Boyhood Home of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
N 36° 42.553 W 081° 58.742
17S E 412557 N 4063062
Quick Description: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston lived as a child with his parent near Abingdon
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 11/29/2006 6:47:12 AM
Waymark Code: WM106K
General Johnston was born at Longwood House in Farmville, Virginia, the house is now the home of the President of Longwood University. Johnston was named for Major Joseph Eggleston under whom his father served in the American Revolutionary War. Johnston attended the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1829. During his military career Johnston saw action during the Mexican-American War, the Seminole War and served in California.
When his native state seceded from the Union in 1861, Johnston resigned his commission as a brigadier general in the Regular Army, the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer to do so. Johnston served the Confederacy throughout the Civil War seeing action at in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
In April 1865, General Johnson was fighting in North Carolina, trying to stop Sherman’s March to the Sea. It was here that Johnston learned of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. On April 26, 1865, General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army to General Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.
Following the war, Johnston was involved in several business ventures inclucding becoming the president of a railroad company in Arkansas, and was involved in the insurance business. Johnson served as a member of the 46th Congress from 1879-1881, served as commissioner of railroads in the administration of President Grover Cleveland.
Johnston, like Lee, never forgot man he surrendered to, and would not allow an unkind word to be said about Sherman in his presence. When Sherman had died, Johnston was a pallbearer at his funeral; during the procession in New York City on February 19, 1891, he kept his hat off as a sign of respect in the cold, rainy weather. Someone had some concern for the old general's health and asked him to put on his hat, to which Johnston replied "If I were in his place and he standing here in mine he would not put on his hat." He caught pneumonia and died several weeks later. He is buried in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.
The text of the historic marker reads:
BOYHOOD HOME OF GENERAL JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON
"Born in Prince Edward Co., on 3 Feb. 1807, Joseph Eggleston Johnston, the son of Judge Peter Johnston, moved a mile north of here with his family in 1811. He attended Abingdon Male Academy and graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in 1829 with fellow Virginian Robert E. Lee. During the Civil War, he was the only officer to command both of the major Confederate armies, the Army of the Potomac (later the Army of Northern Virginia) in 1861-62 and the Army of Tennessee in 1863-1865; he surrendered at present-day Durham N.C., on 26 April 1865. He died on 21 March 1891 in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland"
Marker Number: K-50
Marker Title: Boyhood Home of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
Marker Location: Main Street near Reservoir Street
County or Independent City: Abingdon
Web Site: [Web Link]
Marker Program Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources - 2002