CIVIL WAR STORIES
MRS. INGE ENTERTAINS GENERAL JOHNSTON (By Margaret Greene Rogers)
All the ladies of Corinth envied Mrs. William Murphy Inge April 1-4,
1862, because General Albert Sidney Johnston, Commander of the
Confederate Army of the West, was making his headquarters at Rose
Cottage, the Inge home. (Located on the southeast corner of Fillmore
and Bunch Streets in Corinth.)
On the day Gen. Johnston left for Shiloh, Mrs. Inge offered the
General a lunch she had prepared for him. He refused it, saying with
a bow, “No thank you, Mrs. Inge, we soldiers travel light.” She,
notwithstanding, slipped two sandwiches and a slice of cake into his
Johnston was fatally wounded April 7th. A courier brought a message
to Mrs. Inge requesting her to have the General’s room ready for his
body. She tried the door, found it locked and had it forced open.
Shortly thereafter, an ambulance, escorted by his staff and a group
of soldiers, arrived. Johnston’s body, wrapped in a muddy army
blanket, was carried inside and placed on an improvised bier.
Mrs. Inge, assisted by Mrs. Ellen Polk and her daughter, Eugenia,
cleaned the General’s uniform. In a pocket, they found the key to
his room and crumbs of the lunch he had refused.
His body was placed in one of the 500 white pine coffins he had
ordered before leaving the city; Mrs. Inge draped the Stars and Bars
about it; and Eugenia cut three locks of hair from his head. She
sent one lock to Mrs. Johnston; another was placed in the
cornerstone of the Confederate Monument at Shiloh in 1917; and the
third was put in the cornerstone of the Courthouse in 1880.
Late that afternoon his body was shipped to New Orleans.