Joseph E. Johnston
One of the first challenges Johnston faced when he relieved Braxton Bragg
of the command of the Army of Tennessee was a high rate of desertion. On the other hand, upon arriving he gave all solders a week leave to see their family, gave all of them their back pay, and reinstated all solders who abandoned their ranks to their former position without penalty. To combat further problems Johnston took deserters out to Crow Valley, north of Dalton and had them shot.
Born in 1807, Johnston attended West Point(Class of '29). In 1861 he resigned his commission to join the Confederate forces. He was a Brig by May of that year and placed in charge of the Army of Northern Virginia. After command was passed to Robert E. Lee he moved to the western front and took command of the Army of the Tennessee.
His inability to get along with his commanding officer, Jefferson Davis, led to his removal during the Siege of Atlanta. Faced with an opponent of overwhelming strength he performed remarkably, retreating across half the state and losing about as many men as his opponent, William Tecumseh Sherman. After his removal, John Bell Hood lost as many men in less than 6 weeks.
At the end of the war Johnston was tapped to fight a defensive action against Sherman in North Carolina after the March to the Sea.
After the war Johnston served as congressman and as commissioner of railroads. His analysis of the Civil War in his memoirs was highly regarded. Catching a cold as a pallbearer at Sherman's funeral, the Joseph Johnston died on March 21, 1891
This statue, (see picture, Whitfield County History) was erected in his honor in October of 1912 by the Bryan M. Thomas Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 15 feet high, the bronze statue is on a base of Georgia marble and cost $6,000 to erect. It is the only known statue of the general who commanded Confederate forces in Georgia for more than 6 months. Johnston is seen holding his hat and sword (point down).
For a more detailed biography, please see Joseph E. Johnston
or Joseph E. Johnston
Location: Downtown Dalton Georgia
Directions: Directions: Take I-75 to exit 333, then east on GA 52 to downtown Dalton. The statue is on the corner of Hamilton and Crawford Streets.
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: January 30, 2006