Yet on Saturday, Oct. 20, as more than 200 people gathered to re-dedicate a 100-year-old, larger-than-life statue of the general that sits in downtown Dalton, patriots and historians alike focused on his devotion to the men he lead during the War Between the States and his character on and off the battlefield.
“To those folks (who criticize Johnston), I would like to point out they weren’t there,” said John Fowler, director of Dalton State College’s Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia. “Hindsight is always 20/20.”
Johnston took control of the Confederate Army of Tennessee in Dalton in December 1863 and transformed it from an armed mob into a military unit, Fowler said.
He was relieved of duty by Confederate President Jefferson Davis after he withdrew from Dalton toward Atlanta as Union forces under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman tried to outflank him. However, he later regained command before he surrendered to Sherman in 1865 in the Carolinas.
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