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Albert Sidney Johnston

Johnston, Albert Sidney, 1803–62, Confederate general, b. Washington, Ky. After serving in the Black Hawk War, he resigned (1834) from the U.S. army and went to Texas where he enlisted (1835) in the revolutionary army. Johnston became its commander in 1837 and served as Texas secretary of war, 1838–40. In the Mexican War, he commanded a regiment of volunteers and saw action at Monterrey. Reentering the U.S. army in 1849, Johnston served on the Texas frontier, was commander of the Dept. of Texas (1856–58), led the expedition against the Mormons (1857), and commanded the Dept. of Utah (1858–60). When Texas seceded from the Union in Apr., 1861, Johnston, commanding the Dept. of the Pacific, again resigned his commission in the U.S. army and was soon made general in charge of Confederate operations in the West. Union victories, especially at Fort Donelson (Feb., 1862), forced him to withdraw from the line of defense he had established in 1861. He concentrated an army at Corinth, Miss., and on Apr. 6, 1862, attacked Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh (see Shiloh, battle of). Johnston was killed at the height of battle.

See biography by his son W. P. Johnston (1878, repr. 1964); C. P. Roland, Albert Sidney Johnston (1987).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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