End of the war

After being removed from command, Johnston spent the last part of 1864 traveling around the South with his wife.

In February 1865, General Lee convinced Davis to recall Johnston to active service in the disintegrating Confederate Army. Johnston was ordered to assume command of rebel troops in the Carolinas and halt Sherman's advance on Richmond. By this point, however, no Southern army was capable of stopping Union forces as they rolled across the Confederacy. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Union forces on April 9, 1865. Eighteen days later, Johnston signed final surrender terms in a meeting with Sherman. Johnston's surrender marked the end of his military career.

In the years following the Civil War, Johnston became involved in the insurance and railroad industries. He also served his home state of Virginia as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1879 to 1881. In addition, he continued his long-running feud with Davis in a series of articles and memoirs. He died in the District of Columbia in 1891.

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