|Birth: ||Mar. 8, 1832|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Dec. 31, 1899|
Born with impressive ancestry, raised on a North Carolina plantation, and married into one of the first families of the state of Maryland, Jane Claudia Saunders Johnson played a major role in the history of her husband's (Brig. Gen. Bradley T. Johnson) First Maryland Regiment, C.S.A during the Civil War. She was the daughter of the Hon. Romulus Mitchell Saunders, a former North Carolina Attorney General, Congressman, and Diplomat to Spain. She was a grand daughter of both Col. William Saunders of the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War and William Johnson, Justice of the US Supreme Court. She was a life long friend of the Countess D'Teba of Space, later Empress Eugenie of France.
In May of 1861, approximately 500 Marylanders left their state to assemble at Point of Rocks and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to be sworn into the service of the Confederate States Army as the First Maryland Regiment. Because Maryland had not left the Union, these homeless Rebel Marylanders could not obtain the necessary equipment to outfit their regiment. Jane Claudia Johnson, wife of the battalion's senior captain and acting commander Bradley T. Johnson, volunteered to travel back to her home state of North Carolina to raise money and procure the needed equipment to supply her husband's regiment.
In 1861 and 1862 when the Confederate government considered absorbing Maryland troops into Virginia regiments, Mrs. Johnson sent numerous letters to President Davis persuading him to reconsider and keep the Maryland troops in their own battalion, led by Maryland native officers. She also led the movement to move native Marylanders, who originally joined the Confederate armies of other states, into the Maryland battalion.
Once she outfitted the whole of the 1st Maryland Regiment troops, Mrs. Johnson continued to follow her husband to his various army camps in the state of Virginia throughout the War. At each camp the Marylanders set up, Mrs. Johnson provided social activities for the soldiers including dances with the local young ladies, theatricals, and choral productions; maintained a reading library for their enjoyment; organized the building of a makeshift church and worked with various traveling pastors and priests to make sure that her husband's troops worshiped at church each Sunday while in camp.
General and Mrs. Johnson, when apart at times during the War, kept up a steady correspondence that originally started when they were teenagers in Maryland and North Carolina. Their war time correspondence gives a glimpse of how the Civil War affected families, from the soldiers out in the field, to their wives and children working for the war effort from the home front.
At the conclusion of the Civil War, General and Mrs. Johnson became leaders in the Maryland Confederate Memorial Associations, Maryland Soldiers Homes, United Daughters of the Confederacy and United Confederate Veterans.
Jane Claudia Johnson died at the close of the Nineteenth Century, on December 31, 1899. She was the mother of Bradley Saunders Johnson. General Bradley T. Johnson, her husband, wrote a tribute memoir to her that was later published in the Southern Historical Society Papers in 1901.
Her headstone reads:
March 8, 1832 - Dec. 31, 1899
Daughter of Hon. Romulus M. and Anna Hayes Saunders and Honored Wife of Gen'l Bradley T. Johnson of Maryland
Confederate Soldiers in Maryland in Memory of a Noble Woman
Bio by S. Hampton, July 2006
Romulus Mitchell Saunders (1791 - 1867)
Anna Hayes Johnson Saunders (1801 - 1871)
Bradley T. Johnson (1829 - 1903)
Bradley Saunders Johnson (1856 - 1917)*
Sarah E. Saunders (____ - 1844)*
Louis M. Saunders (____ - 1844)*
Jane Claudia Saunders Johnson (1832 - 1899)
Margaret Madeline Saunders L'Engle (1833 - 1917)*
William Johnson Saunders (1835 - 1906)*
Loudon Park Cemetery
Plot: Plot F-02b
Created by: S. Hampton
Record added: Jul 05, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20300330