John Alexander Johnston

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John Alexander Johnston (22 February 1858 - 5 January 1940) was an American military officer born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He served as a Brigadier General during World War I.

Military Career[edit]

Johnston graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1879, graduating twenty-third out of sixty seven.[1] He was commissioned into the cavalry and performed frontier duty in Texas from 1879 to 1882. In 1883, he was an honor graduate from the Infantry and Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after which he became an instructor there, instructing on the art of war and engineering until 1885.[2]

In 1886, Johnston was promoted to First Lieutenant and would alternate between frontier duty in South Dakota multiple times, from 1886-1887, 1891-1893 and 1895-1897.[1] Between his tours of frontier duty in South Dakota, Johnston taught history, law and tactics at the U.S. Military Academy from 1887-1891, and horsemanship at the Jefferson Barracks Cavalry Depot, Missouri, from 1893-1895.[2] Johnston would spend the remainder of his career in the Adjutant General's Department in Washington D.C., mustering in and out all the volunteers of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection, being promoted to Brigadier General in 1901 and ultimately resigning on January 15th, 1903.[1] Johnston would remain in Washington D.C. after his resignation, working as a commissioner for the District of Columbia from 1910-1913.[1]

On August 5th, 1917, Johnston was promoted to Brigadier General and placed in command of the Northeastern Department in Boston. In October 1918, he was placed in command of the 34th Infantry Division, receiving the Distinguished Service Medal before being honorably discharged the following year.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Johnston married Henrietta V. Vandergrift in 1888.[3]

Death and legacy[edit]

He died on January 5th, 1940, at the age of 81.[3] He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c d Davis Jr., Henry Blaine. Generals in Khaki (Raleigh, NC: Pentland press, 1998), pp. 205
  2. ^ a b Who Was Who in American History - The Military (Chicago, IL: Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1975) pp. 292
  3. ^ a b c Davis Jr., Henry Blaine. Generals in Khaki (Raleigh, NC: Pentland press, 1998), pp. 206
  4. ^ "John Johnston - Recipient - Military Times Hall Of Valor".
  5. ^
  6. ^ "John Alexander Johnston, Brigadier General, United States Army".