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O P Johnson, CSA

Dunnock Johnson Family ~ Dorchester & Washington DC

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Oliver Perry Johnson, 32nd Virginia, CSA



He was the oldest child of Alward and Mary Johnson. When the War began, in May of 1861, he crossed the Bay and enlisted at Williamsburg as a 2nd Lt. He served in Company F of the 32nd Infantry, Virginia. He received a brevet promotion to Captain and was then elected Captain. He served until April 1865 when he was paroled at Richmond after its fall. His Compiled Service Record tracks his unit as it shows each distribution of boots, of blankets, and even writing paper. As Captain, the store draws were all made to him and so his Record shows the supplies for whole company. Of the men who joined the Company, less than 1/4 remained at the end due to death, injury, and other causes. The 32nd saw action in major battles in Virginia and Maryland.

The 32nd Infantry Regiment was formed in May, 1861, by consolidating Montague's and Goggin's Infantry Battalions. Its members were from Hampton and Williamsburg and the counties of Warwick, James City, and York. Three companies were accepted into service as artillery and were transferred to the 1st Virginia Artillery. After its reorganization in May, 1862, the unit operated with only seven companies. At the Battle of Williamsburg two companies fought under General Pryor, then the regiment was attached to General Semmes' and Corse's Brigade. It participated in many conflicts from the Seven Days' Battles to Fredericksburg, moved with Longstreet to Suffolk, and later served in the Department of Richmond and in North Carolina. Returning to Virginia it was active at Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor, took its place in the Petersburg trenches north and south of the James River, and ended the war at Appomattox. The regiment reported 1 wounded at Savage's Station, had 2 killed and 4 wounded at Malvern Hill, and sustained 72 casualties of the 158 engaged at Sharpsburg. Some were captured at Sayler's Creek, and 5 officers and 42 men were included in the surrender. The field officers were Colonels Benjamin S. Ewell and Edgar B. Montague; Lieutenant Colonels John B. Cary and William R. Willis; and Majors James M. Coggin, Baker P. Lee, Jr., and Jefferson Sinclair. (US Park Service)

He returned to Dorchester and became a lawyer. He served two terms in the Maryland House of Delegates for Dorchester. At the same time he had been fighting with the Virginia 32nd, his father Alward Johnson was one of three Dorchester representatives to the 1864 Constitutional Convention that was called to amend the Maryland constitution to permit abolition. Such ironies were not uncommon in that time and place. Oliver came to Washington DC in the 1880s. His brothers' were all established in business, from trade to banking. He continued in the law and became a Justice of the Peace as well. His home in Georgetown was near those of his brother A. Geary Johnson and his sisters Virginia Johnson Casselman (Amos B.) and Mary Annette Simpson (Henry). At his death October 13, 1908, he was buried on Jackson Circle in today's Arlington National Cemetery. The Circle is named for Gen. Stonewall Jackson and that section is reserved for CSA graves.