Bushrod Rust Johnson - Facts

October 7, 1817 - September 12, 1880

Key facts about Bushrod Rust Johnson, a major general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Johnson who commanded troops during many of the major battles in the eastern and western theaters.

Bushrod Rust Johnson, Portrait, Civil War General

Confederate General Bushrod Johnson achieved his greatest military success at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863). Image Source: Library of Congress.

Full Name:

  • Bushrod Rust Johnson

Birth Date:

  • October 7, 1817

Birth Location:

  • Belmont County, Ohio


  • Noah and Rachel (Spencer) Johnson


  • United States Military Academy (1840)


  • Military officer
  • College professor
  • Administrator

Career Summary:

  • First Lieutenant (USA)
  • Major General (CSA)


  • Mary Hatch (1852)

Place of Death:

  • Brighton, Illinois

Date of Death:

  • September 12, 1880

Place of Burial:

  • Old Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee


  • Bushrod Johnson and his family were Quakers and abolitionists who actively participated in the Underground Railroad.
  • Despite his family’s pacifist believes, Bushrod Johnson secured an appointment to the United States Military Academy.
  • As a student at the United States Military Academy, Bushrod Johnson was a classmate of future Union generals William T. Sherman and George Thomas.
  • Bushrod Johnson graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1840, 23rd in his class of 42 cadets.
  • After graduating from West Point, Bushrod Johnson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Infantry.
  • Bushrod Johnson participated in the Second Seminole War (1835–1842).
  • Bushrod Johnson participated in the Mexican-American War (1846–1848).
  • While serving as a commissary officer, Bushrod Johnson hatched a scheme to sell government property for his personal gain. When his plan was discovered, Johnson was forced to resign from the army in 1847.
  • Bushrod Johnson obtained a teaching position at the Western Military Institute, in Georgetown, Kentucky, in 1851. He eventually became headmaster and part-owner of the school.
  • Bushrod Johnson married Mary Hatch in 1852.
  • In 1853, Bushrod Johnson’s wife gave birth to a mentally and physically challenged son named Charles, who remained an invalid throughout his life.
  • Bushrod Johnson’s wife died in 1858.
  • When the Civil War began, Bushrod Johnson was commissioned as a colonel in the Provisional Army of Tennessee on June 28, 1861. A week later, he was commissioned as an engineer in the Confederate Army.
  • Bushrod Johnson was instrumental in the construction of Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.
  • Bushrod Johnson was promoted to brigadier general on January 24, 1862.
  • Bushrod Johnson was captured during the Battle of Fort Donelson (February 11–16, 1862), but managed to escape.
  • Bushrod Johnson was severely wounded by the concussion of an artillery shell on the second day of the Battle of Shiloh (April 6, 1862–April 7, 1862).
  • Bushrod Johnson served as a brigade commander in the Army of Tennessee, under General Braxton Bragg during the Battle of Perryville (October 8, 1862), and the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862–January 2, 1863) in Kentucky, and during the Tullahoma Campaign (June 24–July 3, 1863) in Tennessee.
  • Bushrod Johnson achieved his greatest military success at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863).
  • Bushrod Johnson served under General James Longstreet during the Knoxville Campaign in the autumn of 1863.
  • Johnson commanded a division in the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia during the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.
  • During the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Johnson’s division blocked a Federal advance at the Battle of Swift Creek prompting Southerners to hail his men as the saviors of Petersburg.
  • Johnson was promoted to major general, effective May 21, 1864.
  • Johnson served as a divisional commander with the Army of Northern Virginia in 1864 and 1865.
  • Johnson led his division during the Battle of the Crater.
  • Toward the end of the Civil War, Bushrod Johnson led his division during the Confederate defeats at the Battle of White Oak Road (March 31, 1865), the Battle of Five Forks (April 1, 1865), and the Battle of Sailor’s Creek (April 6, 1865).
  • Robert E Lee relieved Bushrod Johnson of his command after the Battle of Sailor’s Creek (April 6, 1865).
  • Following the war, Bushrod Johnson returned to Nashville and resumed his career in education.
  • Bushrod Johnson became co-chancellor of the University of Nashville in 1870.
  • Bushrod Johnson retired to an Illinois farm in 1875, where he continued to care for his invalid son.
  • Bushrod Johnson died on September 12, 1880, at Brighton, Illinois, and was buried at Miles Station Cemetery in Macoupin County, Illinois.
  • In 1975 Bushrod Johnson’s remains were re-interred next to the grave of his wife at the Old Nashville City Cemetery in Tennessee.
  • Johnson was one of six generals in the Confederate Army who was born in Ohio.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Bushrod Rust Johnson - Facts
  • Date October 7, 1817 - September 12, 1880
  • Author
  • Keywords bushrod johnson
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 13, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update January 12, 2024