In Washington, D.C., Buchanan was receiving criticism for launching an army without an investigation. Mediators began to leave for Utah to cease hostilities. By March, Mormons had decided not to resist federal authority. On 26 June Johnston led his army through Salt Lake City and then camped on the Jordan River before moving south to establish Camp Floyd. Johnston commanded the Department of Utah from 1858 to 1860.
When Texas seceded from the Union, Johnston resigned his commission and became a full general of the Confederacy. He was placed in command of all Confederate troops west of the Appalachians, and he implemented the defensive strategy of defending all points of invasion with isolated units. He attacked Grant at Corinth, Mississippi (battle of Shiloh), was wounded there, and bled to death on the battlefield. His contribution to the Civil War has undergone close evaluation and many disagree as to his impact upon the war. He is buried in the state cemetery at Austin, Texas.
See: Leroy R. Hafen, The Utah Expedition (1958); Charles P. Roland, Albert Sidney Johnston (1964); and Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray (1950).