Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Even On Crutches He Led
George Doherty Johnston was born May 30th 1832 in Hillsborough, North Carolina. His family moved to Greensboro, Alabama in 1834, were his father died a year latter. Johnston had his early education from tutors, and then attended Howard College. He then attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee where he studied law. Johnston returned home after graduation and opened a law practice, but he quickly became involved in politics being elected mayor in 1856, and to the State Legislature in 1857.
When the Civil War started Johnston joined the Confederate Army, becoming a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Alabama Infantry. His unit saw its first action at First Manassas. Johnston was promoted to Major in the 25th Alabama in January 1862, and Colonel in September 1863. At the Battle of Ezra Church, Johnston was wounded in the leg. He received a promotion shortly after to Brigadier General. He was still on crutches, and leading his men during the Franklin Nashville Campaign. When surrender came Johnston was on his way to join up with Confederate General Richard A Taylor.
Following the war Johnston was the commandant of cadets at the University of Alabama. Latter he took the job as superintendent of the South Carolina Military Academy. President Grover Cleveland appointed Johnston to be the United State Civil Service Commissioner. He settle in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he would be elected State Senator. Johnston died in Tuscaloosa December 8th 1910, and in buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.