Fort Jones, California
Fort Jones is a city in the Scott Valley area of Siskiyou County, United States. The population was 839 at the 2010 census, up from 600 as of the 2000 census. Fort Jones is registered as a California Historical Landmark, it takes its name from the frontier outpost once located less than a mile to the south of the city's corporate limits. The town was named Scottsburg, but was changed to Scottsville shortly afterward. In 1852, the site was again renamed Wheelock, this time in honor of Mr. O. C. Wheelock who, with his partners, established the area's first commercial enterprise. In 1854, a post office was established and the town was renamed again, becoming known as Ottitiewa, the Indian name for the Scott River branch of the Shasta tribe; the name remained unchanged until 1860 when local citizens petitioned the postal department to change the name to Fort Jones, a name, retained to the present day. The earliest permanent building at the town site was built in 1851 by Kelly, it was purchased soon after construction by O. C.
Wheelock, Captain John B. Pierce, two other unknown partners. Wheelock and his partners established a trading post, a bar, a brothel at this site, which served the troopers stationed at the fort. Near the end of the 1850s, the nearby mining camps of Hooperville and Deadwood began to disband as a result of the dwindling stores of placer gold, epidemic illness and devastating fires; the mines around Scott Valley attracted many immigrants from many parts of the United States and the world, attracted to the area by news of the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Irish and Portuguese immigrants remained as ranchers in the area after making enough on the gold fields to purchase property tracts in the valley. In the early years of the Twentieth Century, the northern Scott River tributaries of Moffitt and McAddams creeks were extensively settled by the Portuguese; the Irish surname Marlahan lives on after that family received a shipment of British hay seed infected with the seed of a plant known as Dyers Woad.
Those seeds spread their spawn throughout Scott Valley, culturing a plant known in the area as Marlahan Mustard. The plant has a beautiful, canary plume in the spring which matures to small, hard seeds; the herbivore beasts of burden will not eat hay in which this plant exists, since it has been a scourge on the ranchers of Scott Valley. On December 14, 1894, Billy Dean, a Native American accused of shooting co-worker William Baremore near Grinder Creek outside of Happy Camp, California on December 5, 1894 was lynched by unknown persons while in the custody of Constable Fred Dixon. Constable Dixon and Dean were staying at a hotel in Happy Camp while on their way the Yreka, California jail, where Dean would be safe from vigilantes in Happy Camp. Baremore's friends waited for their moment. At two in the morning on December 14, 1894, a dozen masked men stormed the room and disarmed Constable Dixon, they tied Dean’s hands and carried him to the Wheeler Building, under construction where they strung him up by the neck from a derrick.
His body was left hanging until 11:00 a.m. That day’s headlines in the Scott Valley News boasted, "He Is Now A Good Indian. Billy Dean Kills a White Man Without Cause and Is Summarily Hoisted to the Happy Hunting Ground." Located at 41°35′46″N 122°50′31″W, the post of Fort Jones was established on October 18, 1852, by its first commandant, Captain Edward H. Fitzgerald, E Company, 1st U. S. Dragoons. Fort Jones was named in honor of Colonel Roger Jones, the Adjutant General of the Army from March 1825 to July 1852; such military posts were to be established in the vicinity of major stage routes, which would have meant locating the post in the vicinity of Yreka, sixteen miles to the Northeast. The areas around Yreka did not contain sufficient resources, including forage for their animals, so Capt. Fitzgerald located his troop some sixteen miles to the southwest, in what was known as Beaver Valley. Fort Jones would continue to serve Siskiyou County's military needs until the order was received to evacuate some six years on June 23, 1858.
Among the officers stationed at Fort Jones who would attain national prominence in ensuing years were Phil Sheridan. Hood. Ulysses S. Grant a commander was ordered to Fort Jones, but was Absent Without Leave for whatever his tenure would have been. Fort Jones is located at 41°36′26″N 122°50′31″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles, all of it land. This region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fort Jones has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps; the 2010 United States Census reported that Fort Jones had a population of 839. The population density was 1,393.1 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Fort Jones was 650 White, 33 African American, 61 Native American, 8 Asian, 0 Pacific Islander, 23 from other races, 64 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 103 persons; the Census reported that 710 people lived in households, 0 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 129 were institutionalized.
There were 304 households, out of which 88 had children under the age of 1
The Drum Barracks known as Camp Drum and the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, is the last remaining original American Civil War era military facility in the Los Angeles area. Located in the Wilmington section of Los Angeles, near the Port of Los Angeles, it has been designated as a California Historic Landmark, a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1987, it has been operated as a Civil War museum, open to the public. With the outbreak of the American Civil War in April 1861, there were concerns on the Union side about the loyalty and security of the Los Angeles area. Many of the area's residents were recent arrivals from the Southern states, southerner John C. Breckinridge received twice as many local votes as Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 Presidential election. A company of secessionists was holding public drills in El Monte, displaying California's Bear flag instead of the Stars and Stripes. Phineas Banning, the founder of Wilmington, wrote a letter to President Lincoln advising that the Union would lose California unless some provision was made to quell pro-Confederacy sentiment.
The Union moved a garrison from Fort Tejon to Camp Latham near Culver City, California. In 1861, Banning and Benjamin Davis Wilson, the first mayor of Los Angeles, donated 60 acres in Wilmington to the government for one dollar each for use in construction of a Union garrison. By January 1862, the military command had moved from Camp Latham to Camp Drum in Wilmington, by March 1862, all but one company of Camp Latham's troops had been moved to Camp Drum; the camp was built between 1862 and 1863 at a cost of $1 million and consisted of 19 buildings located on 60 acres in Wilmington with another 37 acres near the harbor. By March 1864, official letters and papers referred to the encampment as Drum Barracks rather than Camp Drum. Camp Drum and Drum Barracks get their name from Col. Richard Coulter Drum Assistant Adjutant General of the Army's Department of the Pacific, stationed in San Francisco, not after a percussion instrument. There is no record that Col. Drum saw or set foot in the station bearing his name.
During the Civil War, Camp Drum was the headquarters of the District of Southern California and the home to the California Column, commanded by Colonel James Henry Carleton. Between 2,000 and 7,000 soldiers were stationed at Camp Drum, Wilmington became a thriving community with a population greater than Los Angeles during the war. In 1862, Texas Volunteers had taken control of large portions of New Mexico Territory for the Confederacy, Colonel Carleton was ordered to retake control of the territory. 2,350 soldiers from the California Column marched from Camp Drum and fought the Battle of Picacho Pass, the westernmost battle of the Civil War. In 1864, the federal government feared attempts by Confederate sympathizers to outfit privateers to sink ships carrying gold and silver from the Comstock Lode to aid the Union. To deprive them of an anchorage, Company C, 4th California Infantry under Captain West, occupied Catalina Island on January 1, 1864, put an end to gold mining by ordering everyone off the island.
A small garrison of Union troops were stationed at Camp Santa Catalina Island on the isthmus on the island's west end for about nine months. Their barracks remain as the oldest structure on the island in the Two Harbors area and are the home of the Isthmus Yacht Club. Camp Drum served as a deterrent to Confederate sympathizers in the Los Angeles area, helped keep the territory loyal to the Union, prevented Confederate use of the Los Angeles harbor. After the Civil War, Camp Drum remained active for several years in the Indian Wars. By 1870, it had been fallen into disrepair. In October 1871, the Los Angeles Star reported that all remaining troops at Drum Barracks had been ordered to Fort Yuma. In 1873, the government returned the land to Wilson after auctioning off the buildings. Banning bought five of the buildings for $2,917, Wilson bought one for $200. In 1927, the Drum Barracks was designated a historic monument by the Native Sons of the Golden West, in 1935 it was designated as California Historic Landmark #169.
With the formation of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in 1962, Drum Barracks was one of the first sites designated as a Historic Cultural Landmark, receiving the monument designation in 1963. It was designated as and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. In 1963, the owner of the property offered the property for sale, concerns arose about its potential demolition. Under the leadership of Walter Holstein, local residents formed The Society for The Preservation of Drum Barracks, raising funds to purchase the property. In 1967, under the leadership of Oliver Vickery, curator of the Banning House, Joan Lorenzen, the State of California purchased the Drum Barracks, with the Society retaining responsibility for maintenance and operation of the barracks as a historic site. In 1986, the State turned over the property to the City of Los Angeles on the condition that it be operated as a Civil War museum; the surviving 16-room structure was the officers' quarters, once one of 19 similar buildings on the site.
Today, the barracks is open as a museum which commemorates California's contribution to the Civil War. The surviving building holds a local reputation as the locale of various paranormal activity, with visitors and local residents claiming to hear the sound of rattling chains or wagon wheels and horses' hooves, seeing smoke, spotting apparitions o
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Claimed by several countries, the region was divided between the UK and US in 1846; when established, the territory encompassed an area that included the current states of Oregon and Idaho, as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. The capital of the territory was first Oregon City Salem, followed by Corvallis back to Salem, which became the state capital upon Oregon's admission to the Union. Inhabited by Native Americans, the region that became the Oregon Territory was explored by Europeans first by sea; the first documented voyage of exploration was made in 1777 by the Spanish, both British and American vessels visited the region not long thereafter. Subsequent land-based exploration by Alexander Mackenzie and the Lewis and Clark Expedition and development of the fur trade in the region strengthened the competing claims of Great Britain and the United States.
The competing interests of the two foremost claimants were addressed in the Treaty of 1818, which sanctioned a "joint occupation", by British and Americans, of a vast "Oregon Country" that comprehended the present-day U. S. states of Oregon and Idaho, parts of Montana and Wyoming, the portion of what is now the Canadian province of British Columbia south of the parallel 54°40′ north. During the period of joint occupation, most activity in the region outside of the activities of the indigenous people came from the fur trade, dominated by the British Hudson's Bay Company. Over time, some trappers began to settle down in the area and began farming, missionaries started to arrive in the 1830s; some settlers began arriving in the late 1830s, covered wagons crossed the Oregon Trail beginning in 1841. At that time, no government existed in the Oregon Country, as no one nation held dominion over the territory. A group of settlers in the Willamette Valley began meeting in 1841 to discuss organizing a government for the area.
These earliest documented discussions concerning forming a government, were held in an early pioneer and Native American encampment and town known as Champoeg, Oregon. These first Champoeg Meetings led to further discussions, in 1843 the creation of the Provisional Government of Oregon. In 1846, the Oregon boundary dispute between the U. S. and Britain was settled with the signing of the Oregon Treaty. The British gained sole possession of the land north of the 49th parallel and all of Vancouver Island, with the United States receiving the territory south of that line; the United States federal government left their part of the region unorganized for two years until news of the Whitman massacre reached the United States Congress and helped to facilitate the organization of the region into a U. S. territory. On August 14, 1848, Congress passed the Act to Establish the Territorial Government of Oregon, which created what was the Territory of Oregon; the Territory of Oregon encompassed all of the present-day states of Idaho and Washington, as well as those parts of present-day Montana and Wyoming west of the Continental Divide.
Its southern border was the 42nd parallel north, it extended north to the 49th parallel. Oregon City, was designated as the first capital; the territorial government consisted of a governor, a marshal, a secretary, an attorney, a three-judge supreme court. Judges on the court sat as trial level judges as they rode circuit across the territory. All of these offices were filled by appointment by the President of the United States; the two-chamber Oregon Territorial Legislature was responsible for passing laws, with seats in both the upper-chamber council and lower-chamber house of representatives filled by local elections held each year. Taxation took the form of an annual property tax of 0.25% for territorial purposes with an additional county tax not to exceed this amount. This tax was to be paid on all town lots and improvements, carriages and watches, livestock. In addition, a poll tax of 50 cents for every qualified voter under age 60 was assessed and a graduated schedule of merchants' licenses established, ranging from the peddlar's rate of $10 per year to a $60 annual fee on firms with more than $20,000 of capital.
Oregon City served as the seat of government from 1848 to 1851, followed by Salem from 1851 to 1855. Corvallis served as the capital in 1855, followed by a permanent return to Salem that year. In 1853, the portion of the territory north of the lower Columbia River and north of the 46th parallel east of the river was organized into the Washington Territory; the Oregon Constitutional Convention was held in 1857 to draft a constitution in preparation for becoming a state, with the convention delegates approving the document in September, general populace approving the document in November. On February 14, 1859, the territory entered the Union as the U. S. state of Oregon within its current boundaries. The remaining eastern portion of the territory was added to the Washington Territory. Territorial evolution of the United States International territory that would become part of the Territory of Oregon: Oregon Country, 1818–1846 Provisional Government of Oregon, 1843–1849 U. S. territories that encompassed land, part of the Territory of Oregon: State of Deseret, 1849–1850 Territory of W
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
Fort Dalles was a United States Army outpost located on the Columbia River at the present site of The Dalles, Oregon, in the United States. Built when Oregon was a territory, the post was used for dealing with wars with Native Americans; the post was first known as Camp Drum and Fort Drum. The first post was built on a site which overlooked an encampment used by Lewis and Clark in October 1805; this post was built in 1838 by the militia of the Oregon Provisional Government under the command of Henry A. G. Lee during the Cayuse War and was named Fort Lee; the post was built at the site of the former Wascopam Mission operated by the Methodist Mission. In the fall of 1849 United States Army troops arrived in the new Oregon Territory; this rifle regiment occupied the now-abandoned Fort Lee at Wascopum (now The Dalles]] on the Columbia River. A log fort was constructed in 1850 under the supervision of Major Tucker, named Camp Drum; when the United States Congress changed the land requirements for Army forts to 1 square mile from 10 square miles Camp Drum's tiny military contingent could control the land it required.
Although no stockade was built around the post, Camp Drum became Fort Drum on May 21, 1853, Fort Dalles on June 21, 1853. New buildings were built from 1856 to 1858 under the direction of the commander Captain Thomas Jordan at a cost of nearly $500,000. Beginning in April 1858, the log fort was torn down and several new buildings, including a commander's house and stables, were constructed under the command of Colonel George Wright, in command of the 9th Infantry. During the Yakima Wars Fort Dalles served as operational headquarters for the Army; the garrison had eight companies of troops assigned during this time. After these wars the post was downgraded to a quartermaster's depot in 1861. A fire burned down the officer's quarters in 1866. Fort Dalles was abandoned in 1867; the Fort Dalles Museum is located in the surgeon's quarters built in 1856 during the Yakima Wars, the only remaining officer's house from that period. Exhibits include arrowheads and pioneer artifacts, period antiques and photographs, weapons and information about the fort.
The Anderson Homestead includes the 1895 Anderson House, a Swedish log house, a granary and a barn. Tours are included with admission to the museum. There is a building housing antique horse-drawn wagons and carriages, early automobiles and other vehicles; the Fort Dalles Surgeon's Quarters is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered one of Oregon's finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. National Register of Historic Places listings in Wasco County, Oregon Malcolm A. Moody House Official Fort Dalles Museum website
Fort Cascades was a United States Army fort constructed in 1855 to protect the portage road around the final section of the Cascades Rapids, known as the "lower cascades." It was built on the Washington side of the Columbia River, between the present site of North Bonneville and the Bonneville Dam in Skamania County. It was burned in 1856 rebuilt, but abandoned in 1861. A small community, formed around the fort, but the largest flood of the Columbia River in recorded history passed over both the townsite and the fort site in 1894. Cascades served as the county seat of Skamania County prior to 1893, when the county records were moved to Stevenson, In 1867, decades before the disastrous floods, famed photographer Carleton Eugene Watkins arrived on the scene. Watkins took a commission from the Oregon Steam Ship Navigation Company to document areas of the Columbia River, with "Cascades" featuring prominently in his Pacific Coast stereoviews collection. 50 Watkins stereoscopic images of the Cascades area are known to exist, ranging from serials 1250-1302.
Labeled "Upper Cascades," "Cascades" and "Lower Cascades," these photographs feature river view landscapes as well as images of the town and fort blockhouses. Aside from capturing beautiful scenery, Watkins documents saw mills, as well as train and riverboat traffic vital to the local economy at that time. A few of the images provide a glimpse of salmon fishing before the rapids were submerged by the construction of the Bonneville Dam. Although his negatives were destroyed in the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, many of his printed images can be found scattered throughout museums and private collections around the world. Fort Cascades is now on the National Register of Historic Places. There is a self-guided tour through what remains of the townsite; the trail the tour follows is 1.5 miles long. There is a replica of a rock covered with petroglyphs, located at the site but has since been moved to Stevenson. Fort Cascades is one of several forts built to protect the portage around the Cascade Rapids.
Others are Fort Lugenbeel. Lewis and Clark's Columbia River - Fort Cascades The Stereoviews of Carleton Watkins The Columbia River, A Photographic Journey - Flood of 1894 Fort Cascades - Fort Wiki with photos and information History and directions from Friends of the Columbia River Gorge
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