From, _Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans_ (1904)
JOHNSTON, Albert Sidney, soldier, was born in Washington, Ky., Feb. 2, 1802; youngest son of Dr. John and Abigail (Harris) Johnston, and grandson of Archibald Johnston, of Salisbury, Conn. His father was born in Salisbury, Conn., and removed to Kentucky in 1790. Albert Sidney attended Transylvania university, and in 1822 was appointed a cadet at the U.S. Military academy by his half-brother, Josiah Stoddard Johnston, representative from Louisiana in the 17th congress. He was graduated in 1826; declined a position on the staff of Gen. Winfield Scott; was assigned to the 2d infantry, and was transferred to the 6th infantry, of which he became adjutant. He served through the Black Hawk war of 1832, and was commissioned colonel of the Illinois state line for gallant services at the battle of the Bad Axe. He was married in 1833 to Henrietta, daughter of Maj. William Preston, of Louisville, Ky. He resigned his commission in the army, April 24, 1834, on account of his wife's declining health, and upon her death, in 1836, he enlisted in the Texan army as a private. He was appointed adjutant-general of the army on the Coleto; on Aug. 5, 1836, adjutant-general of the republic, and in January, 1837, was made senior brigadier-general of the Texan army. His rapid promotion involved him in a duel with Gen. Felix Huston, in which he was severely wounded, and he was obliged to resign his commission in May, 1837. He was appointed secretary of war of the Republic of Texas by President Mirabeau B. Lamar, and carried out the president's plans for the protection of the border against invasions by the Mexicans. He returned to private life, purchased a plantation in Brazoria county, Texas, and was married in 1843 to Eliza Griffin, of Louisville, Ky., cousin of his first wife. At the outbreak of the Mexican war he organized the Texas Rifles, and with this regiment hastened to the Rio Grande. He was inspector-general of Butler's division at Monterey, and at the close of the war returned to his farm. He was commissioned paymaster in the U.S. army by President Taylor in 1849, and was appointed colonel of the 2d cavalry by President Pierce in 1855, and assigned to the command of the Department of Texas. In 1857 the Mormons openly rebelled against the national government, and Colonel Johnston was sent to Utah, where he succeeded in restoring peace without a conflict. He was brevetted brigadier-general, and remained at Salt Lake City until December, 1860, when he was transferred to the command of the Department of the Pacific. At the outbreak of the civil war the government became anxious for the safety of the forts and arsenal in California, and Johnston being a southern man, Secretary Cameron secretly sent Colonel Sumner to assume command. When Johnston heard this, and that Texas, his adopted state, had seceded, he resigned his commission in the U.S. army, but was not relieved until the arrival of Colonel Sumner. Previous to his leaving the army, President Lincoln sent him a major-general's commission in the U.S. army, which he declined. He was also assured by Secretary Cameron of the highest command in the Federal army, but he withdrew to Los Angeles with the intention of engaging in the cultivation of a farm. The constant surveillance to which he was being subjected by the Federal authorities annoyed him, and when President Davis asked him to help the southern states in their extremity, he proceeded on horseback to Texas, and thence to Richmond, and on Sept. 16, 1861, he was given command of all the territory west of the Alleghany mountains except the gulf coast. The Confederate force in his district was made up of the army of Price and McCulloch, of 6000 men; the army of Hardee, with about the same number of raw recruits; the army of Gen. Leonidas Polk, of 11,000 men; that of Zollicoffer, with 4000 men, and that of Buckher, with 4000 men. General Johnston issued to the southern governors a call for 50,000 men, and began to concentrate his force, to fortify his position at Bowling Green, Ky., and to drill his troops. His army of 25,000 men was confronted by the Federal army, 100,000 strong. Crittenden and Zollicoffer were defeated by Thomas at Mill Spring, Jan. 19, 1862, the battle being fought in disregard of Johnston's orders. This exposed Jhonston's right, and he applied to the [p.111] government at Richmond for a force commensurate with the importance of his position. Knowing that he would soon be called to defend the waterways, then the pathways into the heart of the Confederacy, he established new defensive works on the Tennessee, including Fort Henry, and constructed Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland. When Grant operated against Fort Henry, Johnston fell back to the line of the Cumberland in order to defend Nashville, and he resolved to make his stand at Fort Donelson, but the presence of Buell with 90,000 men soon obliged him to fall back on Nashville with less than 14,000 men, of which 8500 were effective, leaving Buckner, Pillow and Floyd to defend Doneleon. When Doneleon fell, to save his remaining army, Johnston abandoned the line on the Cumberland and concentrated his forces at Corinth, Miss., for a renewed struggle, March 25, 1862, where he was re-inforced by Bragg with 10,000 men from the southern coast. He placed the territory west of the Tennessee river under General Beauregard, who, instead of defending Columbus, concentrated his force at Island No. 10, and when Beauregard was taken sick, the command devolved on General Bragg and the place surrendered with its garrison of 7000 men. Johnston now determined to concentrate the entire Confederate forces at Corinth and meet Grant at the bend of the river and crush him before he could be reinforced by Buell. Beauregard and Bragg delayed the movement, asking time to reorganize their demoralized forces. After ten days' delay Johnston placed Bragg in command of a corps, and made him his chief-of-staff. As the battle would be fought in the territory assigned to Beauregard, Johnston tendered to him the immediate direction of the battle, which that general generously declined and became second in command. Grant had moved up the Tennessee by boats and taken possession of the left bank at Pittsburg Landing, where he was stationed for one week before Johnston had gathered the scattered forces together, which, when concentrated, made an army of 40,000 men. Grant had in camp at Pittsburg Landing 58,000 men, Buell, near by, had 87,000 and Mitchell, near Fierance, had 18,000. On April 6, 1862, Johnston made the attack on his lines. His plan was to turn the left flank of the Federal army and so cut off Grant's retreart to the Tennessee, forcing him to the junction of Owl creek and the Tennessee river and thus obliging a surrender. This plan was being carried out when the left of Hurlbut's division offered a determined resistance, and Johnston riding up exclaimed, "Men, they are stubborn: we must use the bayonet! I will lead you!" Bowers and Statham's brigades followed him in the charge, gained the crest and put the enemy to flight. Johnston had his clothes pierced by bullets and his boot sole cut by a minie, while his horse received four shots. Groups of Federal soldiers as they retired kept up a sharp fire and then fell back on their supports. The last line turned before they yielded, fired a volley, and Johnston received a minie ball wound. He still sat his horse, gave an order to Colonel O'Hara of his staff and in answer to Governor Harris's question "General, are you wounded?" answered, "Yes, and I fear seriously." Harris and Wickham led his horse to the shield of a hill and lifted the dying general to the ground, to find his leg bleeding and his boot filled with blood. His surgeon, Dr. D. W. Yandell, having been ordered by the general to attend to wounded prisoners, could not give immediate aid, and Johnston died a few minutes after being dismounted. In the selection of names for a place in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, New York University, made in October, 1900, his was one of the twenty names In "Class N, Soldiers and Sailors" submitted as eligible and with James Lawrence and James S. Wadsworth received no votes in the final election, Farragut, Grant and Lee being the only names in the class receiving a place. General Johnston died near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 6, 1862.