Edward Johnson (general)

Last updated
Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson (general).jpg
Nickname(s)"Allegheny" Johnson
"Old Clubby"
Born(1816-04-16)April 16, 1816
Midlothian, Virginia
DiedFebruary 2, 1873(1873-02-02) (aged 56)
Richmond, Virginia
Buried
Hollywood Cemetery
Richmond, Virginia
Allegiance Flag of the United States (1822-1836).svg United States of America
Flag of the Confederate States of America (1865).svg  Confederate States of America
Service/branchFlag of the United States Army.svg  United States Army
Battle flag of the Confederate States of America.svg  Confederate States Army
Years of service1830–1861 (USA)
1861–1865 (CSA)
Rank Union army maj rank insignia.jpg Major (USA)
Major General (CSA)
Unit 6th U.S. Infantry
Commands held12th Georgia Infantry
Army of the Northwest
Johnson's Division
Battles/wars

Edward "Allegheny" Johnson (April 16, 1816 – March 2, 1873) was a United States Army officer and Confederate general in the American Civil War. Highly rated by Robert E. Lee, he was made a divisional commander under Richard S. Ewell. On the first evening of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1, 1863), Ewell missed his opportunity to attack Cemetery Hill, and Johnson opted against attacking Culp's Hill, for which he had a discretionary order, though he attempted this on the second and third days. Ewell and Johnson are blamed by many for the loss of this decisive battle.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Confederate States of America (de facto) federal republic in North America from 1861 to 1865

The Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves. Convinced that white supremacy and the institution of slavery were threatened by the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy declared its secession from the United States, with the remaining states becoming known as the Union during the ensuing American Civil War. According to Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens in his famous Cornerstone Speech, Confederate ideology was centrally based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition".

A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.

Contents

Early life

Johnson was born on Salisbury Plantation near current-day Midlothian in Chesterfield County, Virginia, but his family soon moved to Kentucky. He attended the United States Military Academy and graduated (after five years of study) in 1838. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 6th U.S. Infantry and was promoted to first lieutenant in less than a year. He served in the Seminole Wars in Florida and then in the West. In the Mexican–American War, Johnson distinguished himself for action at Veracruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, and Chapultepec. He received two brevet promotions, to captain and major, during the war and was awarded a ceremonial sword by the state of Virginia for his bravery. Johnson returned to duty on the Western frontier, serving in the Dakota Territory, California, Kansas, and on the Utah Expedition.

Midlothian, Virginia Unincorporated area in Virginia, United States

Midlothian, Virginia is an unincorporated area in Chesterfield County, Virginia, U.S. Settled as a coal town, Midlothian village experienced suburbanization effects and is now part of the western suburbs of Richmond, Virginia south of the James River in the Greater Richmond Region. Because of its unincorporated status, Midlothian has no formal government, and the name is used to represent either the original small Village of Midlothian, located near US-60 and Woolridge Road, or a vast expanse of Chesterfield County in the northwest portion of Southside Richmond covered by three zip codes served by the Midlothian post office. These zip codes are not coterminous with the Midlothian Magesterial District associated with the Chesterfield County government.

Chesterfield County, Virginia County in the United States

Chesterfield County is a county located just south of Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The county's borders are primarily defined by the James River to the north and the Appomattox River to the south. Its county seat is Chesterfield Court House.

Kentucky State of the United States of America

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Civil War

After the outbreak of the Civil War, Johnson resigned his United States Army commission and received the rank of colonel in the 12th Georgia Infantry on July 2, 1861. The 12th Georgia fought in Gen. Robert E. Lee's first campaign in western Virginia, at the Battle of Greenbrier River. He was promoted to brigadier general on December 13, 1861, and received his nickname while commanding six infantry regiments in a battle on Allegheny Mountain. (This brigade-sized force was given the grandiose name "Army of the Northwest".)

Colonel (United States) Military rank of the United States

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and immediately below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.

Robert E. Lee General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States

Robert Edward Lee was an American and Confederate soldier, best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army. He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until its surrender in 1865.

The Battle of Greenbrier River, also known as the Battle of Camp Bartow, took place on October 3, 1861 in Pocahontas County, Virginia as part of the Operations in Western Virginia Campaign during the American Civil War.

Valley Campaign

In the winter of 1861–62, Johnson's army cooperated with Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in the early stages of Jackson's Valley Campaign. While Jackson marched his army into the mountains of the present-day Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to conduct raids on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Johnson was tasked with protecting against a Union invasion of the "upper," more elevated areas of the Shenandoah Valley near Staunton, Virginia. His Army of the Northwest constructed a series of breastworks and trenches atop Shenandoah Mountain which they named simply Fort Edward Johnson. At the Battle of McDowell, Johnson was severely wounded with a bullet to the ankle, which took a long time to heal. He returned to Richmond for his convalescence and remained there for nearly a year, active in the social scene. Although Johnson was a heavy-set, rough-looking, rude character who was still a bachelor at age 47, he had the reputation of a ladies' man. Due to a wound he received in Mexico, he was afflicted with an eye that winked uncontrollably, causing many women to believe he was flirting with them. He caused enough attention that he rated mentions in the famous diary of Mary Chesnut.

Stonewall Jackson 19th-century Confederate general

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson served as a Confederate general (1861–1863) during the American Civil War, and became one of the best-known Confederate commanders after General Robert E. Lee. Jackson played a prominent role in nearly all military engagements in the Eastern Theater of the war until his death, and played a key role in winning many significant battles.

Jacksons Valley Campaign 1862 campaign in the American Civil War

Jackson's Valley Campaign, also known as the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, was Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's spring 1862 campaign through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia during the American Civil War. Employing audacity and rapid, unpredictable movements on interior lines, Jackson's 17,000 men marched 646 miles (1,040 km) in 48 days and won several minor battles as they successfully engaged three Union armies, preventing them from reinforcing the Union offensive against Richmond.

Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia

The Eastern Panhandle is the eastern of the two panhandles in the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is a small stretch of territory in the northeast of the state, bordering Maryland and Virginia. Some sources and regional associations only identify the Eastern Panhandle as being composed of Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson Counties. Berkeley and Jefferson Counties are geographically located in the Shenandoah Valley. West Virginia is unusual in having two panhandles, the Eastern Panhandle and the Northern Panhandle.

Stonewall Division

In 1863, following the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia to compensate for the death of Stonewall Jackson after the Battle of Chancellorsville, Johnson was promoted to major general and given command of the "Stonewall Division" in Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps. Robert E. Lee had become dissatisfied with the previous commander at the battle and summoned Johnson back from medical leave to take the command.

Army of Northern Virginia field army of the Confederate States Army

The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It was also the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac.

Battle of Chancellorsville Major battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War (1861–1865), and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville campaign. It was fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near the village of Chancellorsville. Two related battles were fought nearby on May 3 in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. The campaign pitted Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac against an army less than half its size, General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

Richard S. Ewell Confederate Army general

Richard Stoddert Ewell was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He achieved fame as a senior commander under Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and fought effectively through much of the war, but his legacy has been clouded by controversies over his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg and at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

Gettysburg

By May 1863, Johnson had recovered enough to lead his division in the Gettysburg Campaign. He still needed a heavy hickory stick to move around on foot (and was known to use it against men he believed were shirking battle) and his men nicknamed him "Old Clubby". On the way north into Pennsylvania, Johnson defeated Union Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy at the Second Battle of Winchester. Johnson arrived at the Battle of Gettysburg on the evening of the first day, July 1, 1863. In a move that is still controversial, Ewell did not take advantage of Johnson's division and attack Cemetery Hill immediately that evening, when it might have been decisive. Johnson controversially declined to attack Culp's Hill that evening, for which he had a discretionary order. Instead, Johnson's division was the primary force that attacked Culp's Hill on the second and third days, suffering considerable casualties assaulting this impregnable position multiple times with no lasting success. In the fall of 1863, Johnson played a prominent role in the Mine Run Campaign.

Gettysburg Campaign military campaign during the American Civil War

The Gettysburg campaign was a military invasion of Pennsylvania by the main Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee in summer 1863. The Union won a decisive victory at Gettysburg, July 1–3, with heavy casualties on both sides. Lee managed to escape back to Virginia with most of his army. It was a turning point in the American Civil War, with Lee increasingly pushed back toward Richmond until his surrender in April 1865. After his victory in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia moved north for a massive raid designed to obtain desperately needed supplies, to undermine civilian morale in the North, and to encourage anti-war elements. The Union Army of the Potomac was commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker and then by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Union Army Land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States as a working, viable republic.

Capture at Spotsylvania

In the Overland Campaign of 1864, Johnson fought well at the Battle of the Wilderness and when Lt. Gen. James Longstreet was seriously wounded there, Robert E. Lee considered Johnson as a replacement corps commander. During the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, on May 12, 1864, at the "Bloody Angle" section of the Confederate "Mule Shoe" defensive line, Johnson was captured along with Brig. Gen. George H. Steuart, and most of Johnson's division. He was imprisoned for months at Morris Island, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, and was exchanged on August 3, 1864. He was sent west to join Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee, where he commanded a division in the corps of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee. During the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, Johnson was captured again at the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864. He again spent months in a Union prisoner of war camp at Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie. At the end of the war, Johnson was moved to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C., where he was accused of being somehow complicit in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Nothing came of the accusation and he was paroled on July 22, 1865.

Postbellum life

After the war, Johnson was a farmer in Virginia. He was active in Confederate veterans affairs, including early efforts to construct a monument to Robert E. Lee in Richmond. He died in Richmond and his body lay in state in the state capital until he was buried at Hollywood Cemetery.

See also

Notes

    Related Research Articles

    Second Battle of Winchester American Civil War battle in the Gettysburg Campaign

    The Second Battle of Winchester was fought between June 13 and June 15, 1863 in Frederick County and Winchester, Virginia as part of the Gettysburg Campaign during the American Civil War. As Confederate Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell moved down the Shenandoah Valley in the direction of Pennsylvania, his corps defeated the Union Army garrison commanded by Major General Robert H. Milroy, capturing Winchester and numerous Union prisoners.

    Culps Hill hill in Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Culp's Hill is 0.75 mi (1.21 km) south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which played a prominent role in the Battle of Gettysburg. It consists of two rounded peaks, separated by a narrow saddle. Its heavily wooded higher peak is 630 ft (190 m) above sea level. The lower peak is about 100 feet shorter than its companion. The eastern slope descends to Rock Creek, about 160 feet lower in elevation, and the western slope is to a saddle with Stevens Knoll with a summit 100 ft (30 m) lower than the main Culp's Hill summit. The hill was owned in 1863 by farmer Henry Culp and was publicized as "Culp's Hill" by October 31, 1865.

    Isaac R. Trimble Confederate Army general

    Isaac Ridgeway Trimble was a United States Army officer, a civil engineer, a prominent railroad construction superintendent and executive, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. He was born in Virginia, lived in Maryland for much of his adult life, and returned to Virginia in 1861 after Maryland did not secede. Trimble is most famous for his role as a division commander in the assault known as Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was wounded severely in the leg during that battle, and was left on the field. He spent most of the remainder of the war as a prisoner, and was finally paroled on April 16, 1865, one week after Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia following the Battle of Appomattox Court House.

    Robert E. Rodes Confederate Army general

    Robert Emmett Rodes was a Confederate general in the American Civil War, and the first of Robert E. Lee's divisional commanders not trained at West Point. His division led Stonewall Jackson's devastating surprise attack at the Battle of Chancellorsville; Jackson, on his deathbed, promoted Rodes to major general. Rodes then served in the corps of Richard S. Ewell at the Battle of Gettysburg and in the Overland Campaign, before that corps was sent to the Shenandoah Valley under Jubal Early, where Rodes was killed at the Third Battle of Winchester.

    William E. Jones Confederate Army general

    William Edmondson "Grumble" Jones was a Confederate cavalry general with a reputation for being a martinet to his troopers and fractious toward superiors, but acknowledged to be a good commander. After disagreements of a personal nature with J.E.B. Stuart, Jones's brigade was set to guarding supply lines and unavailable during a crucial juncture of the Gettysburg Campaign when Lee suffered from a lack of capable reconnaissance cavalry. As the personality clash between Jones and Stuart escalated, Jones faced charges for impertinence, and was transferred to separate him from Stuart. Jones was killed leading a counter-attack in the 1864 Battle of Piedmont

    Fitzhugh Lee Confederate Army general

    Fitzhugh Lee was a Confederate cavalry general in the American Civil War, the 40th Governor of Virginia, diplomat, and United States Army general in the Spanish–American War. He was the son of Sydney Smith Lee, a captain in the Confederate States Navy, and the nephew of General Robert E. Lee.

    Stephen Dodson Ramseur United States Army officer

    Stephen Dodson Ramseur was a Confederate general in the American Civil War, at one point the youngest in the army. He impressed Lee by his actions at Malvern Hill and Chancellorsville, where his brigade led Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack, taking 50% casualties. On the first day of Gettysburg, he dramatically routed a Union brigade, sending it running through the town, though his superiors did not authorise further pursuit. Ramseur also distinguished himself in the Overland campaign and the Valley campaign, where he was mortally wounded at Cedar Creek.

    Battle of Mine Run battle of the American Civil War

    The Battle of Mine Run, also known as Payne's Farm, or New Hope Church, or the Mine Run campaign, was conducted in Orange County, Virginia, in the American Civil War.

    The Stonewall Brigade of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, was a famous combat unit in United States military history. It was trained and first led by General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, a professor from Virginia Military Institute (VMI). His severe training program and ascetic standards of military discipline turned enthusiastic but raw recruits into an effective military organization, which distinguished itself from the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861 to Spotsylvania Court House in 1864. Its legacy lives on in the 116th Infantry Brigade which bears the unofficial nickname "Stonewall Brigade".

    Alpheus S. Williams Union Army general and politician

    Alpheus Starkey Williams was a lawyer, judge, journalist, U.S. Congressman, and a Union general in the American Civil War.

    Joseph W. Latimer Confederate Army officer

    Joseph White Latimer, "The Boy Major," was a promising young officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's artillery branch during the American Civil War. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

    Robert H. Milroy Union United States Army general

    Robert Huston Milroy was a lawyer, judge, and a Union Army general in the American Civil War, most noted for his defeat at the Second Battle of Winchester in 1863.

    George H. Steuart (brigadier general) Confederate Army general

    George Hume Steuart was a planter in Maryland and an American military officer; he served thirteen years in the United States Army before resigning his commission at the start of the American Civil War. He joined the Confederacy and rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Army of Northern Virginia. Nicknamed "Maryland" to avoid verbal confusion with Virginia cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart, Steuart unsuccessfully promoted the secession of Maryland before and during the conflict. He began the war as a captain of the 1st Maryland Infantry, CSA, and was promoted to colonel after the First Battle of Manassas.

    John M. Jones Confederate Army general

    John Marshall Jones was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and was killed in action at the Battle of the Wilderness.

    Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

    The Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia was a military organization within the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during much of the American Civil War. It was officially created and named following the Battle of Sharpsburg in 1862, but comprised units in a corps organization for quite some time prior to that. The Second Corps developed a reputation for hard fighting under famed early commander Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

    Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren was a military colonel who commanded a Virginia infantry regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. He was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864.

    Robert A. Hardaway Confederate Army officer

    Robert Archelaus Hardaway was an artillery officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War.

    References