The Vikings


The Vikings Essay, Research Paper

Joseph Johnston was a Confederate general and American army officer. Johnston was born in Farmville, Va., on February 3, l807. Johnston was often recognized for his defensive abilities but criticized for being overly cautious. He was often wounded and known for his bravery in the Seminole and Mexican wars. He was looked down on as an able officer and became the quartermaster general of the army.

In April of l86l, Joseph Johnston followed his state into the Confederacy and was appointed a general in the Southern Army. In July he commanded Confederate troops at the First Battle of Bull Run. Although he got the victory, he shared the credit with his colleague, General P.G.T. Beauregard.

In May l862, Johnston was severely wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines. He spent six months recuperating from his injuries. During Johnstons recuperation, a major argument broke out between Johnston and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The dissagreement was over Johnston?s rank among generals in the army and differences over strategy and military administration.

In November l862, Johnston took command of southern forces in Mississippi and Tennessee. Johnston was unable to stop General Grant from taking the victory over Vicksburg. Public opinion still wanted Davis to assign Johnston to command the Army of Tennessee after they suffered severe defeats in late l863. In l864, Johnston led his army in an effort to stop General William T. Shermans?s invasion of Georgia. Once again, Johnstons? personality and his arguments with Davis put a kink in his performance, and his army gradually fell back to Atlanta. On July l7, l864, Johnston was finally replaced. Johnston was briefly called back by General Robert E.Lee in early l865 to oppose the federal forces in the Carolinas. He surrendered to Sherman on April 26, 17 days after Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

After the war, Johnston served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as commissioner of U.S. railroads . Johnston died in Washington, D.C. on March 2l, l89l which was brought on by standing hatless in the rain at the funeral of General Sherman.

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