Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary

By Charles F. Ritter; Jon L. Wakelyn | Go to book overview

JOSEPH EGGLESTON JOHNSTON
(February 3, 1807–March 21, 1891)

Frank Everson Vandiver

Was Joseph E. Johnston a military genius or a marplot?* This question almost splintered the Confederate States of America and continues to intrigue historians to this day. His partisans regard him as a brilliant strategist and sound field commander whose talents were stifled by a rancorous chief executive. Foes point to constant retreating, absence of victories, and a petty punctilio to illustrate an almost pathological unwillingness to make decisions. He was, they argued then and now, temperamentally unsuited to be a general. Thus, this enigmatic Confederate general has both attracted and repelled biographers, most of whom have been perhaps overconcerned with his personal flaws rather than with making systematic analyses of his accomplishments. His own Narrative of Military Op erations, which he published near the end of his life, has been regarded with lofty scholarly suspicion and pointed to as an example of the bad taste that characterized so many former Confederates’ efforts to defend their own places in history. Another look at his life and activities as well as how he defended himself could assist in the attempt to reevaluate the wartime career of this important Confederate general.

Except for an occasional aside, in the Narrative, Johnston glossed over his youth and early training. He should not have, for much of the feisty and selfdefensive older figure was formed in the years before the Civil War. What becomes apparent in looking at how he grew up is that Johnston’s Virginia lineage marked him for life. His father, Peter Johnston, had served under “Light Horse” Harry Lee in the American Revolution and had been proud of his service in the making of the country. After the Revolution, Peter married Mary Valentine Wood, a niece of the legendary Patrick Henry, and they settled at the

*In this study of Johnston I have drawn on my 1959 introduction to Johnston’s Narrative for the
Indiana University Press. I thank that press for kind permission to reprint parts of that introduction.
While I have not changed my mind about General Johnston, I have deepened in my appreciation
for the world he inhabited.

-214-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 466

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.