Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 2, 1861 (Friday): A.S. Johnston-The Most Wanted Man In America

General Albert Sydney Johnston

HEADQUARTERS, June 3, 1861.
Colonel H. L. SCOTT, U. S. Army,
New York:
Concert with Colonel William B. Franklin, Brevoort House, and Colonel Tompkins, quartermaster, to arrest General A. S. Johnston, on his arrival in New York, perhaps by sending by means of the pilot-boat.

HEADQUARTERS, June 3, 1861.
(Care Major S. Williams, Asst. Adjt. General, Saint Louis, Mo.)
The Secretary of War directs that you arrest General A. S. Johnston, if he returns from California by overland route.

Albert Sydney Johnson was considered one of the most able officers in the Army at the outbreak of the war.  A native of Kentucky, he did not initially resign his commission, staying on as commander of the Department of the Pacific until Texas seceeded.  From May 6, when he resigned, until late May he remained in Los Angeles with his family.  On learning of plans to arrest him, he a pro-Southern California militia unit and crossed the desert into Arizona on July 4.  All this time rumors of his whereabouts circulated and the ranking Union general, Scott, here orders his arrest if found.  Johnston made his way to Richmond by September and was appointed a full general.  The following year he was killed at Shiloh.

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