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Memorial services in Memphis Tenn., March 31, 1891.

Memorial of his life and addresses by Major T. B. Edgington,
General George W. Gordon, Colonel Casey young and others.
The services in honor of the memory of General Johnston, held in Memphis, Tennessee, in the Grand Opera House, on the night of March 31, were of the most impressive character.

Throughout they were marked by simplicity and earnestness. The speeches were not marked by oratorical flights, but they were eloquent, for they told the life story of a man among ten thousand. The music, sadly beautiful, seemed typical of the transportation of a commotion into a land calm and quiet. On the stage to the right there stood the picture of Johnston draped and embowered with flags and flowers. To the left a broken column built of immortels, roses, lilies and smilax reared its head. Between the two stood the speakers of the evening. With his hand resting upon a sable-colored table, Colonel Luke Finley read the memorial address prepared by himself, Samuel P. Walker, Lude E. Wright, George W. Gordon and L. B. McFarland. It was a tribute to a comrade from men who had followed him in the wake of war and had stood shoulder to shoulder with him when the battle fiercely raged. It told of his career, the momentous part he played in the greatest war of modern times; it recited his life as a citizen and told of his noble attributes and characteristics. No more eloquent tribute could be paid to any man than that contained in that address. The Hon. T. B. Edgington and General George W. Gordon stood beside that picture and column and laid garlands of praise upon the tomb of their departed friend, and the Hon. Casey Young, in language both beautiful and eloquent, told of the departed one's career as a servant of the people and of his sunny home-life.

In the rear of these emblems were three rows of chairs, occupied by the vice-presidents of the meeting, and still further back were rows of seats arranged for the military. The audience filled the theatre long before 8 o'clock, and the Southern Mothers and the members of the Ladies' Confederate Memorial Association had taken their places in the boxes before the soldier boys put in appearance. Shortly the ‘tramp, tramp,’ announced their arrival and they [190] marched upon the stage in the following order: Rozier Zouaves, Hibernian Rifles, Bluff City Zouaves, Maurelian Cadets, Jones Cadets and the Chickasaw Guards.

The officers of the ceremonies were:

Hon. Josiah Patterson, master of ceremonies.

Vice-PresidentsMr. Joseph Flynn, Captain L. B. McFarland, Mr. Luke E. Wright, Mr. J. A. Taylor, Captain J. Harvey Mathes, Mr. W. A. Collier, Colonel R. Dudley Frayser, Mr. James E. Cleary, Mr. John Linkhauer, Mr. J. H. Martin, Mr. T. B. Gurley, Mr. Napoleon Hill, Major T. H. Hartmus, Hon. E. S. Hammond, General A. J. Vaughan, Dr. G. B. Thornton, Hon. T. W. Brown, Hon. J. S. Galloway, Hon. M. C. Gallaway, Captain W. W. Carnes, Mr. Henry Buttenberg, Mr. Z. M. Estes, Mr. B. Vaccaro, Major B. J. Semmes, Mr. W. J. Crawford, General M. T. Williamson, Major R. J. Person, Captain E. A. Cole, Mr. J. M. Keating, Hon. J. Montedonico, Colonel C. M. Heiskell, Hon. Martin Kelly, Mr. F. R. Brennan, Hon. J. W. Clapp, Major G. W. McRae, Captain H. C. Warriner, Mr. W. H. Carroll, Mr. Holmes Cumming, Mr. John W. Cochran, Colonel C. W. Frazer, Mr. A. D. Gwinn, Major J. J. Murphy, General James R. Chalmers, Mr. A. J. McLendon, Mr. P. M. Winters, Mr. Thomas H. Allen, Sr., General R. F. Patterson, Mr. Fred Wolff.

The programme of ceremonies, as follows, was commenced a little after 8 o'clock:

1. ‘Repose in Peace’(paraphrase)Arnold's Orchestra.
2. Opening RemarksBy the Chairman.
3. PrayerRt. Rev. C. T. Quintard.
4. ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’Choir and Orchestra.
5. Memorial AddressHon. Luke W. Finley.
6. ‘How Blest The Righteous When He Dies’Choir and Orchestra.
7. Oration Hon. T. B. Edgington.
8. ‘Asleep in Jesus’Choir and Orchestra.
9. Oration General George W. Gordon.
10. ‘Rest, Spirit, Rest’Choir and Orchestra.
11. Oration Hon. Casey Young.
12. St. Cecilia—HymnNavarro.

Arnold's Orchestra

13. Benediction Rev. M. N. Long.
14. ‘Bereft’Lenox.

It had been announced that Hon. Isham G. Harris would preside over the exercises, but as he had been called unexpectedly to New [191] York on congressional business, Hon. Josiah Patterson filled the place in his stead. Throughout the proceedings the assemblage was not chary of applause, and Mr. Patterson receiving a good share of the same at the expiration of his opening address, which was in the following words:

Ladies and gentlemen:

In the absence of the Hon. Isham G. Harris, himself a distinguished figure in the war between the States, and who for many years enjoyed the personal friendship of the late General Joseph E. Johnston, I have been requested to preside over these memorial exercises. As the epoch of the war recedes into history, the matchless spirits who guided the contending armies are passing away. Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, McClellan, Hancock, Meade, Thomas, Logan, Farragut and Porter; Davis, Lee, Bragg, Hood, Forrest, Cheatham, Price and Semmes have all passed the mysterious border which divides time from eternity, and are resting with the spirits of Albert Sydney Johnston, Jackson, McPherson, Polk, Hill and Cleburne.

At last the beloved commander whose death we mourn, returning from the funeral of his great antagonist, full of years and of honor, bade the world adieu, and passed into history side by side with Sherman. As the struggle recedes into the past our sense of its magnitude deepens, and the figures who stood in its forefront grow in proportion. As each year rolls by it becomes clearer and clearer to the patriotism of the American people that these great names are a common heritage. The future patriot from Maine and the future patriot from Texas, under a common flag, and in the pride of a common country, will do equal honor to the memories of Grant and Lee, and Johnston and Sherman.

If I were asked to state the most important incident in American history, I would answer the magnanimity extended by Grant and Sherman in accepting the surrender of the Confederate armies, and the absolute good faith of Lee and Johnston in guiding the steps of their people back to the fold of the Union. Distinguished gentlemen will, before the conclusion of these exercises, speak of the military achievements of General Johnston. I wish, in a word, to emphasize the dignity and loyalty with which he returned to the flag of his fathers. He has demonstrated in his life, which was prolonged to us for so many years, that patriotic devotion to a common country is not [192] inconsistent with that pride which the Confederate soldier feels in the part he took in the unequal struggle of a heroic people.

Speaking for the veterans who followed the leadership of the lamented Johnston during the war, and who are soon to follow him to the grave, there is nothing so gratifying to their patriotic aspirations as the knowledge that their children will be citizens of a great and magnanimous country, and that they can be loyal to its flag without dishonor to their ancestry. It is a source of infinite pride to them that brave and patriotic men throughout the republic mourn the loss and cherish the memory of Joseph E. Johnston.

Bishop Charles Todd Quintard then advanced to the footlights and as he bowed his venerable head he requested the audience to rise. As soon as his request had been complied with he, in a strong voice, began the recital of several beautiful and appropriate selections from the Church of England service for the burial of the dead, commencing with the declaration of belief, ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth,’ and ending with the Lord's Prayer, in the recital of which he was joined by the audience.

The choir and orchestra then rendered ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee,’ and on its conclusion Congressman Patterson introduced Colonel Luke W. Finlay, and remarked that the memorial that would be read by him had been prepared by five comrades who had followed General Johnston in the fortunes of war.

The memorial follows.

His life in detail.

General Joseph E. Johnston was born in Cherry Grove, Va., February 3, 1807, and died in Washington City, D. C., March 21, 1891, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. He was graduated at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in the same class with General Lee, in 1829, and was commisssioned second lieutenant of the artillery. His service in military and topographical duty was continuous in that rank until 1836, when he was promoted to first lieutenancy of artillery and made aid-de-camp to General Winfield Scott in the Seminole war. A civil engineer in 1837-38, and in July, 1838, he was appointed first lieutenant in the corps of topographical engineers and breveted captain for gallantry in the Seminole war.

In that war a ball struck him above the forehead and ranged backward, grazing the skull the entire distance, the only injury he then sustained, though his uniform was perforated with thirty bullets. He continued in the service of the United States as soldier and topographical [193] engineer; and in the war with Mexico participated in the seige of Vera Cruz, and the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the storming of the City of Mexico; and was breveted major, lieutenant-colonel and colonel April 12, 1847, for gallant and meritorious conduct on reconnoitering duty at Cerro Gordo. He was severely wounded at Cerro Gordo and Chapultepec, where, September 13, 1847, he led a detachment of the storming forces, and General Scott reported that he was the first to plant regimental colors on the ramparts of the fortress. After the Mexican war he was returned to the rank of captain of topographical engineer, and served as chief of that body in the Department of Texas in 1852 and 1853, and acted as inspector-general on the expedition to Utah in 1858. June 30, 1860, he was commissioned quartermaster-general of the United States army, but resigned that post on the 22d of April, 1861. He was commissioned major-general of volunteers in the army of Virginia, and, with General Robert E. Lee, organized the volunteers of that State—and being summoned to Montgomery, the Confederate capital, he was appointed one of the four brigadier-generals there commissioned, and was assigned to the command of Harper's Ferry. General Robert Patterson, commanding the Federal forces, was then advancing from the north of the Potomac and General Johnston withdrew his command, the Army of the Shenandoah, from the cul-de-sac at Harper's Ferry and took position at Winchester. When General Beauregard was attacked at Manassas by the Federal army under General McDowell, July 18, 1861, General Johnston, covering his movements with Stuart's cavalry, left Patterson in the Valley and rapidly marched to the assistance of Beauregard. On reaching the field he left Beauregard, whom he ranked, in tactical command of the field, but assumed responsibility in charge of the battle then about to be fought. He then commanded the consolidated forces, designated as the Army of the Potomac, and held the position at Manassas Junction till the spring of 1862, when finding General McClellan about to advance, he withdrew to the defensive line of the Rappahannock. He fought the battle of Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, in which he was wounded and incapacitated for duty until the following autumn.

Appointed a Brigadier-General.

On August 31, 1861, General Johnston was appointed one of the five full generals authorized by an act of the Confederate Congress, commissioned in the following order: Samuel Cooper, Albert Sidney [194] Johnson, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston and G. T. Beauregard. In March, 1863, he was assigned to the command of the Southwest, including the forces of Generals Bragg, Kirby Smith and Pemberton. In May, 1863, General Grant crossed the Mississippi river to attack Vicksburg in the rear, and General Johnston was ordered to take command of all the Confederate forces in Mississippi. Straightway he endeavored to withdraw Pemberton from Vicksburg and reinforce him from Bragg's army, but his plan miscarried by reason of Pemberton's failure to obey his orders, and Vicksburg capitulated to Grant. In December, 1863, he was transferred to the command of the Army of Tennessee, with headquarters at Dalton, Ga. During the winter of 1863-‘64 he energetically engaged in organizing and disciplining this force, which had been beaten and broken at the battle of Missionary Ridge November, 1863. Shortly thereafter, by May, 1864, he had collected and mobilized forty-three thousand men of all arms, and was subsequently reinforced by General Polk's and other forces, which increased his army to about sixty thousand. May 14, 1864, General Sherman advanced on General Johnston's position at Dalton, Ga., with the combined forces of three Federal armies—the Cumberland, under General George H. Thomas; Tennessee, under General James B. McPherson, and the Ohio, under General John Schofield-aggregating ninety-nine thousand strong, with two hundred and fifty-four guns. And thus was inaugurated one of the most memorable campaigns of the war—one that lasted more than two months with daily fighting of some character.

Sherman did not attack Johnston's position at Dalton in force, but making slight demonstrasions at Mill Creek Gap, flanked it by sending McPherson's corps through Snake Gap with a view of striking his rear at Resacca. But there he found a portion of Johnston's army in an entrenched position, and attacking which with a portion of his command, was repulsed with severe loss. Johnston retired across the Oostenaula successfully to Kingston, Adairsville, Cassville, and thence across the Etowah river to Alatoona Pass. Being flanked by Sherman he retired to a position near New Hope Church, where he was again fiercely attacked by a portion of Sherman's army, which was repulsed. At Dallas, near New Hope Church, Sherman again assailed Johnston with the same result. Being flanked in this position, Johnston retired and took a strong position on Kennesaw Mountain, a portion of which line Sherman assaulted with force on June 27th, but was repulsed with greater loss than in any battle during the campaign. Thus failing to dislodge Johnston by direct attack, [195] Sherman again flanked him, and Johnston retired and took a position on the northwest bank of the Chatahouchie river, but subsequently abandoned that line and retired south of the river and took a position in front of Atlanta, where, during his preparations to attack Sherman as he crossed the Chatahouchie river, by order from Richmond, he was superseded by General J. B. Hood.

Drive Sherman back.

In February, 1865, General Johnston was ordered by General Lee (then the commander-in-chief of all the armies of the Confederate States) to take command of the Army of Tennessee and all the troops in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, ‘to concentrate all available forces and drive Sherman back.’ The available forces were five thousand men of the Army of the Tennessee, near Charlotte, N. C., and eleven thousand scattered from Charleston throughout South Carolina. Sherman had sixty thousand men. General Johnston urged General Lee, through the Richmond authorities, to withdraw from Richmond and unite with him and beat Sherman before Grant could join him, but Lee replied that it was impossible for him to leave Virginia. Collecting such troops as could be gotten together, Johnston threw himself before Sherman, and on the 19th and 21st of March attacked the head of his column at Bentonville and captured four pieces of artillery and nine hundred prisoners. Johnston then retired before Sherman to Raleigh, thence toward Greensboro. In the meantime Richmond had been evacuated, and on April 9th Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant. Johnston thereupon assumed the responsibility of advising Mr. Davis, whom he found at Greensboro, that the war having been decided against them it was their duty to end it. Mr. Davis agreed that he should make terms with Sherman, and on April 18, 1865, he entered into a military convention by which it was stipulated that the Confederate armies should be disbanded and conducted to their State capitals to deposit their arms and public property in their State arsenals, the soldiers to execute an agreement to abstain from acts of war and to abide the action of the State and National authorities; that the several State governments should be recognized by the executive of the United States upon their officers and legislatures taking the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States; the people and inhabitants to be guaranteed all their rights under the State and Federal Constitutions; general amnesty for all acts in the [196] late war; war to cease and peace to be restored. This agreement was rejected by the authorities at Washington, and on April 28th Generals Johnston and Sherman signed another, surrendering the Confederate army on the terms of the agreement between Grant and Lee. How touching were his parting words to his soldiers in May, 1865:

‘comrades: You will return to your homes with the admiration of our people, won by the courage and noble devotion you have displayed in this long war. I now part with you with deep regret, and bid you farewell with feelings of cordial friendship and with earnest wishes that you may have hereafter all the prosperity and happiness to be found in the world.’

As a citizen.

After the war General Johnston was president of a railroad in Arkansas, president of the National Express Company in Virginia, agent for the London, Liverpool and Globe Insurance Company and for the New York Life Insurance Company at Savannah, Ga. In 1877 he was elected to Congress from the Richmond district in Virginia. He was afterwards appointed by President Cleveland commissioner of railroads of the United States, and he held that office till the close of Cleveland's administration. The request of his distinguished adversary, General Sherman, that he be reappointed by the incoming administration to the office of railroad commissioner of the United States, was to him a testimonial far higher and more glorious than the office itself. These distinguished men, who were directly opposed to each other in the field of war and in one of the most remarkable campaigns in military annals, though acquainted before the war, entertained for each other after the war an exalted mutual regard and the most cordial personal friendship. General Johnston attended and officiated at the funeral obsequies of General Sherman, his great antagonist, only a few weeks before he was summoned to follow him. He forgot not the soldiers he led.

In September, 1890, after twenty-five years had passed and true American citizenship had taken charge of the destinies of this Republic, and when, after the white heat of the conflict, the North and the South had each recognized the need of the other in the new national life, and the people of the States had entered upon the grander destiny opening up before them, with loving words he writes:

‘Your very cordial and friendly invitation to me to attend the reunion of Confederate soldiers at Memphis on the 2d proximo is infinitely gratifying, although I shall be unable to avail myself of it. [197] The most important personal business I have had compels me to remain at home at the time indicated and deprives me of a very great pleasure—that of meeting in Tennessee many of my military associates not seen by me for some five-and twenty years—meetings that give me as much pleasure as I am now capable of feeling. Begging you to assure your association of the regret this deprivation causes me, and thanking you cordially for the very agreeable terms of your invitation, I am, yours faithfully.’

Such is the brief outline of the career of this noted man, whose character and deeds we commemorate to-day. For four-score years and more he was making that record which he leaves to the country. During much of this period he was of the men of this country one of the most notable. He lived and labored among generations of men not without great leadership. Fitted for his chosen profession by a finished education, his after life gave ample proof of the talents with which he was endowed and the great capacity for affairs which marked his career. He was not only a man of mental force, but likewise had those other characteristics which fitted him for the field in which his lot was cast. The impressions of his youth and the trend of his political thought were such as we would naturally expect from one of his noble manhood, and his associations with the illustrious thinkers and statesmen with whom he lived, who wielded for generations the affairs of this Republic, and whose manly virtues shine conspicuous in the annals of these States. That under such tutelage, circumstances and surroundings from his earliest youth he should have an exalted idea of the sovereignty of his State and a genuine love for her welfare, as did Lee and other gifted patriots, we might well expect. While he held these views and entertained such convictions as to his duty, he held in no less honor those of a different political faith. At the same time he gave up his conscience to the keeping of no man, however great, or however exalted.

Faithful to his convictions.

Whatever may have been the deficiencies of his resources naturally incident to his surroundings, the laborious energy and industry with which he mastered every detail of the work in hand, ever characterized him, and it is to his lasting honor that he was ever faithful to his convictions. The performance of his duty, in whatever state of life he was called upon to labor, was the first and foremost impelling power of his nature. Educated, intellectual, with a high sense of [198] duty, endowed with indomitable will, full of devotion to his State, and thoroughly indoctrinated with a love of self-government and home rule, the historian might well look for a prominent place for such a man in the annals of our country's past. Exalted courage, cautious energy, skilful attention to details, a careful preparation for the work in hand, and masterly conception characterized our distinguished leader both in the war with Mexico and as a Confederate leader. Those vices which here and there have marred the characters and stained the lives of many gifted ones in private life, war and politics, left no mark on his illustrious career. It was not to be expected that a man thus reared and trained and educated, and with such convictions of right, should have drawn his sword against his native State. How he performed his duties in the great struggle history will tell.

The South has reason to honor her illustrious dead. Go ask a soldier who marched under his leadership if you wish to hear the story of simple loyalty. He remembers how sweet his sleep on the tented field, where this master-spirit was at the head of the army conscious that no surprise awaited him, and that whether in advance or retreat his watchful eye surveyed the lines, and that no hostile force held him in his grasp. Simple in his characteristics, watchful in his manner, careful in every detail, courageous in every act, wide-awake in every field, loving with a big heart the soldiery that toiled and marched and fought and stood ready to give up life itself at his command, no wonder to-day that the South, whatever may have been its successes or reverses, with her abiding confidence in his integrity and his loyalty to truth, mourns his loss. We are not alarmed at the place history shall assign him. Safely we can commit to the future the estimate of his modest worth, fidelity to trust, integrity of character, intellectual power, military skill, unrivalled mastery in caring for, preserving and moving a command and the many virtues that adorned his glorious manhood. And though he may have no splendid mausoleum to mark his last resting place, the memory of his deeds, his virtues and his fidelity to trust will live in the affections of his people, in the traditions of the country, and in the history of her people as long as men shall honor virtue and revere the lives and deeds of the eminent dead. Masterly tactician, matchless strategist, heroic soldier, exalted citizen, loved by his own soldiery, to whom he was a ‘shield,’ honored by his brave and manly adversaries, he has joined Stonewall Jackson, who served under him, and Lee, whom he esteemed the foremost man of the age, [199] and other noble ones, leaving us this inheritance. Who shall say that the youth of this land in the generations that follow shall not emulate this splendid example of Christian manhood?

His name will not die.

When the applause that greeted the glowing eulogy had died away the chairman introduced the Hon. T. B. Edgington as a gallant Federal officer who would lay a garland of praise upon the tomb of a man whom he had fought against.

Major Edgington's Address.

The address of Major Edgington is here printed from the manuscript kindly furnished by him to the editor of the Southern Historical Society Papers.1 It is as follows:

It has been said that it is from the calm level of the sea that all heights and depths are measured. No base line of measurement can be made on the crests of stormed-tossed waves. None can be made on the surface of the uplifted waters; when the seas lash their tides against the continents, along that never-ending skirmish line, where the sea gives its shells to the shingle, and where the earth gives its streams to the sea.

No measurment of the mountains can be made while their peaks are hidden out of sight above the black storm cloud.

So it is with General Joseph E. Johnston. No fair and just estimate could be made of him until the tumult of civil strife had ended, and the clamor of faction and rivalry had become stilled.

He was a trained soldier of great and varied experience.

He was educated at West Point; had served as lieutenant of topographical engineers; had served in the wars with the Indians; served with distinction in the war with Mexico, where he was promoted to the rank of colonel for meritorious services. At the outbreak of the [200] war he resigned his position of brigadier-general and quartermaster-general in the United States army and took command of the Confederate forces at Harper's Ferry.

He immediately pointed out to the Confederate War Department that it was totally impracticable to attempt to hold Harper's Ferry, and that it was necessary to withdraw that portion of the army to a point near Winchester, Va., in order that it might support, and be supported by the forces under General Beauregard at Manassas. These views were at first rejected, but their adoption became a military necessity shortly afterwards, when his suggestions were adopted at a considerable loss in military stores and supplies.

That great and humilitating defeat of the Union army at Manassas was the result of his strategy and bravery. He moved his army from the vicinity of Winchester with such secrecy and celerity and formed a junction with General Beauregard at Manasses that General McDowell was not aware of the move when the action begun. Johnston commanded. He ranked Beauregard. The Union army made a terrific assault on the Confederate's left and drove it back and would have gained the victory, but for the fact that Johnston rallied his forces with marvellous speed and coolness, encouraged his men by his presence and example, and strengthened the position with reinforcements. He was in the thickest of the fight, and sometimes leading regiments to the charge whose officers had fallen. In this battle he displayed all the dash and genius of Napoleon at Austerlitz. He viewed the theatre of war as a skilful player would a game of chess. When the several parts or pieces were not properly supported, he considered that the game of war was badly played. Johnston's faculty for military combinations on a large scale, in which the several parts will support each other in any emergency, was one of his most prominent characteristics. Long before the battle of Seven Pines, where he was wounded and disabled, he demonstrated to the Confederate War Department the military necessity of withdrawing the Confederate forces south of the Rappahannock, and of making Richmond the seat of defensive operations. His views were at first strenously opposed, but their adoption soon became imperative, and the war in Virginia was afterwards conducted, to its close, on the general plan that he had suggested. Upon his recovery from his wounds he was sent to take command of the Armies of Tennessee and Mississippi. Both these armies were closely pressed by the Federal forces in the vicinity of Vicksburg and Chattanooga at points that were not in supporting distance of each other. His [201] duties required his presence in both places at one and the same time. If he committed any blunders while he was in this trying situation, they never became apparent to his adversaries. To a Union soldier the conclusion is irresistible that the Confederate authorities expected Johnston to perform impossibilities, and that upon his failure to perform these miracles he was visited with censure. In short, the Confederacy expected Johnston to make up by military strategy for what it lacked in material resources.

The geographical position of the Confederacy was such as to forbid the adoption of any extensive Fabian policy of warfare, such as is usually adopted by the weaker belligerent. The South had no inhospitable steppes and snow-drifts, like Russia had for Napoleon after the burning of Moscow, where the enemy could find nothing for its comfort and relief except hospitable graves. She had no boundless territory covered with forests like the army of the revolution, where it might retreat, and where the enemy dare not follow. Her extreme border was sea-girt and exposed to attack from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. The Mississippi river and its tributaries transported the enemy's troops and supplies from the North into the very heart of the Confederacy.

While Johnston had no field of operations suited to his genius in simply defensive warfare, and while he did not possess the men or means for offensive operations, yet he was equally well adapted to either mode of warfare under favorable conditions. The crowning act of Johnston's military career is to be found in his defensive campaign from Dalton, Georgia, until he crossed the Chattahoochie river near Atlanta. On the 6th day of May, 1864, General Sherman, with an army of ninety-nine thousand veterans, advanced on Johnston's position at Dalton, where he had an army of forty-three thousand men, which soon became reinforced and increased to sixty-four thousand before he reached Cassville. The policy of Sherman was to compel Johnston to fight in open field or retreat. The policy of Johnston was to compel Sherman to fight him in a strongly fortified position. In this series of battles, from Dalton to the Chattahoochie, the Federal forces were kept almost continuously on the skirmish line while the Confederates fought behind entrenchments. This resulted, in a very heavy loss to the Union army in killed and wounded, while the Confederate losses were very much less. When Sherman flanked the several fortified positions, one by one, Johnston would fall back in good order, with all the orderly precision of a dress parade, to take another fortified position. This was all done too without any [202] loss of arms, ordnance supplies or equipments, and without depressing the spirit and courage of his army. This was unique. It has no parallel in history. The wisdom of his policy in this campaign was fully established afterwards by the disasters that befell the army under General Hood through his aggressive policy. In this campaign General Joseph E. Johnston, as a military strategist and tactician, has builded for himself a monument as high as the lofty mountains from whose summits he sometimes viewed the armies below; as lasting as the hills on which he sometimes constructed his rifle-pits.

Sherman says in his memoirs that ‘General Grant told me that he (Johnston) was about the only general on that side that he feared.’ This was said in front of Vicksburg, and related to the generals whom Grant had known personally during the Mexican war. Grant in his memoirs criticises Pemberton for returning to Vicksburg instead of making an heroic effort to make a junction with Johnston. He says Johnston would not have made such a move as Pemberton made. Sherman in his memoirs reviews the Dalton campaign; and finds everything to commend in Johnston's tactics, and nothing to criticise except that Johnston did not attack his advance as it crossed the Chattahoochie river. He made this criticism in ignorance of the fact that this was Johnston's plan, which was frustrated by having been relieved of his command. Grant in his memoirs says: ‘The very fact of a change of commanders being ordered, such circumstance was an indication of a change of policy, and that now they would become the aggressors—the very thing our troops wanted. For my own part I think that Johnston's tactics were right.’

Grant, Sherman and Rosecrans were of the opinion that Johnston was one of the greatest generals of the war. His enemies on the field have vindicated him. Time has vindicated him. Events have demonstrated the soundness of his judgment and the correctness of all his plans and manoeuvers from the beginning of the war until its close. He made no mistakes. This much cannot be said of any other general of prominence on either side during the war.

He was the equal of Marlborough in planning and executing, and in the coolness and clearness of his intellect during the hottest of the fight. As a military strategist he was much like Washington. In history Johnston will stand among the greatest military leaders. He will stand out from the low stature of the average military chieftain like a Chimborazo under the Equator, with a torrid base running up through all climates to a frigid peak, and surrounded by belts of the herbage of every latitude. His record as a civilian has adorned and [203] embellished his character as a soldier. His patriotism and devotion to duty always, from first to last, there is no room at all to question. The impulses of his heart were noble. His private life was pure. His illustrious example both in military and civil life is a standing rebuke to the sycophancy of the courtier and the duplicity of the demagogue. His loss is a national calamity. The entire nation mourns his loss. The luster of his great name is the common heritage of the American people. In the grave the jealousies of rivals, the intrigues of faction, the asperities of sectional animosities do not disturb his repose. After life's fitful fever he sleeps well. While he sleeps his fame arises with awakening light. He trod a thorny pathway in life; but

He is freedom's now and fame's—
One of the few, the immortal names,
That were not born to die.

After the choir had sung ‘Asleep in Jesus,’ Colonel Patterson introduced General George W. Gordon.

Address of General Gordon.

Said General Gordon:

It was my honor to have served in the army commanded by General Johnston during his memorable campaign in North Georgia in 1864, and to have had his personal acquaintance during that time, as also to have met him frequently since the war. And while it is with a melancholy pleasure that I would now speak briefly concerning him, I am deeply sensible of my inability to do justice to the career of that distinguished citizen and eminent soldier, even under the most favorable conditions of time and opportunity, but more especially so in the limited time required by these ceremonies. I will, therefore, not attempt more than to offer a few observations touching his military and civic career, and will confine my remarks relating to his military operations to the time during which he commanded the Army of Tennessee.

The campaign already referred to, was inaugurated in May, 1864, by General Sherman advancing upon General Johnston at Dalton, Georgia, with (in my judgment) the most magnificiently appointed, the bravest and the best army that was marshaled by the Federal government during the war. It was, in round numbers, one hundred [204] thousand strong, with two hundred and fifty pieces of artillery; while Johnston's army numbered between fifty and sixty thousand. And I here remark that General Sherman was too sagacious, too well acquainted with the skill and ability of his wily adversary, ever to jeopardize a general offensive engagement with him, or even to attack him, with the major portion of his command, at any time throughout the campaign. His policy was, in moving upon Johnston's various positions, to press forward a heavy line of skirmishers, strongly supported, as near to his position as possible without bringing on a general engagement, thereby developing the location of Johnston's line, and if he found a salient or supposed weak link in his line, then to furiously assault that particular point with a massed force, evidently intending, if the assault succeeded, then to wheel right and left on the flanks of the broken line, and at the same time to order a general attack along our entire front. But it so happened with all these gallant assaults, that Johnston's line was never broken or seriously embarrassed, but the assaulting columns were invariably repulsed, and in some instances with losses that were frightful. And thus it was that Sherman was compelled to dislodge Johnston (if he would dislodge him at all) from his various positions by making flank movements, which he did slowly and continuously, and fortifying as he went, as if anticipating an offensive movement by his vigilant antagonist. By this policy he finally forced Johnston beyond the Chattahoochie river to a point in front of Atlanta, which city was then fortified and garrisoned by several thousand State troops of Georgia, and from which position in front of Atlanta General Johnston informed the speaker soon after the war that he intended to move forward and attack Sherman with his entire veteran army, as he crossed the Chattachoochie river, leaving the State troops in the works to protect Atlanta; and that if he failed to demolish or defeat him he then intended to fall back to the fortifications around Atlanta, and hold the place as long as possible. But just as this movement was about to be inaugurated he was relieved of the command of his army, and thus ended his military operations in Georgia.

During this celebrated campaign, and upon which the eyes of the whole country, both North and South, seemed to be fixed in anxious suspense, Sherman had the advantage of superior numbers, as also the moral advantage of being the attacking force, while Johnston had the inestimable physical advantage of fighting for the most part from behind strong entrenchments, and was thereby enabled to inflict a loss upon his adversary of about four to one—Sherman's [205] loss, as I now remember it, being about forty thousand and Johnston's ten thousand. As accounting for this great disparity in losses, and as indicating the gallantry and fierceness of some of General Sherman's partial sssaults, I refer to his attack upon that part of our line at Kenesaw Mountain, known afterwards by the Confederates as ‘Cheatham's Angle,’ by the Federals as the ‘Dead Angle,’ where he massed a division in columns of four lines, brigade front, and stormed a salient, almost a right angle in our line—the first line of the storming column coming in a rushing run, with bayonets fixed, with guns loaded but uncapped — the idea being that we were fortified (as we were) and that the first line should not break the force and momentum of the charge by stopping to fire, but to take us with the bayonet in a rushing onset. It was a gallant, a magnificent charge, but a most disastrous failure, for when the front line of the attacking force arrived within thirty paces of our line, strongly fortified with breastworks and head logs, it encountered our abattis, which was made of sharpened brush and tree tops, with the sharpened points projecting toward the enemy and spread out about thirty paces in front of our line, and built to the height of a man's waist. When the front line of the storming column reached this formidable obstruction it was compelled to halt, and the rear lines closed upon it. In the mean time a deadly fire, at short range, had been opened from our line upon the front and both flanks of the assaulting column, and for a few moments the carnage was awful—too awful to be long endured by human courage or mortal sacrifice. The column that obstructed fired in great confusion for a few moments, and then staggering and falling, it fled to a lodgment under the brow of the hill on which our line was located, leaving eight hundred dead in the space of about two hundred paces front, as I was informed by a Federal officer, as he and I looked upon the appalling scene three days afterward during a truce to bury the Federal dead. Johnston's losses in this engagement were insignificant by virtue of his complete de fences, being at this point something less than twenty.

Those of us who served under General Johnston fully appreciate the sagacity and wisdom of General Sherman's policy in never engaging him in a general battle when in position, for when he was attacked he fought with the desperation of a crowded lion.

To summarize: During this campaign, brilliant on both sides, Johnston retreated nearly one hundred miles, fighting to some extent almost daily, never losing a dollar's worth of commissary or quartermaster stores. Sherman said he retreated with clean heels, [206] was never taken by surprise, his army never panicked or even confused, its discipline, its esprit du corps, its morale and its confidencein him maintained until the very hour his sword fell from his hand at the command of his Government—at the same time inflicting a loss upon his antagonist of four times that of his own.

Referring to the defensive or Fabian policy of General Johnson during this campaign, and in regard to which there was and is a diversity of opinion both North and South, but concerning which your speaker does not deem it appropriate on this solemn occasion to express any opinion; yet he does not deem it inappropriate to say that it seems but fair to the voiceless dead to remark that General Johnson appeared to be profoundly impressed at this period of the war with the momentous fact that the available resources of the Confederacy, both in men and material, were practically exhausted and alarmingly growing less; that our armies were daily diminishing by death, from disease and casualties in battle, and without any means by which to recruit them. It therefore appeared to be a matter of the supremest importance to husband his resources in every regard, and more especially in respect to the lives of his men. And hence the policy pursued by him at that juncture of the struggle seemed to be imperatively demanded by the situation, and that the offensive policy was warranted only when an obvious advantage was presented, such as appeared to be presented when Sherman's army was divided in crossing the Oustenaula river, and, believing which, Johnson issued his battle order and formed his lines for an offensive movement, but which plan he suddenly abandoned, as he states, upon the representations of Generals Hood and Polk, two of his lieutenant-generals, and ordered a retrograde movement, ‘a movement,’ he adds in his report, ‘that I have ever since regretted.’

If, therefore, we would justly consider the wisdom and propriety of his policy, they ought to be viewed in the light of the facts we have mentioned, as also in the significant light of subsequent events.

In the especial matter of logistics, or that branch of the military art which includes the moving and supplying of armies, General Johnston was, in my judgment, without a parallel in either of the great contending armies. Those who served under him well remember that harmonious system, that masterly method, and that freedom from confusion with which he handled and swayed a large army, whether moving it on the general march or marshalling it on the field in ‘battle's magnificently stern array.’ Each command moved to its designated place on the march or in the line of battle with the methodical [207] precision of a well adjusted machine. He possessed a genius for military organization; was a born quartermaster and commissary; and when he could not obtain clothing and food for his men you may be sure they were not to be had—you may be sure they were not there. His anxious efforts to keep his army supplied with all the necessary material, his care for the lives and safety of his men, superadded to his great generalship, elicited the loyalty and devotion of his army to a degree that was only equaled by that of the army of Northern Virginia to the invincible and immortal Lee.

As an instance of the confidence and devotion of his army, after he had left it and after it had been beaten, battered and broken by the battles around Atlanta, Jonesboroa, Franklin and Nashville, and he had been recalled by the voice of the country to its command in North Carolina, and the men heard that he was coming and was then in the vicinity of the army, many of them left their camps, guns, equipage, everything, and set out to find him, and when they did so they embraced him with shouts of joy and tears of affection; and the old hero was so deeply affected by their demonstrations of devotion that his strong frame trembled with emotion, as it had never done in the fiery face of booming battle.

Soon after this the battle of Bentonville occurred, in which his old soldiers, though tattered and torn, barefooted and ragged, fought with the same courage and alacrity that had characterized them in the better days of their hope and power. But do not understand me to say or imply that that army (the army of Tennessee) ever refused to fight under any commander who ordered it to battle. It never did. And at the storming of Franklin, Tenn., under command of General Hood, men never fought more bravely or died more freely. That was a battle which, for desperate, reckless courage, will rank with Gettysburg or Balaklava.

As another evidence of General Johnston's military sagacity and of his ability to divine the plans and movements of his adversaries, I have heard it stated that General Sherman said he never made a movement, while confronting him, in which Johnston had not anticipated him. I have also seen it stated that General Sherman esteemed him the greatest soldier of the Confederacy; and very naturally might General Sherman, himself a great soldier, think so, for he had known and felt the masterly stroke of his majestic arm.

When the war was ended, the partisanship of the soldier was at at once submerged in the nationality of the citizen; and General Johnston exerted his influence in the establishment of peace, in behalf [208] of sectional reconciliation and national union. He at once recognized that we then had but one flag, one Union, and one country; and he desired to see that flag respected, and that Union permanent, and that country glorious.

He was distinguished for the catholicity of his sentiments and the general conservatism of his nature, for the punctilious integrity of his public acts and the probity and purity of his private life. He was one of the patriots of the century, one of the soldiers of the age, and one of the men of the times. And thus it is that we have assembled for the last time to do honor to truth, to virtue and to genius as exemplified in the life and character of this eminent man—the last of the great leaders of a fallen cause. If it were in my power I would take these beautiful flowers, evergreens and immortelles which the ladies have here so lovingly and sympathetically provided, and which so fittingly typefy the beauty of his life and the durability of his fame, and reach out my hand to-night and place them upon his grave, as our last tender tribute to departed worth. Life's eventful scene with him is ended. He is now where there is no more strife, no more struggle, no more booming of guns, no more fighting of battles.

The tempests may roar and the loud thunders rattle,
     He heeds not, he hears not, he is free from all pain;
He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle,
     No sound can awake him to glory again.

Let him rest, let him rest!

The oration of General Gordon was received, perhaps, with better effect upon the audience than any other delivered during the ceremonies. General Gordon had served under Johnston in the Atlanta campaign, and as with a soldier's knowledge he reviewed those memorable scenes, his listeners were wrought to a full sensibility of the circumstances and situations, and were en rapport with the plans laid out by him who was destined never to carry them into completion. General Gordon paid a glowing tribute to his dead commander of old days.

The choir then sang: ‘Rest, Spirit, Rest.’

Address of Colonel Casey young.

Colonel Casey Young said no words he could utter would add to the eloquence which had been showered upon the memory of General [209] Johnston that night. The speaker knew him and learned to love and honor his character. He knew him as the humble follower of a great leader, and, to moderately speak of him, as a gallant soldier.

Other gentlemen who had spoken of him knew him as a great soldier. He saw him in other days when the roar of the last battle had died in defeat and when he had turned his steps to the pursuit of peaceful avocations. No man did more to destroy sectionalism than Joseph E. Johnston. He was called to represent his people in Congress. There it was that he knew him, and no man served the Government better than did Johnston.

‘I knew him in his home,’ said the speaker. ‘It was then that the beauties of his character were open to view. In the field he was the great leader; at home he was the kind, gentle father and loving husband. When the history of this war has been written no page will be brighter than that which records the deeds of Joseph E. Johnston. I think the time will come when the passions of war are cooled and its true story is written, and the judgment will then be that Joseph E. Johnston was inferior to no man in the war.’

Colonel Young's speech was an eloquent tribute to the life and character of General Johnston. He told in clear-cut, ringing words of the deeds which will make his name live in the annals of the world.

This address concluded the regular programme of orations.

Chairman Patterson then announced that during the day he had received dispatches from the following named persons expressing sympathy with the purpose and spirit of the meeting and regret at inability to attend, to-wit: General G. T. Beauregard, Governor Stone, of Mississippi; Governor Eagan, of Arkansas; Senator Walthall, of Mississippi; Hon. Albert McNeill and Hon. James D. Porter, of Tennesse. The chairman also read a letter from Mrs. W. E. Moore, chairman of the Women's Confederate Monumental Association at Helena, Ark., expressing regrets that the association could not be represented at the meeting to do honor to the memory of General Johnston.

The orchestra rendered with fine expression the music of the hymn St. Cecilia, and the assemblage dispersed after benediction by Rev. N. M. Long.

1 An impressive address by Major Edgington—‘The Race Problem in the South—Was the Fifteenth Amendment a mistake?’—delivered at the National Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee, Memorial Day, 1889, was republished in the Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XVII, pp. 22-23.

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