Joe Johnston Backpeddling to the Gulf?

johnston-retreat-cartoonWhile working on an essay for one of Emerging Civil War’s upcoming books with Southern Illinois University Press, I came across several accounts about Gen. Joe Johnston’s constant backwards motion during the spring and early summer of 1864. They were too good not to share:

“Some say we are going to Florida and put in a pontoon bridge over to Cuba, and go over there.” — Capt. Samuel T. Foster, May 24, 1864

“I don’t like giving up so much territory, it looks to me like the beginning of the end and as though we were going straight down to the Gulf of Mexico.” — Col. Charles H. Olmstead, quoting Capt. Wallace Hoard, 63rd Georgia, July 9, 1864

“Our great Generals have it that we will be flanked by the Gulf. . . .” — Atlanta Intelligencer, July 5, 1864

And the attached cartoon, from the now-defunct North & South magazine, captures the sentiment perfectly!

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2 Responses to Joe Johnston Backpeddling to the Gulf?

  1. Johnston would have conducted a desperate defense of Atlanta from the trenches at Macon … or, maybe Tallahassee …

  2. Pontoon bridge to Cuba…now that’s an idea! Love the humor from history. Thanks for sharing this, Steve!

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