In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

280CIVIL WAR HISTORY Probably in 192 pages it is impossible to give the depth of treatment and analysis that a reader might have wished. The book also contains an excellent bibliographical essay, photographs , and a map of Richmond. And despite minor criticisms Professor Thomas has caught the exuberance and elation, the pathos and tragedy that was to be Richmond's wartime experience. In this the reader may well be glad that the trees do not obscure the forest. Richard R. Duncan Georgetown University Yankee Quaker Confederate General: The Curious Career of Bushrod Rust Johnson. By Charles M. Cummings. (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1971. Pp. 417. $15.00.) The life of Bushrod Rust Johnson is not a story of triumph, for he was average, ambitious, harassed, confused, ill-starred, and often foolish in his actions. There were, however, a few moments of glory. Although he generally tried to do his best, he was usually ignored and passed over. His failures so completely dominated and enshrouded him that his role in history became obscure and forgotten except for several brief sketches of his life such as the account in the Dictionary of American Biography (X, 91-92). The author of Yankee Quaker Confederate General has corrected this by providing a much needed and tìioroughly adequate study of Johnson's life and career. Although Johnson was born in Ohio of Quaker heritage, he entered upon a military career, graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1836 in die class that included two noted Union generals of the Civil War, William T. Sherman and George H. Thomas. Johnson's service in the infantry in Florida and the West unfolded routinely until the Mexican War, when he was not rewarded with a brevet promotion for acknowledged valor and gallantry at the Battle of Monterrey, unlike a number of fellow officers. Not even action in four battles won him a promotion; perhaps no one was impressed by him under fire. Whatever the reason, he was named by General Winfield Scott as Acting Assistant Commissary of Subsistence for the army at Vera Cruz, Mexico. While on this responsible and tedious assignment, he unwisely wrote a superior suggesting a procedure by which profit could be made on the flourishing black market in Mexico. A court of inquiry determined that the letter was written by Johnson and, as a result, President James K. Polk called for his resignation from the army. Johnson then joined the faculty of Western Military Institute, Georgetown , Kentucky, and later became its superintendent. When the school became the collegiate department of the University of Nashville, Tennessee , in 1855, he became its superintendent and professor of civil engineering. As if anticipating the outbreak of die Civil War, he took his retarded son Charles to live with relatives in Indiana during the summer BOOK REVIEWS281 of 1860 and provided amply for his maintenance. Months before Johnson entered the Confederate army he had made up his mind to go with the South. He reasoned that he was identified educationally with that section, that his close associates sincerely advocated slavery and states' rights, and that his economic welfare was linked to theirs. Johnson was promoted to brigadier general in January, 1862, and assigned to Fort Donelson, where he displayed his usual self-effacing, unassertive traits of character. So inconspicuous was Johnson at the fall of Fort Donelson diat the Federals forgot about him and he walked away to Nashville, sixty miles distant. In 1862 Johnson proved his military leadership in two bloody battles , but in neither did he find complete success. He served ably at Shiloh until his wound removed him prematurely from the scene. At Perryville , where he had five horses shot out from under him, he aggressively spearheaded Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner's wedge into the Federal center until he ran out of ammunition just short of his goal. 1863 brought new plaudits for Johnson and dawned with distinguished action at Stones River (Murfreesborough), but again he was robbed of complete victory when his troops needlessly panicked. His greatest battle came later that year at Chickamauga, where he commanded a division ; largely through his initiative the Federal right wing was swept...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 280
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.