I have just started to re-read Larry Daniel's "Shiloh", a book I read some years ago and have come across something I missed first time and would like to know more. Daniels says that at the beginning of the war when Lee declined command of the U.S Army ( we all know that story) the position was then offered to A.S.Johnston who also refused. I have been unable to find any other reference to this or maybe I've read it somewhere else and not retained it. Anybody out there know the story?
I went through quite a few of my books and I've found two secondary sources that mention AS Johnston turning down command of volunteer forces for the Union: Bruce Catton in "The Coming Fury" and Russel Weigley in "A Great Civil War" However, neither cited where they got this information so I cannot confirm the story. What seems undeniable to me is that at the outbreak of the war Johnston was in command of the US Army's Western division after leading the Mormon expedition in Utah. Johnston decided to follow Texas into secession in February 1861. He resigned his commission in late April 1861 once his successor took over his post. Sorry if that doesn't help much. Cheers!
Last edited on Fri Mar 12th, 2010 01:52 am by Mark
The passage I am asking about is footnoted,"Woodworth,Davis pp49-50", a book I do not have.
In "Shiloh", talking of A.S.Johnston, Daniels writes in Chapter One, The Capitals;
" Among his peers only Robert E Lee proved the exception. Although Lee graduated from West Point three years after Johnston, and was suborbinate to him in the 2nd Cavalry, he was offered top command of the United States Army at the beginning of the war,second only to Winfield Scott. When he declined, the position was offered to Johnston, who similarly refused. Davis subsequently made Lee commander of all the Confederate armies where he functioned as a presidential chief-of-staff, while Johnston received the actual field command. How different the war might have been had the roles been reversed."
Anybody have the Woodworth book?
Thanks, I did subsequently find the passage in Catton, but as you say, it is not referenced.