Johnston, Albert Sidney

Johnston, Albert Sidney,

1803–62, Confederate general, b. Washington, Ky. After serving in the Black Hawk War, he resigned (1834) from the U.S. army and went to Texas where he enlisted (1835) in the revolutionary army. Johnston became its commander in 1837 and served as Texas secretary of war, 1838–40. In the Mexican War, he commanded a regiment of volunteers and saw action at Monterrey. Reentering the U.S. army in 1849, Johnston served on the Texas frontier, was commander of the Dept. of Texas (1856–58), led the expedition against the Mormons (1857), and commanded the Dept. of Utah (1858–60). When Texas seceded from the Union in Apr., 1861, Johnston, commanding the Dept. of the Pacific, again resigned his commission in the U.S. army and was soon made general in charge of Confederate operations in the West. Union victories, especially at Fort Donelson (Feb., 1862), forced him to withdraw from the line of defense he had established in 1861. He concentrated an army at Corinth, Miss., and on Apr. 6, 1862, attacked Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh (see Shiloh, battle ofShiloh, battle of,
Apr. 6–7, 1862, one of the great battles of the American Civil War. The battle took its name from Shiloh Church, a meetinghouse c.3 mi (5 km) SSW of Pittsburg Landing, which was a community in Hardin co., Tenn., 9 mi (14.
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). Johnston was killed at the height of battle.


See biography by his son W. P. Johnston (1878, repr. 1964); C. P. Roland, Albert Sidney Johnston (1987).

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Johnston, Albert Sidney

(1803–62) soldier; born in Washington, Ky. The son of a doctor, he graduated from West Point (1826) and served in the regular army until 1834. He commanded irregular forces in Texas in 1837–38 and led Texas troops during the Mexican War. He reentered the U.S. Army in 1849 and served until April 1861. Given command of Confederate forces between the Appalachians and the Mississippi river, he surprised Grant's army at Shiloh on April 6, 1862, but was killed in action there, perhaps enhancing his reputation as one of the greatest of all soldiers and the general who might have saved the Confederacy.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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