United States Congressman from Virginia
(1807-1891) Graduated from West Point in the class of 1825. One of his classmates was Robert E. Lee. He served with great distinction in the Seminole and Mexican Wars, in which he was wounded and brevetted repeatedly. He was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate Army in May 1861. The forces he commanded at Harpers Ferry, Va. linked up in time to fight with General P.G.T. Beauregard at 1st Manassas, turning the tide of battle in favor of the Confederacy. This performance earned him a promotion to rank of full general and the command of the Army of Northern Virginia. He fought against General George B. McClellan in the Virginia Peninsular campaign and was severely wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, Va., in May 1862. He was later given the command of the Army of Tennessee which he led in the early stages of the Atlanta campaign. He later opposed General William T. Sherman in the 1865 Carolina's campaign and eventually surrendered his army at Greensboro, N.C., on April 26, 1865. From 1879-81, Johnston served as a U.S. Congressman from his native state of Virginia, and was U.S. Commissioner of Railroads from 1885-91. He died in Washington, on March 21, 1891, supposedly as a result of a cold contracted while marching bareheaded in the rain in the funeral procession of his old Civil War adversary, General William T. Sherman.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Half view in uniform with double breasted coat with rank of brigadier general and epaulettes. Period pencil inscription on the reverse, "Genl. Joe Johnston, Commanding Army Potomac." Backmark: E.A. (early 1860's E. Anthony, N.Y. imprint). Excellent.
WBTS Trivia: Not to be confused with the Union Army of the Potomac, the Confederate Army of the Potomac, whose name was short-lived, was the command under Generals' P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston in the early days of the War Between The States. It fought under this name at the First Battle of Bull Run, Va. which took place on July 21, 1861.