"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Joseph E. Johnston

This portrait of Joseph E. Johston C.S.A hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
"Joseph E. Johnston joined the Confederate army as a leading contender for high command. His brilliant performance at the First Battle of Manassas earned him a general's commission and seemed to foretell further military successes. Yet his promotion was the beginning of a difficult working relationship with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The two simply did not trust each other. When assigned to com­mand in Tennessee and Mississippi, Johnston com­plained that his orders were insufficient and lacked authority. In turn, when the strategic river town of Vicksburg fell into Union hands, Davis blamed Johnston for circumstances beyond his immediate control.

What Impaired Johnston most was his over­cautiousness, which his superiors interpreted as passivity. He liked Ideal situations in which his army had I numerical edge and could take the defensive, but It no time was the Confederacy ever blessed with superior numbers." -- National Portrait Gallery

This 1865 Currier & Ives lithograph of Johnston's Surrender can also be found in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"After Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston considered the war to be a lost cause and sought terms of peace with his nemesis-in-blue, General William T. Sherman. This print celebrates the formal surrender of Johnston's army on April 26, 1865, near Greensboro, North Carolina.

After the war, Johnston and Sherman, both West Pointers, became friends. In February 1891, Johnston served as a pallbearer at Sherman's funeral in New York City, where he caught a cold and died of complications from pneumonia the next month." -- National Portrait Gallery

And this photo by D. J. Ryan of Joseph Johnston and Robert E. Lee is also in the National Portrait Gallery.

"In April 1870, in Savannah, Georgia, two former Confederate generals and West Point classmates, Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston (left), met for the first time since the war ended; five years earlier, they had surrendered the South's last two effective armies. Both sixty-three, they aspired to be productive in civilian life as best as circumstances would allow. Lee was the president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, and Johnston was in the insurance business in Savannah. The noticeable shine on Lee's shoes, in contrast to Johnston's, was characteristic of  that model officer, who had graduated from the U.S. Military Academy forty-one years earlier without a single demerit. They posed for photographer David Ryan of Savannah, probably in his downtown studio." -- National Portrait Gallery

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