A Collection in
Collection Number Ms2008-093
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityContact Information:
P.O. Box 90001
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-9001
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Processed by: Emily Cook, Special Collections Staff
2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
Collection is open to research.
Permission to publish material from the B. H. Johnson Journal must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: B. H. Johnson Journal, Ms2008-093- Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
The B. H. Johnson Journal was donated to Special Collections in 2004.
The processing and description of the B. H. Johnson Journal occurred in December 2008.
B. H. Johnson was born on March 20, 1811. He was first married to a woman named Maria Evelyn who died in 1846. Johnson later remarried a woman from the Kennerly family who lived near Waynesboro, Virginia. During the Civil War, his wife and children lived with Johnson's in-laws. As a Methodist minister for various circuits in eastern Virginia, Johnson preformed many marriage ceremonies, funerals, baptisms, and attended the Virginia Conference of Methodist Ministers. Much of his time was spent traveling to different congregations and dining with parishioners. Often ailing, Johnson sometimes took opium "to check the disordered state of his bowels." Johnson's family and friends also frequently fell ill--especially with virulent bouts of typhoid. An ardent Confederate, Johnson took particular interest in the movement of "Yankee" forces while traveling his circuit.
The B. H. Johnson Journal is a handwritten account of one year from September 1863 to September 1864 recorded by a Methodist circuit riding minister of eastern Virginia. Some mentioned locations within Virginia are Shiloh, Charlottesville, Salem, Port Royal, Spotsylvania, Hanover County, Augusta County, Caroline County, and Madison County, among others. Subjects include the American Civil War and its concomitant destruction, the duties and practices of a Methodist minister, typhoid fever, "Yankee" crime, and slavery. A particularly engaging segment within Johnson's journal discusses the theft of his horse by rogues and the eventual heroic repossession of his steed.