You certainly make a strong case for military discipline, albeit in its harshest form. As a mother of two former marines, I have concluded that I am unable to separate head and heart when considering this most brutal aspect of the war. I think of the bright young faces rushing to sign up for the war, the bands, flags, new uniforms, the prideful families -- and then...for it all to end so..
It occurs to me that by the time this happened, Johnston was facing some brutal realities that would have influenced his decisions. War had long since lost it romance and had come down to a vicious contest of attrition.
Johnston redeems himself in my eyes with the tears that streamed down his face after the final surrender.
When I visit nearby Dalton, I sometimes drive by his statue. He seems so alone there.