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General joins ranks with artist


On this day in 1843, Albert Sidney Johnston married Eliza Griffin. Johnston, born in Kentucky in 1803, had moved to Texas in 1836 and served as secretary of war for the Republic of Texas under President Mirabeau B. Lamar in 1838. In 1840 Johnston returned to Kentucky where he later married Eliza Griffin, a Virginia native eighteen years his junior. She was an accomplished musician and artist. The couple settled at Johnston’s China Grove plantation in Brazoria County and later lived in Austin. They had six children. After Albert took command of the U.S. Army’s newly formed Second Cavalry regiment, Eliza kept a diary of her travels with her husband and his regiment from Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, to Fort Mason, Texas, and described daily life, foods, flowers, and hardships of the journey, as well as various military personalities who became famous during the Civil War. Albert resigned his commission at the beginning of the Civil War and was appointed a general in the Confederate Army. He was killed at the battle of Shiloh in Tennessee in 1862. Eliza died in 1896. Texas Wildflowers, a book of her watercolor paintings of flowers, was published in 1972.

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