J. ARTHUR JOHNSTON CHIEF QUARTERMASTER TO GENERALS HUGER, ANDERSON, AND MAHONE, 1861-1865, EX-BILL TURNER COLLECTION

$3,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1138-1844

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This cased oval tintype shows a Confederate officer seated, resting an elbow on a table next to him, wearing gauntlets and cradling a foot officer’s sword. He wears a single-breasted gray frock coat with officer’s shoulder straps and eight buttons showing and a ninth certainly behind the two-piece interlocking belt buckle on his sword belt. The buttons have been lightly gilt, as has the plate, obscuring the details and the photographer has lightly, and delicately tinted the hilt and mounts of the sword. His collar is trimmed along the top, bottom and front edge, and his sleeves each show the tip of an inverted chevron rising from his cuffs under the gauntlets.

This comes from the collection of well-known Virginia collector and dealer Bill Turner, who bought many of his images directly from descendants and family of the soldiers. This has his note in the back of the case identifying the officer as, “J. ARTHUR JOHNSTON ADJ TO GEN. MAHONE.” As is often the case, family tradition was slightly off: Johnston served on Mahone’s staff, but as Chief Quartermaster, a still vital role. In fact, Johnston served in that capacity for the division for almost all of its history, first under Huger, then R.H. Anderson, and finally Mahone. Johnston’s appointment as Captain and Acting Assistant Quartermaster dates to June 29, 1861, which he accepted in July. He was assigned to Huger, commanding the Department of Norfolk, where he was put in charge of the Transportation Department, organizing the movement of everything from guns and rations to hay, corn, lumber, and bricks on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. He was appointed Major in Q.M. Department on Sept. 11, 1861, which he accepted on October 3, and went with Huger and his division to Richmond to join the Army of Northern Virginia for the Peninsula Campaign in June.

Johnston’s military records are complicated by his occasional appearance as “James Arthur Johnston,” though his tombstone in Petersburg makes clear he was John Arthur Johnston. The confusion is not helped by his frequent signature as J.A. Johnston, which has led to the intrusion into his files of some papers from another J.A. Johnston from Virginia, who served in the 28th Virginia and moved up to Acting Commissary of Subsistence at brigade level. Bill Turner’s note on Johnston’s middle name and his association with Mahone, however, makes clear who our man is. He stayed with the division as Chief Quartermaster right up to the very end, surrendering with the army at Appomattox, which places him in crucial support roles through all the campaigns of the ANV. His prewar business experience probably gave him the organizational talent to succeed. We find him in the 1860 census as a grocer and commission merchant, (a “wholesale grocer” in the words of one obituary) in Petersburg. After the war he returned to the city and held several important civic positions including the city council and fourteen years as Sheriff. An obituary calls him, “one of the most prominent citizens of Petersburg.” He was likely active in veterans’ affairs: when Mahone died in 1895, Johnston was one of his “honorary pallbearers.” Johnston himself died in August 1899.

The tintype is nicely housed in its original blue velvet case measuring about 2.25 by 2.75 inches, with an oval lithograph mounted under glass on the lid showing an attractive woman, if somewhat overdressed for the occasion, about to lower a water jug into a well.  [sr] [ph:M]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS.

THANK YOU!

Inquire »

Inquire About J. ARTHUR JOHNSTON CHIEF QUARTERMASTER TO GENERALS HUGER, ANDERSON, AND MAHONE, 1861-1865, EX-BILL TURNER COLLECTION

should be empty

featured item

GREAT CONFEDERATE CARTRIDGE BOX AND SLING FROM GETTYSBURG, PICKED UP BY G.W. MOWERS OF FAYETTEVILLE, PA.

This classic Confederate cartridge box just came out of the family of George W. Mowers of Fayetteville, PA. Mowers lived near Gettysburg his entire life. Not only was his farm and wagon-shop near the battlefield, they were located precisely where… (M26509). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

26
Nov
Instagram