Sword of General A.S. Johnston
This post refers to General Albert Sidney Johnston's Shiloh sword. In the ca.1895 donation to the Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans and Veterans of the Army of Tennessee a saber described as a "PLAIN REGULATION CAVALRY SABER" attached to a US belt (the general's name inscribed in the belt) was received. Evidently this saber was given to Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston in 1854/55 by his friend Eaton ( document at Tulane Univ.). Certainly ASJ wore this as the commanding colonel of the 2nd US Cavalry, and again in Utah 1857-60. But, upon his return from Utah, he was given another regulation "LINE OFFICER'S" sword by his admiring friend and Utah staff member Major Fitz-John Porter, December, 1860 (Albert Sidney Johnston, Soldier of Three Republics. C.P. Roland. Page 239). This new sword befit his new brevet rank of Brigadier General USA (November 1857). It was the REGULATION for a GENERAL OFFICER. And during the Civil War both Confederate generals Lee and Jackson carried this pattern US regulation officer's sword. When ASJ was killed, Colonel William Preston Johnston, his son by his first marriage, step son to donor of the "plain regulation CAVALRY saber", came to Corinth MS on April 17th 1862 and claimed all his father's equipment. The ONLY SHILOH item he sent his step mother, was a "Station Uniform" (dress uniform). He gave his Uncle William Preston the pistol(s) his father wore, binoculars, a canteen and a camp cot. Other than a blanket, that he gave Ran, Johnston's freed slave and 2 horses (one sold to William Preston, the other Fire-eater send to Arkansas to recuperate) ALL the other "trappings" he carried to Richmond VA; I am certain immediately. Among these was his father's "1 sword". We believe strongly that William Preston Johnston wore his father's sword as ADC to Jefferson Davis for the next three years. The "trappings his father used at Shiloh" were taken from him (WPJ) as trophies by members of the 4th Michigan Cavalry, May 10, 1865 (Century Magazine November, 1885). When his father, General Johnston FLED California, a "hunted" man, in 1861 his carried very little with him; a horse a paid servant and an ambulance (I refer you to his odyssey easily found on the internet). Most of his military trappings from a 35 year career he, out of necessity, most certainly left with his second wife in California. When he arrived in Richmond, he had only the basics. In fact, months later in Corinth MS he was reported wearing a sword but CIVILIAN clothing. I have to believe a General would choose to wear a general officer's (that is, a general's) sword)! ALL the items (excluding letters and documents?) subsequently donated museums and institutions by Mrs Griffin Johnston or her children were the items Johnston left in California in 1861. Neither Mrs. Griffin Johnston nor any of HER offspring left California 1861-65. We have a more likely candidate for THE SHILOH SWORD. I direct you to the Metairie Statue of General Albert Sidney Johnston designed in great detail by Doyle under William Preston Johnston's personal supervision 7 years prior to the " plain regulation cavalry saber" appearing in New Orleans! On that wonderful statue at Metairie, ASJ is clearly NOT wearing a cavalry sword, but a line officer's sword; certainly the sword given to him by Fitz-John Porter 14 months before his death at Shiloh.