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Johnston, Joseph Eccleston 1809-

Military officer; born in Longwood, Va., Feb. 3, 1809; graduated at West Point in 1829, and entered the artillery. He served in the wars with the Florida. Indians, and with Mexico, in which he was twice wounded. He became lieutenantcolonel of cavalry in 1855, and quartermaster-general, with the rank of brigadier-general, in June, 1860. He joined the Confederates in the spring of 1861, and was commissioned a major-general in [182] the Army of Virginia. He was in command at the battle of Bull Run, and fought gallantly on the Virginia peninsula, until wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines (1862), when he was succeeded by Lee. He afterwards opposed Grant and Sherman in the Mississippi Valley. He was in command during the Atlanta campaign in 1864 until July, when he was superseded by General Hood.

When Johnston heard of Sherman's raid, and perceived that Polk could not resist him, he sent two divisions of Hardee's corps, under Generals Stewart and Anderson, to assist Polk. Grant, in command at Chattanooga (February, 1864), sent General Palmer with a force to counteract this movement. Palmer moved with his corps directly upon Dalton (Feb. 22),

Joseph Eccleston Johnston.

where Johnston was encamped. The Confederates were constantly pushed back and there was almost continual heavy skirmishing. In the centre of Rocky Face Valley, on a rocky eminence, the Confederates made a stand, but were soon driven from the crest by General Turchin, after a severe struggle. The Confederates rallied, and, returning with an overwhelming force, retook the hill. Palmer, finding his adversaries gathering in force larger than his own, and learning that the object of his expedition had been accomplished, in the calling back of Hardee by Johnston, fell back and took post (March 10) at Ringgold. In this short campaign the Nationals lost 350 killed and wounded; the Confederates about 200.

With the surrender of Lee, the Civil War was virtually ended. Although he was general-in-chief, his capitulation included only the Army of Northern Virginia. That of Johnston, in North Carolina, and smaller bodies, were yet in the field. When Sherman, who confronted Johnston, heard of the victory at Five Forks and the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, he moved on Johnston (April 10, 1865), with his whole army. The latter was at Smithfield, on the Neuse River, with fully 30,000 men. Jefferson Davis and the Confederate cabinet were then at Danville, on the southern border of Virginia, and had just proposed to Johnston a plan whereby they might secure their own personal safety and the treasures they had brought with them from Richmond. It was to disperse his army, excepting two or three batteries of artillery, the cavalry, and as many infantry as he could mount, with which he should form a guard for the “government,” and strike for the Mississippi and beyond, with Mexico as their final objective. Johnston spurned the proposition, and, deprecating the bad example of Lee in continuing what he knew to be a hopeless war, had the moral courage to do his duty according to the dictates of his conscience and his nice sense of honor. He refused to fight any more, or to basely desert his [183] army far away from their home, as the “government” proposed, and stated frankly to the people of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, ineluded within his military department, that “war could not be longer continued by them, except as robbers,” and that he should take measures to stop it and save the army and people from further evil, and “avoid the crime of waging a hopeless war.” Sherman was pushing Johnston with great vigor, when the former received a note from the latter (April 14, 1865), asking if a temporary suspension of active hostilities might be arranged to allow the “civil authorities to enter into the needful arrangements to terminate the existing war.” Sherman promptly replied that he would do so, and was willing to hold a conference. He said that, as a basis of action, he would undertake to abide by the terms made by Grant and Lee at Appomattox Court-house. Sherman and Johnston met at Durham's Station, half-way between Raleigh and Hillsboro, at ten o'clock, April 17. Johnston said he regarded the Confederate cause as lost, and admitted that Grant's terms were magnanimous; but he insisted upon conditions involving political guarantees, which Sherman had no authority to grant. At a second conference the next day, Sherman consented to a memorandum of agreement as a basis for the consideration of the government, which, if carried out, would have instantly restored to all persons engaged in the rebellion every right and privilege, social and political, which they had enjoyed before the war, without any liability of punishment. It was adroitly drawn up by Breckinridge, and was signed by the respective commanding generals. The national government instantly rejected it, and General Grant was sent to Raleigh to declare that rejection, which he did April 24, and proclaimed that the truce would end in forty-eight hours. This notification was accompanied by a demand for the surrender of Johnston's army, on the terms granted to Lee. The capitulation was agreed upon at the house of James Bennett, near Durham's Station, April 26. About 25,000 troops were surrendered. The capitulation included all the troops in Johnston's military department. General Taylor surrendered at Citronelle, Ala., to General Canby, on the same terms, and the Confederate navy on the Tombigbee River was surrendered by Commander Farrand to Rear-Admiral

Place of Johnston's surrender to Sherman.

Thatcher. Gen. Wade Hampton, of Johnston's surrendered forces, refused to comply with the terms, and dashed off, with a considerable body of cavalry, towards Charlotte, to follow the fortunes of Jefferson Davis.

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