The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 464
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ments" at the time of her marriage to his father.2 One senses from
the lines of her diary the essential accuracy of this judgment.
In March, 1855, Albert Sidney Johnston was appointed com-
mander of the newly-formed 2nd United States Cavalry Regiment.
Of Eliza's role in gaining for him this coveted position few persons
knew, and least of all her stalwart husband. Many illustrious
officer-veterans of the Mexican War were available and eminently
willing to take over the outfit. Johnston was among this number.
His previous career as a commanding general and later secretary
of war of the Republic of Texas, his gallant service in General
Zachary Taylor's army in the Mexican War, and his years of
grueling toil as paymaster of the United States Army along the
southwestern frontier placed him in line for the promotion. Out
of a deep natural reticence, however, he took no move to make
his wishes known and probably would have been overlooked ex-
cept for the action of wife and friends in his behalf. They, how-
ever, were not idle. The 'Texas legislature, after bitter debate as
to whether Johnston or Ben McCulloch should get the position,
sent a memorial to United States Senator Thomas Jefferson Rusk
urging that he back Johnston.3 In the meantime, Eliza Johnston
and Congressman William Preston of Kentucky, brother of
Johnston's first wife, skilfully pressed his cause upon President
Franklin Pierce and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. The Secre-
tary of War and Johnston were not strangers. Their careers had
overlapped at the United States Military Academy; they had served
together during the Black Hawk War; and at Monterrey during
the Mexican War they had been associated in negotiating for the
surrender of the city. Preston at last was able to write exultingly
Our diplomacy in behalf of Johnston, without consulting with him,
has been crowned with success. I made Mag [Preston's wife] write her
prettiest possible letter to Mr Jeff Davis, the moment I felt convinced
the regiment would be created, & enclosed your letter. Now you
may rest assured that all the rest except yours and Mag's letters,
2William Preston Johnston, The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston (New
York, 188o), 129. William Preston Johnston, eldest son of Albert Sidney Johnston,
was aide-de-camp to President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy and after the
Civil War served as president of Louisiana State University and later as president
of Tulane University.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/501/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.