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Albert Sidney Johnston his papers?

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I am currently working on my book on Shiloh firearms. The book, The Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, by his son W. P. Johnston includes a Chapter on the issues of arming and raising Regiments in A. S. Johnston's Dept. No. 2. In the text are several quoted letters from different Governors and Richmond Officials detailing the lack of firearms. The message was, "we have no arms to give." The question I have is where are these letters stored or not. Trying to compare similar communications from the O.R.'s leaves me scratching my head. What Johnston's son presents as correspondence I cannot find. I am not saying it does not exist, but to be historically correct I have to verify them in my footnotes. Does anyone out there know they are, Tulane?, National Archives?. Thank You in advance. Tom

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Great question, because it allows discussion of WHERE letters, diaries, letterbooks and other papers of important historical figures might be held. It would be convenient and logical if one institution held ALL of the documents pertaining to a historical figure, but as in the case of Braxton Bragg (with a half dozen known institutions possessing important letters) logic is not the determining factor. In addition, when one public figure corresponds with another, WHO gets ultimate control of the Letter: the recipient, or “the more important person?” In addition, auction houses gain possession on occasion, further muddying the water...

As regards ASJ, I have relied on “Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston” (1873) by his son, W. P. Johnston; his friend, and West Point classmate “Leonidas Polk: Bishop and General” (1915) by William Polk; and various letters exchanged between Generals Johnston and Bragg, many contained in full, or sited in “Braxton Bragg: General of the Confederacy” (1924) by Don Carlos Seitz. (In addition, for other possible Bragg letters, see SDG topic “Bragg's Memoirs” posted 13 FEB 2017.)

Entering “Papers of Albert Sidney Johnston” in google search returns the following hits:

  • www.worldcat.org [oclc] – the librarian record of ASJ papers  https://www.worldcat.org/title/albert-sidney-johnston-papers-1792-1896/oclc/79455277

  • special collections Tulane – need to contact Tulane Library directly

  • filson historical – need to verify they have a document (and then pay to get it)

  • legacy.lib.utexas.edu – mostly pre-Civil War (need to contact University of Texas Library directly)

  • Library of Congress – using “LC Quick Search” there are several groupings of ASJ papers, including “Albert Sidney Johnston Papers,” William Preston Johnston Papers, “Leonidas Polk Papers” – mostly available on-site in Washington, D.C.

Also to be remembered that ASJ was a great friend of Jefferson Davis, so letters may be held at a Jefferson Davis archive...


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