Academic journal article Military Review

Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston: Embracing His Services in the Armies of the United States, the Republic of Texas and the Confedrate States

Academic journal article Military Review

Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston: Embracing His Services in the Armies of the United States, the Republic of Texas and the Confedrate States

Article excerpt

LIFE OF GEN. ALBERT SIDNEY JOHNSTON: Embracing His Services in the Armies of the United States, the Republic of Texas and the Confederate States by William Preston Johnston. 800 pages. State House Press, New York. 1997. $45.00.

Can a son write an objective biography of his father, particularly when the father was one of the great leaders of the Confederate Army? Colonel William Preston Johnston certainly tries to do this in his massive work, first published in 1879. He does an admirable job of balancing pro and con through the last twothirds of the volume, the years dealing with the Civil War.

General Johnston had his detractors and their comments are well represented. His son goes to great pains to point out, on his father's behalf, that the general had great difficulties getting what could be considered even the minimum number of men and muskets to fight the war in the West. But then, when was there ever a military leader who felt he was truly well equipped?

William Johnston devotes much of his writing to the battle at Shiloh, but certainly not too much considering that struggle was pivotal to the entire war. He makes the case that had not Johnston died in the middle of the first afternoon at Shiloh, the Confederates would have won the battle, General Ulysses S. …

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