Joseph E. Johnston
This glass-plate portrait of Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston is attributed to Mathew Brady's National Photographic Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Virginia-born Johnston was a veteran of the Mexican War (1846–1848), quartermaster general of the United States Army, a Confederate general during the American Civil War (1861–1865), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1879–1881), and a U.S. railroad commissioner in the first administration of U.S. president Grover Cleveland (1885–1889). The highest-ranking U.S. Army officer to resign his commission at the start of the Civil War, Johnston helped lead Confederates to victory at the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861; a month later, however, when Confederate president Jefferson Davis appointed five men to the rank of full general, Johnston was only fourth on the list, igniting a bitter feud with the president. Historians, have split on Johnston's military performance, with some dubbing him "Retreatin' Joe," citing, among others, his retreats in the face of General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac on the Peninsula in 1862. Other historians have argued that Johnston's strategy of withdrawal saved Confederates from destruction during the Atlanta Campaign (1864); nevertheless, President Davis disapproved of his actions in Georgia and replaced him.
After the war Johnston continued to nurse his grievances. Against the advice of friends, he published his Narrative of Military Operations in 1874, a book that defended his own actions while finding fault, most significantly, with Jefferson Davis. Johnston, who outlived many of his old opponents, served as a pallbearer at the funeral in New York City for former Union general William T. Sherman, the man to whom he had surrendered in April 1865. While standing bareheaded in the winter chill at the funeral in February 1891, Johnston caught a cold. He died on March 21, 1891, and was buried at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.