GENERAL BRADLEY T. JOHNSON
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
All rights reserved.
Note: Bradley Tyler Johnson 1829–1903 of Frederick, Maryland, the grandson of a Revolutionary War officer and a brigadier general in the Confederate army, was a lawyer, politician, and author. On the orders of Jubal Early, Johnson burned Chambersburg, Pennsylvania during the war. Bradley wrote a lengthy and detailed court record of the trial of Jefferson Davis as well as a number of other works, including To the people of Maryland! (Broadside; Frederick, 1862); In the Matter of Pat. Woods, Arraigned Before the House of Representatives of the United States, on a Charge of Contempt of the House, Alleged to have been Committed by Assaulting Charles H. Porter, a Member thereof, on the 30th of May, 1870. . . . (Richmond, 1870); The Public Debt of Virginia and the Attempt to Repeal the Funding Bill (Richmond, Va., 1872); Reports of cases decided by Chief Justice Chase in the Circuit Court of the United States Fourth Circuit, 1865–1869, with Salmon P. Chase (New York, 1876); The Foundation of Maryland and the Origin of the Act Concerning Religion of April 21, 1649, Prepared for and Partly Read Before the Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore, 1883); The Cause of the Confederate States: Address (Baltimore, 1886); The first Maryland Campaign (Baltimore, 1886); The Founding of the Eastern Shore: An Address . . . Delivered at the Centennial Celebration of Easton. July 26th, 1888 (Baltimore, 1888); The Constitution of the Confederate States, Montgomery 1861, Address . . . Delivered June 10, 1891, at the Dedication of the Confederate Monument at Fredericksburg, Va. (Baltimore, 1891); A Memoir of the Life and Public Service of Joseph E. Johnston, Once the Quartermaster General of the Army of the United States, and a General in the Army of the Confederate States of America (Baltimore 1891); and Thomas Johnson, first governor of the State of Maryland (no imprint; n.d.).
|Confederate General Bradley Tyler Johnson|
I DEDICATE THIS BIOGRAPHY TO MY GRANDSON,
BRADLEY TYLER JOHNSON, JR.,
AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THOSE ENDLESS GENERATIONS
WHO WILL LOVE GOD AND DUTY,
HONOR AND LIBERTY, COUNTRY AND RIGHT,
AND BE PROMPT TO STAKE LIFE AND FORTUNE FOR THEM,
PERPETUATING, AND TRANSMITTING, TO THE REMOTEST TIME,
THAT AMERICANISM, OF WHICH WASHINGTON
WAS THE GREATEST EXEMPLAR AND ILLUSTRATION.
WHEN I was invited to prepare this biography for the Great Commanders Series the duty was accepted with unaffected diffidence. There are about five hundred biographies of George Washington, original and translations, published in almost every language of modern times, as well as Greek and Latin versions of them. It was therefore reasonably clear that no new facts could be educed to throw light on his career or his character. This biography is believed to be the first attempt to consider the military character of Washington and to write his life as a soldier. There have been three distinct eras in Washington-olatry.
The generation which fought the Revolution, framed and adopted the Constitution, and established the United States were impressed with the most profound veneration, the most devoted affection, the most absolute idolatry for the hero, sage, statesman. In the reaction that came in the next generation against “the old soldiers,” who for thirty years had assumed all the honors and enjoyed all the fruits of the victory that they had won, accelerated by the division in American sentiment for or against the French Revolution, it came to be felt, as the younger generation always will feel, that the achievements of the veterans had been greatly overrated and their demigod enormously exaggerated. They thought, as English Harry did at Agincourt, that “Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, but they’ll remember with advantages what feats they did that day.”
The fierce attacks of the Jeffersonian Democracy on Washington, his principles, his life, and his habits, exercised a potent influence in diminishing the general respect for his abilities felt by the preceding generation; and Washington came to be regarded as a worthy, honest, well-meaning gentleman, but with no capacity for military and only mediocre ability in civil affairs. This estimate continued from the beginning of Jefferson’s administration to the first of Grant’s. Neither Marshall nor Irving did much during that period to place him in a proper historical light. The official and judicial statement of the case by Chief-Justice Marshall never reached the popular ear, and the laudatory style of Washington Irving did not impress the popular conviction.
But in the last twenty-five years there has been a steady drift toward giving Washington his proper place in history and his appropriate appreciation as soldier and statesman. The general who never won a battle is now understood to have been the Revolution itself, and one of the great generals of history. The statesman who never made a motion, nor devised a measure, nor constructed a proposition in the convention of which he was president, is appreciated as the spirit, the energy, the force, the wisdom which initiated, organized, and directed the formation of the Constitution of the United States and the Union by, through, and under it; and therefore it seems now possible to present him as the Virginian soldier, gentleman, and planter, as a man, the evolution of the society of which he formed a part, representative of his epoch, and his surroundings, developed by circumstances into the greatest character of all time—the first and most illustrious of Americans.
The appreciation of Washington among other nations has steadily increased. General Wilson, the editor of this Series, in an address before the New York Society of the Order of the Cincinnati, at their annual dinner at Delmonico’s, February 22, 1894, said: “When first a visitor to the princely estate of Strathfieldsaye, England, presented by the British Government to Wellington for a day’s work at Waterloo, I was surprised, and also greatly gratified, to see a portrait of Washington, by Stuart, occupying the place of honor in the Duke’s drawing-room. In answer to my look of inquiry, his eldest son, the second Duke, remarked, ‘It was placed there by my father, who esteemed Washington as perhaps the purest and the noblest character of modern times—possibly of all time—and, considering the material of the armies with which he successfully met the trained and veteran soldiers of the Old World, fairly entitled to a place among the Great Captains of the eighteenth century.’ This opinion of Washington, entertained by the conqueror of Napoleon, has never, so far as I am aware, been made public before. I may be permitted to add, on the same authority, that when asked to take command of the troops ordered to New Orleans in 1814, the Great Duke declined to fight against Washington’s countrymen. His brother-in-law, Sir Edward Pakenham, was therefore sent with Wellington’s well-seasoned peninsular veterans, who had successfully driven the French armies from Spain, and fell, as all the world knows, in the most disastrous defeat ever sustained by a British army.”
I am indebted for constant courtesy, advice, and suggestion to General Wilson, Mr. Ainsworth R, Spofford, Librarian of the National Library, Colonel John Scott, and General William H. Payne, of Warrenton, Va., whose relation to historic Virginian families, and whose wide and generous culture and friendship have given me much pleasure and great assistance, and to the work of Henry Cabot Lodge, Senator in Congress from Massachusetts, whose George Washington is the most vigorous, most graphic, and most just account and description yet published of his and my subject.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
[Images open in new window]
|Colonel Washington, in the uniform of an officer of the Colonial Forces of Virginia . . . Frontispiece|
(From a Portrait by Charles Wilson Peale. 1773, in the possession of General G. W. C. Lee, of Lexington, Va.)
|Boston, with its Environs|
|Battle of Trenton|
|Battle of Brandywine|
|Battle of Germantown|
|Washington, from a Portrait by Gilbert Stuart|
|Battle of Monmouth|
|Route of the Allies, August-September, 1781, from the Hudson to Yorktown|
|The Country from Raritan River, in East Jersey, to Elk Head, in Maryland|
|Plan of the Investment and Attack of York|