest as a pure woman, he affected nothing for his high rank. We were inexperienced in tactics, and apprehensive, though ardent in the cause and eager for service. We told this to the general, and asked him to deal gently with our military ignorance in consideration of our zeal. There was something in his manner that emboldened confidence, and, when we got through, nothing could exceed the fatherly manner with which he replied, encouraging, instructing, and assuring us of his kindness. He offered to help us with his counsel, or otherwise; invited us to call on him at any time, and, giving us necessary orders, we left. It was that gentle politeness that won everybody who approached him, and endeared him to his people. Often, afterward, we met him at his headquarters, and in the field, and he always was the same affable, considerate, fatherly gentleman, inspiring the gravest reverence, winning the fondest regard, and exciting the highest admiration. We have not time to tell all the incidents of our experience of this rare gentleman and great captain. We never knew of any one being refused admission and a kindly hearing, and we venture that no distinguished leader ever left a tenderer personal memory than Johnston. But we must hasten on to our last interview with him. It was at Corinth, Mississippi, a few days before the bloody battle of Shiloh. We had some important business, and rode to his headquarters. He met us with his usual cordiality, but stated that, in consequence of very pressing matters, he would be unable to give us his personal attention, and must, for once, refer us to his adjutant-general; but that we must not feel slighted, and lie would always be glad to see us hereafter with the same freedom. The consideration of his manner and remarks amid the engrossing occupation of preparing that great movement to Shiloh, upon which he depended so much to retrieve the disasters of Donelson and Nashville, prove how thorough a gentleman he was, and how kindly was his heart. He bade us good-morning with a friendly grasp of the hand, and we never spoke to him again. That mighty struggle at Shiloh came on. We saw him once in the dread carnage, flashing across the field, the incarnation of the splendid warrior. He always rode large and magnificent horses. His favorite steed was a gray; and when he, was mounted upon the noble animal he was the beau-ideal of a general. His firm, graceful seat in the saddle, his majestic proportions, his soldierly carriage, his handsome uniform, his noble countenance, the radiant bearing of knightly chivalry that marked every movement and feature, all leave a proud remembrance of gallant and striking manhood, for those to dwell upon who knew and loved him. He was killed about twelve o'clock in the first day's fight. His death was kept concealed from the army, as it was feared it would dampen their ardor and chill their confidence. But when it was known-near the close of the second day's battle — it cast a gloom that fell over every heart. And coming, as it did, with the dismal order to retreat, a sense of heavy woe pervaded every bosom. How that fight would have ended if he had lived, is a matter of speculation. That he would have pushed the first day's advantages to the bitter end no one doubts. Our cavalry were hurtling resistlessly upon the enemy's shattered fragments, huddled on the banks of the river, when we were inexplicably and unwillingly withdrawn. Night came. Reinforcements strengthened the foe. Unusual camp luxuries demoralized our men; and the next evening, crippled, worn out, decimated, our army straggled back to Corinth, and the golden chance was gone. That stainless and imperial blood was shed only to illustrate a cause it failed to win. And, in coming days, when the historian sits to write what will be the fair chronicles of the turbulent war of those times, he will lovingly dwell upon no character more shining, illustrious, and exalted-upon no hero more luminous for chivalry, patriotism, genius, and sublime manhood-than Albert Sidney Johnston. General W. C. Whitthorne says, March, 1876:
Allow me to say, as I do from a feeling of reverence and affection for the memory of your father, that he was one of the three great men whom it has  been my fortune in life to meet. His death was the severest loss the Confederacy sustained prior to its ultimate defeat.Mr. J. M. Fairbanks writes that he was a lieutenant of engineers in the Confederate army, and sends the following anecdote:
I was chief clerk in General Hardee's adjutant-general's office, and confidential secretary for General Hardee. In common with all who came in contact with your father, I was inspired by the highest respect and veneration for his noble character. Just before the main attack at “Shiloh,” a countryman, who had been intercepted between the lines, was placed in my charge, with directions by General Hardee to conduct him to General Johnston. On reaching him, he asked a few questions of the man. “How many troops have the enemy?” “Oh, many thousands,” replied the man. “Do you think they have 100,000 men?” asked the general. “Oh, yes,” was the reply. “They won't be a mouthful for us!” remarked the general, smiling. At that moment he was watching with great anxiety the progress of our line of battle, across an open field, expecting any moment when fire would be opened from the woods on the other side. This was the last time I saw him alive, and his appearance then is stamped on my memory.Hon. Jefferson Davis told the writer that Mr. Buchanan asked him if he could advise him who was the best man to appoint to the command of the Utah Expedition. He recommended General Johnston. “But if not Johnston, who then?” inquired the President. “Persifer F. Smith, if his health will allow,” answered Mr. Davis. “Whom else could you recommend, if neither of these could be sent?” asked the President. “Robert E. Lee.” Mr. Buchanan then said, “Do you and General Scott ever by any possibility agree?” “I should not like to think that I did not often agree on military affairs with a man of General Scott's experience,” replied Mr. Davis. “Well,” said Mr. Buchanan, “you have named the same persons for this service, though not in the same order.” Judge William P. Ballinger, of Galveston, Texas, writing in 1873 of General Johnston, says:
His impression on me was very strong and lasting. I was a boy of eighteen, and your father was the first great man I was ever thrown in association with. I saw a great deal of him for several years — I was his adjutant in Mexico. Since then I have met a number of the so-called great men of the day. Very few have excited in me any high degree of admiration. But I have a veneration for your father that classes him with the very loftiest historical beau-ideals. If I were to construct a Parthenon for perfect nobility, lofty, true, genuine, pure, undeviating-Colonel Wharton J. Green, of North Carolina, some anecdotes from whose pen have already been inserted in this memoir, in a letter to the present writer says, in regard to General Johnston:Standing four squarehis would be the statue enshrined. 
‘Gainst all the winds that blow
Portray him as he was-great, good, single-minded, and simple. He was the devotee of duty, but disposed to soften its asperities to others. His was a character with few counterparts in ancient or modern story. It has been said that the noblest eulogy ever written consisted of a single word--“the just.” All who ever knew General Johnston will confirm that he was as well entitled to that epithet as the old Athenian, and, coupled with it, to another, “the generous.” Talleyrand's saying, “No man is a hero to his valet,” is true in the main; but General Johnston would have been a hero to his very shadow. Those who knew him best admired him most. His peerless, blameless life was long enough for glory; and but one brief day, perhaps one hour only, too short for liberty. One hour more for him in the saddle, and the Confederate States would have taken their place at the council-board of the nations.Governor Harris thus notes some of the points he had observed in General Johnston in the last half-year of his life:
From the day that General Albert Sidney Johnston assumed command of the Department of the West, in September, 1861, to the moment of his death, I was in almost constant intercourse with him, either in personal consultation or correspondence by letter or telegram. Our official positions necessarily brought us in contact, and official intercourse soon warmed into personal friendship, and, on my part, into decided admiration for the great ability, unselfish and self-sacrificing patriotism, and exalted chivalry, of the general. I was with him when the telegram announced the surrender of the Confederate forces at Donelson, and had occasion to admire the philosophic heroism with which he met, not only the disaster, but the unjust censure and complaints of both army and people, the coolness and energy with which he set about the work of reorganizing the remnant of his army, and the establishment of a new and different line of defense. I was with him most of the time of his retreat from Nashville to Corinth, and was not unfrequently astonished at the coolness, vigilance, and untiring energy with which he struggled to overcome the numerous obstacles and difficulties which surrounded him.The following is an extract from Dr. Craven's “Prison life of Mr. Davis” (page 210):
Had Albert Sidney Johnston lived, Mr. Davis was of opinion our [the Federal] success down the Mississippi would have been fatally checked at Corinth. This officer best realized his ideal of a perfect commander-large in view, discreet in council, silent as to his own plans, observant and penetrative of the enemy's, sudden and impetuous in action, but of a nerve and balance of judgment which no heat of danger or complexity of maneuver could upset or bewilder. All that Napoleon said of Dessaix and Kleber, save the slovenly habits of one of them, might be combined and truthfully said of Albert Sidney Johnston.President Davis, in speaking of him to the writer in August, 1862, said his consistency of action and conduct differed from any other man's  he ever knew. In every other man he had seen inconsistency; in him, none. He said his was the only arm he ever felt able to lean upon with entire confidence. It was a severe struggle to let him go West-he wanted him as Secretary of War-but the West was a field vast and distant, where the chief must act without advice or aid, and he seemed the only man equal to it. If allowance is to be made for the unlimited confidence of Mr. Davis in General Johnston, it must be remembered that the admiration was mutual, and that their friendship was founded on long and intimate acquaintance, and tried by many tests. Alfriend, in his “Life of Davis” (page 334), says:
Few of the eminent soldiers who had sought service under the banners of the Confederacy had a more brilliant record of actual service; and to the advantages of reputation General Johnston added those graces and distinctions of person with which the imagination invests the ideal commander. He was considerably past middle age, his height exceeded six feet, his frame was large and sinewy, his every movement and posture indicated vigorous and athletic manhood. The general expression of his striking face was grave and composed, but inviting rather than austere. The arrival of General Johnston in Richmond, early in September, was a source of peculiar congratulation to President Davis. Between these illustrious men had existed for many years an endearment, born of close association, common trials and triumphs, and mutual confidence, which rendered most auspicious their cooperation in the cause of Southern independence.The late Prof. A. T. Bledsoe, a very able and eminent writer and thinker, in one of his publications, says:
Albert Sidney Johnston, who, take him all in all, was the simplest, bravest, grandest man we have ever known, once said to the present writer, “There is no measuring such a man as Davis;” and this high tribute had a fitting counterpart in that which Davis paid Johnston, when discussing in the Federal Senate the Utah Expedition.This tribute has been already quoted. General Richard Taylor, in the advanced sheets of his “Reminiscences,” published March, 1878, in the “Southern historical society papers,” says:
 The following has been sent to the writer from New Orleans:
No eulogy has been composed, no tribute has been rendered, giving more fitting expression to the lofty qualities that marked the illustrious dead, when living, than the following beautiful epitaph, which was found pasted on a rough board attached to the tomb, by a lady passing through the St. Louis Cemetery of this city, and which was first published in the New Orleans Times: With the apology already offered in the beginning of this chapter, and with the explanation that the writer does not profess that his delineation is unbiased, he ventures to call attention to those points in General Johnston's character which struck him most forcibly, and in the contemplation of which a young man may find his profit. Let this estimate go merely as the writer's filial claim for General Johnston to certain great qualities of mind and soul, unless this biography has made his title to them as clear as day. Wherein he is not justified by the facts, the reader will readily perceive that he errs, and lay it to the frailty of our common humanity. There is, however, one relation in which he is entitled to speak with authority: General Johnston was to him not only a tender father, but a wise counselor and a safe friend. His whole conduct was marked by kindness, confidence, and unselfish devotion. In all their intercourse, memory can recall no angry word, no unkind act, not even a harsh look, to sully the untarnished record of mutual affection. Such is believed to be the experience of all his family. He was gentle to women and children; tender to the weak and suffering, gracious to subordinates and dependents, just and magnanimous to equals and rivals, respectful to superiors, and tolerant to all men. Not envious, jealous, or suspicious; yet so high strung was his spirit that he could ill-brook personal indignity or insult. Such was his self-respect, however, that he rarely had to check a want of respect in others. It has been seen with what patience and fortitude, indeed with what serenity, he bore private griefs and public contumely. His nature, his education, his philosophy, his religion, had so finely tempered his soul that at last he had in him no fear, except of doing wrong. He had no love for and little need of money, and was generous and liberal in its use. In matters immaterial he was facile; in things of import, scrupulous and just; and his quick intelligence never failed to perceive the doubtful dividing line. Naturally of a high, courageous, and resolute spirit, he found it difficult to swerve from a line of action he had marked out; and the more so, because his opinions were formed after deliberation. Yet, that his mental processes were rapid is seen by the decision with which he acted. He was not proof against the love of glory; but in him it was transmuted to a fine ambition to be and to do, not simply to seem. Results he left to take care of themselves, if only he could do his duty. All this came from his love of truth, which was with him a passion. He sought the truth, striving to know it, and to live up to it in greater and smaller things. Hence, though perceiving that success is the world's test of merit, he could square his acts by another standard.  As a general. his tactics were skillful, and his strategy was bold and sagacious, In council, he was enterprising, yet wary; in assault, audacious, impetuous, and unrelenting ; in disaster, tenacious, resourceful, and composed. While he knew and regarded all the details of his profession, his skill in handling large bodies of troops was remarkable; and he grasped with ease the broadest generalizations of war. Time will add to his reputation as a general. Above all, his life and character were self-contained, perfectly consistent, and complete in their rounded fullness. He did many great and noble deeds, and won rank, power, and applause, without tarnish to his modesty and simplicity. He suffered much in mind, body, and estate, without repining; not only with patience, but in silence. Like some great tree, which finds in earth, and air, and storm, and sunshine, nourishment for its growth, he drew sweetness and strength from every element of Nature, and from every dispensation of Providence. He was a man to be loved, to be reverenced, and to be emulated. General Johnston dared to say in the midst of immeasurable disasters: “The test of merit in my profession, with the people, is success. It is a hard rule, but I think it right.” Perhaps, with still wider scope, success is the test of merit in a human life. But, even measured by this hard rule, the most adverse criticism cannot pronounce his life a failure. Rejecting patronage, standing on merit alone, inflexible in right, and devoted to duty, a whole people regard him as the very pattern of a noble citizen, an able leader, a splendid soldier, a great general, and an upright man. Millions wept for him. The ablest and the best wrote for him the proud epitaph that on his arm rested the sinking fortunes of the state. Who will, then, dare to say he did not achieve success? If money, if office, if luxury, if rank, if power, alone go to make it up, then he did live in vain. But none of these did he value highly. He won the crown for which he strove — the approval of the wise and good,
'Tis only the actions of the justAnd, finally, those who loved him will find consolation for his end, in a sentiment borrowed from the civil law, that may well be a common heritage to the South in thinking on her martyrs:
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
We know that those who for their country die,
Through glory live again immortally.