Albert Sidney Johnston

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Albert Sidney Johnston

Albert Sidney Johnston (1803-1862) - Born 2 Feb 1803, Washington, Kentucky. Died 6 Apr 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh.

Albert Sidney Johnston was a West Point graduate who fought in five major conflicts and lost his life at Shiloh in the U.S. Civil War. Between conflicts he returned to civilian life and his family. He was considered one of the most able Confederate generals in the U.S. Civil War.


West Point

He entered the United States Military Academy 1 Jul 1822 and graduated 8th of 41 in the Class of 1826. He was assigned to posts in Sackett's Harbor, New York and with the 6th U.S. Infantry at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri and served in the Black Hawk War in 1832 as chief of staff to General Henry Atlinson. In 1834 Johnston resigned his commission to care for his terminally ill wife.


He went to Texas to offer his services to the Texas Army during the Texas War of Independence against the Republic of Mexico in 1836. Enlisting into the revolutionary army as a private, he rose to Senior Brigadier General in command of the Texas Army in 1837. Texas gained its independence from Mexico and became a separate nation, Johnston became Texas Secretary of War on 22 Dec 1838. He resigned in 1840 and returned to civilian life.

Mexican War

He was the commander of the 1st Texas Rifles during the Mexican War and returned to civilian life after the war.

U.S. Army

In 1849, he rejoined the U.S. Army as a major in the paymaster corps and was assigned to the Texas frontier. In 1855 he was a colonel in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry and went with General William S. Harney to the Great Plains. In 1857, Johnston received a battlefield promotion to brigadier general in the conflict with the Mormons in Utah. In 1860 he became the Commander of the Department of the Pacific in California.

U.S. Civil War

He was in California when the Civil War began. He resigned his commission and made the long trip to Richmond by train. Meeting with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, he joined the rebel army, and was soon the second highest ranking southern officer, with only Robert E. Lee outranking him. The Confederate Army won a morale-boosting victory at First Bull Run in 1861. Johnston's subordinate generals lost Fort Henry on February 6, 1862, and Fort Donelson on February 14, 1862, to Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

On 6 Apr 1862, Johnston was killed while leading his forces at the Battle of Shiloh. He was temporarily buried at New Orleans. In Jan 1867, his remains were transferred to Austin, Texas for burial in the State Cemetery.

Father: John Johnston (1762-1832) Born 1 Jul 1762, Salisbury, CT. Died 25 Oct 1832.

Mother: Abigail Harris (1770-1806) Born 20 Apr 1770, Washington, Mason, Kentucky. Died 29 Nov 1806.


  • Henrietta Preston (1802-1835) Born 23 Feb 1802. Died 12 Aug 1835 in Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky. Married 20 Jan 1829, Missouri.
  • Eliza Croghan Griffin (1821-1896) Born 26 Dec 1821 in Fincastle, Botetourt, Virginia. Died 25 Sep 1896 in Los Angeles, California. Married 3 Oct 1843, Kentucky.


  • By Henrietta
    • William Preston Johnston (1831-1899) Born 5 Jan 1831 in Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky. Died 16 Jul 1899, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky.
    • Henrietta Preston Johnston (1832-1906) Born 18 Apr 1832. Died 29 Jul 1906.
    • Maria Pope Johnston (1833-1834) Born 28 Oct 1833, Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Died 10 Aug 1834 Hayfield, Jefferson, Kentucky.
  • By Eliza
    • Albert Sidney Johnston (1845-1863) Born 8 Apr 1845, Shelby, Kentucky. Died 27 Apr 1863, San Pedro, California.
    • Hancock McClung Johnston (1848-1945) Born 28 Feb 1848, China Grove, Texas. Died 10 May 1945, Texas. (some dispute about the birth year 1845 or 1848, 1870 Census points to 1848 as correct)
    • Mary Hancock Johnston (1850-1850) Born 29 Jan 1850, Galveston, Texas. Died 29 Nov 1850, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky.
    • Margaret Strother Johnston (1851-1915) Born 11 Dec 1851, Austin, Texas. Died 16 Nov 1915, San Francisco, California.
    • Griffin Johnston (1857-1895) Born 21 Mar 1857. Died 25 Nov 1895.
    • Eliza Alberta Johnston (1861-) Born 30 Aug 1861, Los Angeles, California.


  • (1836-1836) Maj. (), aide-de-camp to Gen. Sam Houston
  • (1836-1837) Col. (5 Aug 1836),
  • (1837-1838) Brig. Gen. (31 Jan 1837), command of Texas Army
  • (1838-1840) Texas Secretary of War (22 Dec 1838)
  • (Feb 1840) Resigned
  • (1849-1855) Maj. (31 Oct 1849), Paymaster corps
  • (1855-1857) Col. (3 Mar 1855), 2nd U.S. Cavalry, Fort Mason, Texas
  • (1857-1860) Bvt. Brig. Gen. (18 Nov 1857), for meritorious conduct in command of the army in Utah
  • (1860-1861) Bvt. Brig. Gen., Command of the Department of the Pacific
  • (9 Apr 1861) Resigned commission
  • (1861-1862) General C.S.A. (30 May 1861), Commander of the Western Department
  • (6 Apr 1862) Killed at Shiloh

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  • Johnston, William Preston, The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston, New York: Appleton, 1978
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