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[164] tha this friend was essentially a soldier and had failed to secure in our service the rank to which his worth and his position in the old army justly entitled him—all unconscious the while of the noble contrast which his own conduct presented in turning his back upon a higher position in the old service than any other southern officer sacrificed, and never sulking, but fighting to the bitter end under what he considered injustice like to that which repelled his friend?

His mere intellectual pre-eminence does not even require distinct assertion. Not only does his career throughout bear witness to it, but it is perhaps not too much to say that by the general consensus of competent opinion in the United States, North and South, Joseph E. Johnson is ranked as at least the peer of any officer upon either side during the late war, not in intellect only, but in all the learning and and skill of his profession.

He was even more than this. It is questionable whether there can be found, in all the annals of war and of defeat, a sublimer exhibition of imperturbable poise of soul and perfect command of the very utmost of one's supremest powers, than is furnished by Johnston's great double act of soldiership and statesmanship, in the battle of Bentonville and the convention with Sherman.

But not only did his comprehensive intelligence and his high-souled strength overlap and rise above the broad, high ideal even of the true soldier—if soldier only—but his heart and his affections were so rich and so loving that, even his lion-like masculinity could not banish from his intercourse with his family and his friends a tenderness that was absolutely womanly. General Dabney Maury says he kissed him upon both cheeks and then upon his lips when parting with him for the last time. It was one of his peculiar habits to embrace and kiss men whom he especially loved and trusted. He was not only affectionate and tender—‘he of the lion-heart and hammer-hand’ and body battle-scarred—but he was the most affectionate and the most tender of men.


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