Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/143

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133
General Albert Sidney Johnston.

The Confederate Career of General Albert Sidney Johnston.

A Review by General Basil W. Duke, of Kentucky.

[In addition to our brief notices of Colonel William Preston Johnston's Memoir of his Father, we had intended preparing a review which should sketch the career of the great soldier more fully; but General Basil W. Duke has (with the experience of the gallant soldier and the pen of a "ready writer") performed the task so much better than we could do, that we cheerfully give place to his graceful, loving tribute. We only regret that the pressure upon our pages compels us to omit that portion of General Duke's paper which reviews the first part of the book and the earlier life of General Johnston, and to give only that which treats of his Confederate career.]

In 1860 General Johnston was placed in command of the Department of California, and proceeded in pursuance of orders to San Francisco, where he remained until superseded by General Sumner, April 25, 1861; he had previously, on April 10, forwarded his resignation as an officer of the United States army. General Johnston was, of course, accused by the Union press, as was every other officer who quitted the service of the United States Government to enter that of the Confederacy, of disloyal attempts, antecedent to the acceptance of his resignation, to assist the Southern cause. Colonel Johnston, by the best and most unimpeachable contemporary testimony, has refuted all such charges—which, indeed, with those who knew Albert S. Johnston, needed no answer. As he made no secret, after learning that his resignation had been accepted, of his intention to offer his sword to the Confederacy, it became necessary, in order to reach the seceded States—indeed, to escape from California and avoid arrest—that he should cross the plains on horseback, as return by sea was not to be thought of. He accordingly made this arduous journey, escorted by a few devoted friends and followers who meant to share his fortunes, and arrived in Texas, to be welcomed with a burst of joy and congratulations which spread through the Confederacy. He had already been appointed—so soon, in fact, as Mr. Davis learned of his resignation—one of the five "Generals," for the appointment of whom the Confederate Congress had made provision. These five Generals were ranked as follows: 1. S. Cooper, Adjutant-General; 2. A. S. Johnston; 3. R. E. Lee; 4. J. E. Johnston; 5. G. T. Beauregard. General Johnston was assigned on the 10th September, 1861, to the command of Department No. 2, embracing, as described in the order assigning him to it, "The States of Tennessee