District of California
The District of California was a Union Army command department formed during the American Civil War. The district was part of the Department of the Pacific, the commander of the department being District commander; the district was created as a separate command on July 1, 1864, after Irvin McDowell took command of the Department of the Pacific, relieving General Wright, who remained as District of California commander. The District comprised the state of California and the areas of the Rogue River and Umpqua River in Southern Oregon, its headquarters were in San Francisco, co-located with those of the Department of the Pacific. On March 14, 1865, the District of Oregon was extended to include the entire state of Oregon, removing the Rogue River and Umpqua River areas from the District. Albert Sidney Johnston, January 1861 - March 1861 Edwin Vose Sumner, March 1861 - October 1861 George Wright, October 1861 - June 27, 1865 On July 27, 1865 the Military Division of the Pacific was created under Major General Henry W. Halleck, replacing the Department of the Pacific.
It consisted of the Department of the Columbia replacing the District of Oregon and the Department of California. George Wright, now a U. S. Army Brigadier General, was assigned to command the new Department of the Columbia. Fort Umpqua, 1856–1862 Camp Baker, 1862-1865 Fort Klamath 1863-1865 -source is Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, v. 50, pt. 2 semi annual returns beginning December 1863. Benicia Arsenal, 1851–1964 Benicia Barracks, 1852–1866 Fort Jones, 1852–1858, 1864 Post of Alcatraz Island or Fort Alcatraz, 1853–1907 Roop's Fort, Fort Defiance, Susanville 1853-1863 Fort Point San José, San Francisco, 1853–1882 Fort Point, San Francisco, 1853–1886 Fort Crook 1857-1869 Camp Allen, Oakland 1860-? Camp Cady, 20 miles east of Barstow 1860, 1862, 1864 - 1871 Camp Dragoon Bridge, south of the town of Litchfield 1860-1863 Camp Downey, Oakland, 1861 Camp Halleck, Stockton,1861-1863 Camp Fitzgerald, Los Angeles June 1861 - September 20, 1861 Fort on Pine Creek, Independence 1861-1865 Camp San Bernardino, San Bernardino 1861 Camp Lyon, San Francisco 1861-1865 Mare Island Post, 1861–1862 Camp McClellan, Auburn 1861 Camp McDougall, near Stockton, 1861 Camp Gilmore, 1863 Camp Union, Sutterville 1861-1866 Camp Sigel, near Auburn, 1861–1862 Camp Sumner, San Francisco, 1861-1865 Camp Wright, San Francisco, 1861 Camp Alert, San Francisco, 1862-1865 Camp Hot Creek Station, 1862 Camp Hooker, near Stockton, 1862 Camp at Red Bluff, Red Bluff, 1862 Camp Reynolds on Angel Island, 1863–1866 Camp Bidwell, Chico, 1863–1865 Camp Chico, Chico, 1865 Camp Merchant, 1863 Fort Miller, 1863-1864.
Camp Stanford, Stockton, 1863 Camp Johns, 1864 Camp Low, 1864-1865 Camp Pollock 1864 Camp Susan, Susanville 1864 Federal Armory, Copperopolis 1864-1875 Post at Friday's Station, 1864 Colusa Post, 1864-1865 Camp Bidwell 1865-1879 Camp near Hornitos, 18 miles northeast of Merced, 1865 Camp Jackson, near Ione, 1865 Monterey Barracks, 1865-1866 Camp at Pierson's Ranch, 1865 Camp Waite, 1865-1866 1861 January 15, 1861. The Departments of California and Oregon merged into the Department of the Pacific. Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, 2nd US Cavalry, Brevet Brigadier General, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of the Pacific. March 23, 1861. Brigadier General Edwin V. Sumner, U. S. Army, assigned to command the Department of the Pacific. April 25, 1861. Brig. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, U. S. Army, assumes command of tho Department of the Pacific, relieving Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, 2nd US Cavalry, brevet brigadier-general, U. S. Army. August 3–12, 1861. Scout from Fort Crook to Round Valley, with skirmish on the 6th in the Upper Pitt River Valley.
August 15–22, 1861. Expedition from Fort Crook to tho Pitt River, with skirmish on the 19th near Kellogg's Lake, California. Sept. 7,1861. Skirmish near the Santa Ana Canyon, California. Sept. 14, 1861. Col. George Wright, 9th US Infantry, assigned to command all troops serving in Southern California. Sept. 25, 1861. The District of Southern California created, comprising the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Col. George Wright, assigned to its command. Oct. 11, 1861. Lieut. Col. Albemarle Cady, 7th US Infantry, assigned to command the District of Oregon. Oct. 20,1861. Brig. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, U. S. Army, relinquishes command of the Department of the Pacific to Col. George Wright. Oct. 26,1861. Col. George Wright, assumes command of tho Department of the Pacific. Nov. 19,1861. Brig. Gen. George Wright, U. S. Army, formally assigned to command the Department of the Pacific. Dec. 12, 1861. Humboldt Military District created to prosecute the Bald Hills War, to consist of the counties of Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte, in Northern California, Col. Francis J. Lippitt, Second California Infantry, assigned to its command.1862 Sept. 21,1862.
Affair on the Yreka Road, near Fort Crook, Cal. Nov. 3-29, 1862. Scouts from Fort Crook, Cal. and Fort Churchill, Nev. Ter. to Honey Lake Valley, Cal.1863 1864 July 1, 1864. Brig. Gen. George Wright, U. S. Army, retained command of the District of California but Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U. S. Army, relieved him and assumed command of the Department of tho Pacific.1865 Apr. 5-18,1865. Expedition from Camp Bidwell to Antelope Creek, Cal. June 27, 1865. Military Division of the Pacific created, to consist of the Departments of California and the Columbia. Department of California consisted of the States of California and Nevada and the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U. S. Army, assigned to command the Department of California. California in the America
Department of the Gulf
The Department of the Gulf was a command of the United States Army in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. The department was constituted on February 23, 1862 when the United States War Department issued General Orders No. 20. F. Butler." On March 20, 1862, Butler activated his command at Ship Island, Mississippi by issuing General Orders No. 1 assuming his new command. United States Navy's West Gulf Blockading Squadron captured New Orleans, Louisiana on April 29, 1862, Butler moved his headquarters to New Orleans on 1 May; the department, sometimes referred to as the Army of the Gulf, became a union occupying force in the region. Major General B. F. Butler, March 20, 1862 – December 17, 1862 Major General N. P. Banks, December 17, 1862 – September 23, 1864 Major General S. G. Hurlbut, September 23, 1864 – to April 22, 1865 Major General N. P. Banks, 22 April 22, 1865 – June 3, 1865 Major General E. R. S. Canby, June 3, 1865 – The department referred to as the Gulf District, was established on July 2, 1862 as a part of Department No. 2.
On November 3, 1863, the northern boundary was extended to latitude 33° north. On July 25, 1863, the department/district was transferred to the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, it remained in that department only until January 28, 1864, when it was transferred to the Department of Alabama and Eastern Mississippi. Upon being transferred, the department/district boundaries were redefined as beginning at the mouth of the Pearl River, running north to latitude 32° north, east to the Georgia State line and south to the Gulf of Mexico. On May 8, 1864, the boundary was again modified to define the eastern edge as being the intersection of latitude 32° north with a line running from the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa to point where the Choctawhatchee River entered Florida following the Choctawhatchee to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico; the department/district surrendered on May 4, 1865. John H. Forney, July 2, 1862 – December 8, 1862 William W. Mackall, December 8, 1862 – December 14, 1862 Simon B.
Buckner, December 14, 1862 – April 27, 1863 Franklin Gardner, April 27, 1863 – May 1863 Dabney H. Maury, May 1863 – July 26, 1864 Franklin Gardner, July 26, 1864 – August 15, 1864 Dabney H. Maury, August 15, 1864 – November 22, 1864 Daniel Leadbetter, November 22 – December 12, 1864 Dabney H. Maury, December 12, 1864 – May 4, 1865 The department was constituted by General Order 7, Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, dated March 11, 1898; the order specified that the department was to include the states of South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Texas. All of the named states had been included in the Department of the East except Texas, the sole state in the Department of Texas; the depart was redesignated as the Department of the South on March 12, 1898 and back to the Department of the Gulf on March 18, 1898. Brigadier General William M. Graham assumed command of the department on March 14, 1898; the department was headquartered in Georgia. On October 25, 1899, the department was merged with the Department of the East.
It was reestablished in December 1903. Brigadier General William M. Graham, March 14, 1898 – May 18, 1898 Major General John R. Brooke, May 17, 1898 – July 4, 1898 Brigadier General A. C. M. Pennington, July 4, 1898 – March 22, 1899 Brigadier General Royal T. Frank, March 22, 1899 - October 18, 1899... Brigadier General Thomas H. Barry, December 1903 – May 15, 1905 Brigadier General James F. Wade, May 15, 1905 - April 6, 1906 Brigadier General William Penn Duvall, April 6, 1906 - February 18, 1907 Brigadier General Winfield Scott Edgerly, March 3, 1907 – July 31, 1907 Brigadier General R. D. Potts, July 1, 1908 – December 23, 1908 Colonel George A. Dodd, 12th Cavalry Regiment, December 23, 1908 – January 16, 1909 Brigadier General R. D. Potts, January 16, 1909 – April 24, 1909 Colonel J. T. Van Orsdale, 17th Infantry Regiment, April 24, 1909 – May 28, 1909 Brigadier General A. L. Mills, May 28, 1909 – June 3, 1909 Colonel J. T. Van Orsdale, 17th Infantry Regiment, June 3, 1909 – June 27, 1909 Brigadier General A. L. Mills, June 27, 1909 - January 15, 1912 Brigadier General William W. Wotherspoon, January 15, 1912 - August 17, 1912 Brigadier General Robert K. Evans, August 17, 1912 - March 1914 History of the administration of the department of the Gulf in the year 1862: With an account of the capture of New Orleans and a sketch of the previous career of the general and military.
Ticknor and Fields. 1866. Proclamation, Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, May 1st, 1862 United States. Army. Dept. Of The Gulf. Army. Dept. of the Gulf. General Orders from Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, Issued by Major-General B F Butler, from May 1st, 1862, to the Present Time. BiblioBazaar. ISBN 978-1-175-53110-0. Augustine Joseph Hickey Duganne. Camps and prisons: Twenty months in the department of the Gulf. J. P. Robens. Map of the military Department of the Gulf Civil War - Use Withheld from Grant Constitution during the Civil War Department of the Gulf from Ohio Civil War NYPL Blog of Sanitary Commission The Civil War in Louisiana 153rd NY Infantry Regiment The photographic history of the Civil War, Volume 10 Department of the Gulf Reenactors Dept of the Gulf, CSA Use of Negros by CSA History Part IX The Confederate Soldier in the Civil War, 1861-1865
Department of the South
The Department of the South was a military department of the United States Army that existed in several iterations in the 19th century. During the American Civil War, the Department of the South comprised Union Army troops occupying the states of Florida and South Carolina; this included troops stationed at Hilton Head, Morris Island, Savannah and Pensacola, Florida. Until 1864, its command was coterminous with that of the X Corps. Major General David Hunter, March 31 to September 3, 1862 Major General Ormsby M. Mitchel, September 3, 1862 to October 30, 1862 Brigadier General John M. Brannan, October 30, 1862 to January 21, 1863 Major General David Hunter, January 21 to June 3, 1863 Major General Quincy Adams Gilmore, June 12, 1863, to May 1, 1864 Brigadier General John P. Hatch, May 1, 1864 to May 26, 1864 Major General John G. Foster, May 26, 1864 to February 11, 1865 Major General Quincy Adams Gilmore, February 9 to November 17, 1865; this iteration of the Department of the South consisted of posts in the Carolinas, in what was the Second Military District.
It was commanded by General Daniel Sickles. In this iteration, the Department of the South consisted of reconstructed states in the former Confederacy, it was subordinate to the Military Division of the South until 1876, the Military Division of the Atlantic after that. Major General George G. Meade, August 1868–March 12, 1869... Brigadier General Thomas Howard Ruger, September 8, 1876–July 1, 1878 Brigadier General Christopher Columbus Augur, July 1, 1878–December 26, 1880 Colonel Henry Jackson Hunt, January 6, 1881–September 14, 1883 "Records of United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920"
Army of the Tennessee
The Army of the Tennessee was a Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River. It should not be confused with the named Army of Tennessee, a Confederate army named after the State of Tennessee, it appears that the term "Army of the Tennessee" was first used within the Union Army in March 1862, to describe Union forces more properly described as the "Army of West Tennessee". In April 1862, Grant's troops survived a severe test in the bloody Battle of Shiloh. During six months marked by discouragement and anxiety for Grant, his army first joined with two other Union armies to prosecute the bloodless Siege of Corinth and strained to hold Union positions in Tennessee and Mississippi. In October 1862, Grant's command was reconfigured and elevated to departmental status, as the Department of the Tennessee. Grant commanded these forces until after his critically important victory at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. Under other generals, starting with William Tecumseh Sherman, the army marched and fought from the Chattanooga Campaign, through the Relief of Knoxville, the Meridian Campaign, the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea, the Carolinas Campaign, to the end of the war and disbandment.
This article discusses Grant's 1861–1862 commands — the District of Southeast Missouri and the District of Cairo — because the troops Grant led in the Battle of Belmont and the Henry-Donelson campaign during that period became the nucleus of the Army of the Tennessee. A 2005 study of the army states that it "was present at most of the great battles that became turning points of the war—Fort Donelson and Atlanta" and "won the decisive battles in the decisive theater of the war." More poetically, in 1867 speaking of the Atlanta campaign, General Sherman said that the Army of the Tennessee was "never checked—always victorious. History remembers the Army of the Tennessee as one of the most important Union armies during the Civil War, an army intimately associated with the Union's two most celebrated generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, it is thus rather ironic that frequent military reorganizations and looseness of usage during the war itself make it difficult to pinpoint the exact date at which this army formally came into existence.
It should suffice to note that the "nucleus around, to gather the... Army of the Tennessee" first took shape in 1861–1862, while Grant was headquartered at Cairo, Illinois; those troops continued under Grant in the distinct District of West Tennessee. However, army correspondence began using the term "Army of the Tennessee" in March 1862. During the course of the war, elements of the Army of the Tennessee performed many tasks, the army evolved with the addition and subtraction of many units, it is not feasible to chronicle every such development here at the corps level. Rather, this article traces the main thrust of the army's development and its most memorable activities. At any given time, substantial numbers of troops were engaged in activities. For example, in April 1863, less than half of Grant's departmental strength was directly engaged in the Vicksburg Campaign. In September 1861, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant subordinate to Maj. Gen. John Fremont in the Union's Western Department, assumed command of the District of Southeast Missouri.
One of Grant's wartime aides, John A. Rawlins stated that "rom this time... commenced the growth and organization of the Army of the Tennessee." Just days prompted by Confederate occupation of Columbus, Kentucky, on the Mississippi River, Grant led a small force to seize Paducah, where the Tennessee River joins the Ohio River. Paducah promptly became a separate Union command under Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith, who soon occupied Smithland, Kentucky, at the junction of the Cumberland River and the Ohio. According to Rawlins, the "first affair dignified by the name of a battle" for any of Grant's forces occurred at Fredericktown, where some of Grant's troops helped defeat Confederate forces under M. Jeff Thompson. Grant's own first engagement came on November 7 at Belmont, Missouri, a Mississippi River landing opposite Columbus, Kentucky. Grant, accompanied by Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, moved a force of 3,000 to Belmont by water, cut his way into the Confederate camps there, had to fight his way back out to regain his transports.
Grant's casualties in this first battle totaled about 500. While Grant had suffered a repulse, he won favorable press coverage; this battle, reports Rawlins, "confirmed General Grant in his views" that he should "give battle" whenever "he had what he thought a sufficient number of men." In November, John Fremont lost his command at St. Louis, to be replaced by Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, whose command was designated the Department of the Missouri. On December 20, Grant's command was reconfigured to include C. F. Smith renamed the District of Cairo. From
Persifor Frazer Smith
Persifor Frazer Smith was a United States Army officer during the Seminole Wars and Mexican–American War. As commander of US forces in California, he was one of the last military governors of the occupied territory before California became a US state. Smith was born in Philadelphia, the son of Jonathan and Mary Ann Smith, his maternal grandfather was Revolutionary War figure Persifor Frazer. General Smith is sometimes confused with his cousin named Persifor Frazer Smith, a well-known lawyer in Philadelphia. Persifor Frazer Smith the lawyer was the son of Mary Frazer. Other notable relatives include Joseph Smith Harris. Smith served as a colonel of volunteers in the Seminole Wars from 1836 to 1838, before taking part in the Mexican–American War, he commanded the 2nd Brigade in Worth's Division at the Battle of Monterrey. He was brevetted brigadier general in September 1846 and joined Winfield Scott's army as commander of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, he led his brigade at the battles of Cerro Gordo and Contreras.
He was fought in the battles for Mexico City. He served on the armistice commission and as military governor of Mexico City. After the war, he commanded the Pacific Division of the U. S. Army, predecessor of the Department of the Pacific. In 1849, in his capacity as commander, he sent relief parties across the Sierra Nevada in the Fall to meet the last arrivals in the emigration, saving many lives, he next commanded the U. S. Army's Department of Texas in 1850–1856, wherein he selected the site for Fort Davis and issued orders for the establishment of Fort Lancaster. Smith was commander of the U. S. Army's Department of the West at Fort Leavenworth during the Bleeding Kansas conflict. Obeying Governor Wilson Shannon´s request, in September 1856 he sent 1,300 troops to protect the Lecompton territorial capital from a threatened attack by freesoilers, he died at Leavenworth, while trying to quiet a disturbance, is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. General Smith married his first wife, Frances Jeanette Bureau, in 1822.
Their only child, Howard Smith, was a surgeon. Howard Smith served on the staff of General Kirby Smith during the Civil War. After his first wife's death in 1852, General Persifor Frazer Smith married Anne Monica Millard Armstrong, widow of Francis Wells Armstrong. Smith died, his stepson, Frank Crawford Armstrong, served as brigadier general in the Confederate army. New International Encyclopedia, Vol XVIII, New York, Dodd and Company, 1912
Zenas Randall Bliss was an officer and general in the United States Army and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He formed the first unit of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, his detailed memoirs chronicled life on the Texas frontier, he was the father of Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Zenas Work Bliss. Bliss was a native of Rhode Island and graduated from West Point in 1854, he served most of his thirty-seven-year career on the Texas frontier, served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. During the Civil War he was held as a prisoner of war. Bliss received the Medal of Honor for his actions while leading his regiment at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Bliss was born April 1835 in Johnston, Rhode Island to an upper-middle-class family, his parents were Phebe Waterman Randall Bliss. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in July 1850 when he was only fifteen years old, he served the next six years in Texas. He was stationed at Fort Davis and Fort Quitman, but his first assignment was as a brevet second lieutenant in the 1st U.
S. Infantry regiment at Fort Duncan, he was promoted to the full rank of second lieutenant in the 8th U. S. Infantry on March 3, 1855 and subsequently promoted to first lieutenant on October 17, 1860. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, he was promoted to captain on May 14, 1861; when the American Civil War began on April 12, 1861 Bliss saw action. He was captured by Confederate forces and spent eleven months as a prisoner of war, first in San Antonio, in Richmond, Virginia, he was exchanged in April 1862 and sent back to Union lines, where he was commissioned as Colonel of the Tenth Rhode Island Infantry the following month. The 10th Rhode Island served for only 90 days and was used in the defenses of Washington, D. C. After the 10th Rhode Island was discharged, Bliss assumed command of the Seventh Rhode Island Infantry on August 21, 1862. In October 1862 the Seventh Rhode Island joined the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Corps, Army of the Potomac; the regiment saw action in December 1862 at the Battle of Fredericksburg, during which Bliss performed actions that earned him the Medal of Honor several decades later.
When IX Corps was sent West, it participated in the Siege of Vicksburg. The Seventh served under Major General William T. Sherman in the capture of Mississippi. In April 1864 the Seventh rejoined the Army of the Potomac. Bliss became commander of Second Division, Ninth Corps, his brigade fought in the Battle of the Wilderness. Bliss was badly injured by a horse at Spotsylvania, but he returned to lead his brigade in the Siege of Petersburg and the Battle of the Crater; the court of inquiry following the fiasco at the Crater censured Bliss. During the Civil War, Bliss received a brevet to major dated December 13, 1862, for "gallantry and meritorious service" in the Battle of Fredericksburg, he was breveted to lieutenant colonel on May 7, 1864, for "gallantry and meritorious service" in the Battle of the Wilderness. Bliss was mustered out of volunteer service on June 9, 1865 and reverted to his Regular Army rank of captain, he was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 3, 1898, for valor during the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Bliss remained in the Regular Army after the Civil War and was promoted to major of the 30th Infantry Regiment on August 6, 1867. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 19th Infantry on March 4, 1879, to colonel of the 24th Infantry on April 20, 1886. Bliss was promoted to brigadier general in the Regular Army April 24, 1895, to major general on May 14, 1897, he retired from the Army eight days on May 22. Including his four years at West Point, Bliss had served 46 years, 10 months and 22 days in uniform when he retired. Bliss was a member of the District of Columbia Commandery of the Loyal Legion and was assigned insignia number 2601, he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Society of the Army of the Potomac and the Order of the Indian Wars. Zenas Bliss died in Washington, D. C. January 2, 1900, at age 64, he is buried alongside his wife at Arlington National Cemetery at Virginia. His grave can be found in section 1, lot 8-B. Bliss and his wife had four children. One of his sons was Zenas Work Bliss who served as lieutenant governor of Rhode Island from 1910 to 1913.
There is a life sized portrait of General Bliss at the Benefit Street Arsenal in Providence, Rhode Island. Rank and organization: Colonel, Seventh Rhode Island Infantry. Place and date: At Fredericksburg, VA. 13 Dec 1862. This officer, to encourage his regiment. List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: A–F Bliss, Zenas Randall; the Reminiscences of Major General Zenas R. Bliss, 1854-1876: from the Texas frontier to the Civil War and back again. Texas State Historical Association. ISBN 978-0-87611-226-7. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list "Zenas Bliss". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved January 24, 2010. "Arlington National Cemetery website". Zenas Randall Bliss: Major General, United States Army. Michael Robert Patterson. June 11, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2010. Zenas Randall Bliss Papers. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin. 1854–1898. "Gen. Zen
Albert Sidney Johnston
Albert Sidney Johnston served as a general in three different armies: the Texian Army, the United States Army, the Confederate States Army. He saw extensive combat during his 34-year military career, fighting actions in the Black Hawk War, the Texas War of Independence, the Mexican–American War, the Utah War, the American Civil War. Considered by Confederate States President Jefferson Davis to be the finest general officer in the Confederacy before the emergence of Robert E. Lee, he was killed early in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862. Johnston was Union or Confederate, killed during the entire war. Davis believed the loss of General Johnston "was the turning point of our fate." Johnston was unrelated to Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston. Johnston was born in Washington, the youngest son of Dr. John and Abigail Johnston, his father was a native of Connecticut. Although Albert Johnston was born in Kentucky, he lived much of his life in Texas, which he considered his home.
He was first educated at Transylvania University in Lexington, where he met fellow student Jefferson Davis. Both were appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Davis two years behind Johnston. In 1826, Johnston graduated eighth of 41 cadets in his class from West Point with a commission as a brevet second lieutenant in the 2nd U. S. Infantry. Johnston was assigned to posts in New York and Missouri and served in the brief Black Hawk War in 1832 as chief of staff to Bvt. Brig. Gen. Henry Atkinson. In 1829 he married Henrietta Preston, sister of Kentucky politician and future Civil War general William Preston, they had William Preston Johnston, who became a colonel in the Confederate States Army. The senior Johnston resigned his commission in 1834 in order to care for his dying wife in Kentucky, who succumbed two years to tuberculosis. After serving as Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas from 1838 to 1840, Johnston resigned and returned to Kentucky. In 1843, he married his late wife's first cousin.
The couple moved to Texas. Johnston named the property "China Grove". Here they raised Johnston's two children from his first marriage and the first three children born to Eliza and him.. In 1836 Johnston moved to Texas, he enlisted as a private in the Texian Army during the Texas War of Independence against the Republic of Mexico. He was named Adjutant General as a colonel in the Republic of Texas Army on August 5, 1836. On January 31, 1837, he became senior brigadier general in command of the Texas Army. On February 5, 1837, he fought in a duel with Texas Brig. Gen. Felix Huston, as they challenged each other for the command of the Texas Army. On December 22, 1838, Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas, appointed Johnston as Secretary of War, he provided for the defense of the Texas border against Mexican invasion, in 1839 conducted a campaign against Indians in northern Texas. In February 1840, he returned to Kentucky. Johnston returned to Texas during the Mexican–American War, under General Zachary Taylor as a colonel of the 1st Texas Rifle Volunteers.
The enlistments of his volunteers ran out just before the Battle of Monterrey. Johnston convinced a few volunteers to stay and fight as he served as the inspector general of volunteers and fought at the battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista, he remained on his plantation after the war until he was appointed by 12th President Zachary Taylor to the U. S. Army as a major and was made a paymaster in December 1849, he served in that role for more than five years, making six tours, traveling more than 4,000 miles annually on the Indian frontier of Texas. He served on the Texas frontier at elsewhere in the West. In 1855, 14th President Franklin Pierce appointed him colonel of the new 2nd U. S. Cavalry, a new regiment, which he organized. On August 19, 1856, Gen. Persifor Smith, at the request of Kansas Territorial Governor Wilson Shannon, sent Col. Johnston with 1300 men composed of the 2d Cavalry Dragoons from Fort Riley, a battalion of the 6th Infantry and Capt. Howe's artillery company from Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis to protect the territorial capital at Lecompton from an imminent attack by James Henry Lane and his abolitionist "Army of the North."
As a key figure in the Utah War, Johnston led U. S. troops who established a non-Mormon government in the Mormon territory. He received a brevet promotion to brigadier general in 1857 for his service in Utah, he spent 1860 in Kentucky until December 21, when he sailed for California to take command of the Department of the Pacific. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Johnston was the commander of the U. S. Army Department of the Pacific in California. Like many regular army officers from the South, he was opposed to secession, but he resigned his commission. It was accepted by the War Department on May 6, 1861, effective May 3. On April 28 he moved to the home of his wife's brother John Griffin. Considering staying in California with his wife and five children, Johnston remained there until May. Soon, under suspicion by local Union officials, he evaded arrest and joined the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles as a private, leaving Warner's Ranch May 27, he participated in their trek across the southwestern deserts to Texas, crossing the Colorado River into the Confederate Territory of Arizona on July 4