Joseph E. JohnstonJoseph E(ggleston) Johnston, (Farmvile, Prince Edward County VA, 1807-1891), was a talented General in the Confederate army whose effectiveness was undercut by tensions with Jefferson Davis.
Johnston attended West Point (class of 1829). When he resigned his commission in 1861, he was the highest-ranking Union officer to do so. He was at first in charge of the Army of Northern Virginia, until replaced by Gen. Robert E. Lee. In 1863 he was unsuccessful at relieving Vicksburg, partly due to conflicting orders. Then, commanding the Army of the Tennessee, he delayed Sherman's advance from Chattanooga to Atlanta, but quarreled with his commander Jefferson Davis, who removed him from the Siege of Atlanta. Faced with an opposing army of overwhelming strength, Johnston fought a strategic retreat halfway across Georgia. His replacement, Hood lost as many men in six weeks as Johnston lost during the whole retreating campaign. After learning of the surrender at Appomattox, Johnston surrendered his army on April 26, 1865, despite orders to the contrary from Jefferson Davis.
After the war Johnston served a term as congessman from Virginia and was a commissioner of railroads in the administration of Grover Cleveland. His critical analysis of the Civil War, Narrative of Military Operations, was well received.
Johnston had the grace to be a pallbearer at the funeral of General Sherman, his former opponent. He caught pneumonia at the funeral and died on March 21, 1891.
The only known public monument to Johnston was erected in Dalton, Georgia in 1912.