The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957

Zhe Diaq of
8/iza ( )rs. Albert Sideyq) fohnstol
rhc Second Cavalry Coaes to eas
Edited by CHARLES P. ROLAND and
RICHARD C. ROBBINS
H ISTORIANS have long recognized the importance to their
craft of the diaries, memoirs, and letters written by
women. Feminine observers seem often to be able to
capture the moods and impulses of the times with an assurance
and sensitivity that is awkwardly lacking in their workaday hus-
bands. Eliza Johnston, wife of famed Confederate General Albert
Sidney Johnston, provides excellent proof of this point. Only a
brief scrap of a diary, written under trying circumstances while on
a cross-country journey from Missouri to Texas, plus a handful of
letters, have come down from Eliza's discerning pen, but even
these literary fragments display much of her philosophy of life
and cast the luminous ray of her intelligence and intuition into
a number of heretofore unlit crannies of history.1
Eliza Johnston-born Eliza Griffin-was the second wife of
Albert Sidney Johnston and was a cousin of his first wife, Hen-
rietta Preston Johnston. Eliza was a Kentucky girl. In addition to
what is revealed of her character and personality in her writings,
it is known that she was related to the prominent Preston and
Griffin families of Kentucky, and that her step-son, William
Preston Johnston, paid her the lofty compliment of saying that
she was "a young lady of great beauty, talents, and accomplish-
iThe Eliza Johnston Diary is in the Mrs. Mason Barret Collection of Albert
Sidney and William Preston Johnston Papers at the Tulane University Archives,
New Orleans. Hereinafter this collection is cited as Johnston Papers. Mr. Roland
wishes to take this opportunity to acknowledge a research grant from the American
Philosophical Society that supported his work on this paper.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/. Accessed December 28, 2014.