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im that it was too late, and, by the time he reached the Mississippi, Fort Henry had fallen. Without undertaking at all to solve how Mr. Swinton has fallen into such errors, a few facts will demonstrate an entirely different state of case. General Beauregard was ordered, January 26th, by letter from Richmond, to report to General Johnston, and to take command at Columbus. He did not leave Manassas for several days, and probably arrived at Bowling Green about February 5th or 6th. On the 7th he held a conference with Generals Johnston and Hardee, the minutes of which are here given. It will be observed that, on February 4th and 5th, General Johnston was moving troops to Clarksville to support Tilghman, and on the 6th ordered Floyd's entire command thither. General Beauregard remained in Bowling Green until the 12th. His conference with General Johnston did not take place until February 7th, when they both knew of the fall of Fort Henry, and made their plans with reference t
hville, 5,400, out of the 14,000, fell under the care of the medical authorities. Medical Director D. W. Yandell, in making this report at Nashville, February 18, 1862, says this large number is to be accounted for by the immense number of convalescents and men merely unfit for duty or unable to undertake a march. On February 11th, everything being in readiness, the troops began their retreat, Hindman's brigade covering the rear. Breckinridge's command passed through Bowling Green on the 12th, and bivouacked on the night of the 13th two miles north of Franklin. It was on that Thursday night that the weather became so intensely cold, as was related in the siege of Fort Donelson. The next day's march brought them to Camp Trousdale, where they occupied the huts; but with little profit, as some atmospheric condition made the smoke in them intolerable. After a bad night from smoke and the bitter cold, they marched twenty-seven miles next day, and on the day after, the 16th, through
the northern bank of the Cumberland, saw the last of his wearied and tired columns defile across and safely establish themselves beyond. ... He had with promptness, unrivaled military sagacity, and yet with mingled caution and celerity, dismantled his fortifications at Bowling Green, transmitted his heavy artillery and ammunition to Nashville, and extricated his entire army from the jaws of almost certain annihilation and capture. General Johnston left Bowling Green before daylight on the 13th, and made his headquarters at Edgefield, opposite Nashville. Colonel Woolley, in the article before mentioned, says: The evacuation was accomplished, protected by a force so small as to make doubtful the fact. Fifteen hundred sick had to be removed. Large quantities of stores and ammunition had accumulated. The provisions were nearly all secured except a large lot of spoiled pickled beef. Not a pound of ammunition, nor a gun, was lost. The engineer who destroyed the bridge in fron
stores without destroying the city, do it. Thus, in the hour of his own deepest distress, he was vigilant and solicitous for the welfare of citizens and non-combatants. The following extract is from General Johnston's letter to the Secretary of War: headquarters, Western Department, Nashville, February 18, 1862. sir: In conformity with the intention announced to the department, the corps under the command of Major-General Hardee completed the evacuation of Bowling Green on the 14th inst., and the rear-guard passed the Cumberland at this point yesterday morning in good order. I have ordered the army to encamp to-night midway between this place and Murfreesboro. My purpose is, to place the force in such a position that the enemy cannot concentrate his superior strength against the command, and to enable me to assemble as rapidly as possible such other troops in addition as it may be in my power to collect. The complete command which their gunboats and transports give t
es beyond. The Kentuckians retreated sullenly. Thompson's History of the first Kentucky brigade, pp. 16-81. General George B. Hodge, then Breckinridge's assistant adjutant-general, in an interesting account of that brigade, mentions that- The spirits of the army were cheered by the accounts which General Johnston, with thoughtful care, forwarded by means of couriers daily, of the successful resistance of the army. The entire army bivouacked in line of battle on the night of the 15th, at the junction of the Gallatin and Nashville and Bowling Green and Nashville [turnpike] roads, about ten miles from Nashville. At 4 P. M., on the 16th, the head of the brigade came in sight of the, bridges at Nashville, across which, in dense masses, were streaming infantry, artillery, and transportation and provision trains, but still with a regularity and order which gave promise of renewed activity and efficiency in the future. At nightfall, General Johnston, who had established hi
resistance of the army. The entire army bivouacked in line of battle on the night of the 15th, at the junction of the Gallatin and Nashville and Bowling Green and Nashville [turnpike] roads, about ten miles from Nashville. At 4 P. M., on the 16th, the head of the brigade came in sight of the, bridges at Nashville, across which, in dense masses, were streaming infantry, artillery, and transportation and provision trains, but still with a regularity and order which gave promise of renewed ac demoralization of organized commands, and, though the troops were wearied, suffering, and disconcerted, they were kept well in hand for a fight, had an attack been made. In this brief dispatch to General Beauregard, sent on the morning of the 16th, General Johnston sums up the fate of Donelson: At 2 A. M. to-day Fort Donelson surrendered. We lost all. Colonel Munford, who was General Johnston's aide-de-camp, in his address at Memphis, thus describes the announcement of the surrender of
, Johnston does not appear to have comprehended that a defensive attitude could only result fatally — that his sole ground of hope rested in taking advantage of his interior position to concentrate the gross of his force at a single point, and assume the offensive against one or the other of the two Union armies. Connected with this is a piece of secret history, revealed to me by General Beauregard since the close of the war, which will not be out of place here. Toward the close of the first month of the year 1862, General Beauregard was transferred from Virginia to the West, to take charge, under Sidney Johnston, of the defense of the Mississippi Valley. En route he visited Johnston at his headquarters at Bowling Green, and between the two officers a prolonged conference ensued, touching the best method of action. It was with the liveliest concern that Beauregard, who had understood at Richmond that Johnston's force numbered 60,000 men, learned that in reality it was little ove
January 26th (search for this): chapter 33
d. Johnston fell in with this plan, and Beauregard proceeded to Columbus to put it in train of execution. Scarcely, however, had he started for Columbus when the thunder of the Union guns on the Tennessee apprised him that it was too late, and, by the time he reached the Mississippi, Fort Henry had fallen. Without undertaking at all to solve how Mr. Swinton has fallen into such errors, a few facts will demonstrate an entirely different state of case. General Beauregard was ordered, January 26th, by letter from Richmond, to report to General Johnston, and to take command at Columbus. He did not leave Manassas for several days, and probably arrived at Bowling Green about February 5th or 6th. On the 7th he held a conference with Generals Johnston and Hardee, the minutes of which are here given. It will be observed that, on February 4th and 5th, General Johnston was moving troops to Clarksville to support Tilghman, and on the 6th ordered Floyd's entire command thither. Genera
February 1st (search for this): chapter 33
is converted into the praises of to-morrow by a simple success. All I require to rectify that is to get in position where I can fight a battle, and I think all will be well. The conversation was closed by his assuring me he would hold Bowling Green as long as it was safe to do so-even to the last moment. In a few weeks the enemy's plans were developed just as he had foretold, and that moment came. General John C. Brown informs the writer that he was sent by General Buckner, between the 1st and 4th of February, from Russellville to Bowling Green, in order to have a full conversation with General Johnston touching the reorganization of the troops and some other matters. During this confidential interview, which was frank and extended, General Johnston explained to him the positions and relative strength of Buell's army and his own, and read to him a good deal of his correspondence elucidating these points. Among other things, General Johnston told him that if he should lose Hen
February 2nd (search for this): chapter 33
and could have been at Henry with any reasonable warning. If there were not enough men at Donelson, it was not from defect of judgment, but from want of adequate means. The elements, too, fought for the Federals. An unprecedented flood favored their attacks by water, while it impeded the movements of the Confederates. No time was given to General Johnston, either through the sluggishness of the enemy, or by the prolonged resistance of his own troops, to repair disaster. Grant moved February 2d; in four days Henry was in his hands. Ten days only intervened between General Johnston's first information of the attack on Henry and the surrender of Donelson. He meant to defend Nashville at Donelson, if he could, and, if not, then to reunite his corps and to fight on a more retired line. A very astonishing statement is made by Mr. Swinton, in his Decisive battles of the War, page 65. He says: In this condition, outnumbered on both lines, Johnston does not appear to have co
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