Johnson, Edwin Beaumont (DNB01)

JOHNSON, Sir EDWIN BEAUMONT (1825–1893), general and colonel-commandant royal (late Bengal) artillery, fourth son of Sir Henry Allen Johnson, bart. (d. 27 June 1860), and of his wife Charlotte Elizabeth (d. 21 Feb. 1883), daughter of Frederick Philipse of Philipseburg, New York, was born at Bath on 4 July 1825. His father, a student of Christ Church, Oxford, was tutor there to the prince of Orange, and, having received a commission in the 81st regiment, accompanied him as aide-de-camp to the Peninsula, where he served under Wellington and was awarded the war medal with five clasps for Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajos, Salamanca, Vittoria, and the Pyrenees.

Edwin Beaumont entered the military college of the East India Company at Addiscombe on 7 Aug. 1840, received a commission as second lieutenant in the Bengal artillery on 10 June 1842, and arrived in India on 12 Dec. of that year. His further commissions were dated: lieutenant 3 July 1845, brevet captain 10 June 1857, captain 25 June 1857, brevet major 5 July 1857, brevet lieutenant-colonel 19 Jan. 1858; brevet colonel 19 Jan. 1863, regimental lieutenant-colonel 24 March 1865, major-general 6 March 1868, lieutenant-general and general 1 Oct. 1877, colonel-commandant royal artillery 20 Dec. 1890.

He served with the 5th troop of the 1st brigade of the Bengal horse artillery in the Satlaj campaign of the first Sikh war, and took part in the battles of Firozshah on 21 and 22 Dec. 1845, and of Sobraon on 10 Feb. 1846, receiving the war medal and clasp. From 5 Aug. 1848 to 17 Nov. 1850 he was deputy judge-advocate-general of the Bengal army. In the Punjab campaign of the second Sikh war in 1848-9 he served on the divisional staff of Major-general William Sampson Whish [q. v.], and was present at the action of the passage of the Chenab river at Ramnagar on 22 Nov. 1848, at the battle of Chilianwala on 13 Jan. 1849, at the battle of Gujrat on 21 Feb., on Sir Walter Gilbert's staff, in the subsequent pursuit of the Sikhs and Afghans to Peshawar, and at the surrender of the Sikh army on 14 March 1849. For his services he was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette, 19 April 1849), received the war medal and two clasps, and was noted for a brevet majority on attaining the rank of captain.

From 12 March 1855 he was aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief in India, Sir William Maynard Gomm [q. v.], and on 21 Dec. of that year was appointed assistant adjutant-general of artillery in the Oude division. He was at Mirat when the mutiny broke out in May 1857, and accompanied the column of Brigadier-general Archdale Wilson [q. v.] on its march to join that of the commander-in-chief from Ambala. He took part in the actions on the Hindun river at Ghazi-ud-din-Nagar on 30 and 31 May, when he was slightly wounded, and in the action of Badli-ke-Serai on 8 June and the subsequent occupation of the ridge before Delhi. He served throughout the siege as assistant adjutant-general, and when the siege batteries were thrown up he did regimental duty on the left portion of No. 2 battery, consisting of nine 24-pounder guns, succeeding to the command when Major Campbell was wounded. At the assault of 14 Sept. he resumed his place on Wilson's staff. For his services he was mentioned in despatches (ib. 15 Dec. 1857) and received a brevet lieutenant-colonelcy.

He accompanied Wilson, who commanded the artillery, to the siege of Lucknow as assistant adjutant-general, and on its capture in March 1858 was honourably mentioned for his services (ib. 25 May 1858). He was made a companion of the order of the Bath, military division, on 26 July, and received the Indian mutiny medal with two clasps. After the mutiny was suppressed he resumed his duties as assistant adjutant-general of the Oude division, and held the appointment until January 1862, when, after officiating for a time as adjutant-general of the army, he went to England on furlough. On 10 July 1865 he was appointed assistant military secretary for Indian affairs at the headquarters of the army in London, and on 4 Aug. of the following year was nominated an extra aide-de-camp to the field-marshal commanding-in-chief, the Duke of Cambridge. He held both appointments until 1 Aug. 1872, when he returned to India. On 8 July in the following year he became quartermaster-general in India, but had only filled the office eight months when he was summoned home to take his seat as a member of council of the secretary of state for India in October 1874. He was promoted to be a K.C.B., military division, on 29 May 1875. He again returned to India in 1877, having been appointed military member of the council of the governor-general of India on 19 March, and held the office until 13 Sept. 1880. He was made a companion of the Indian Empire on 1 Jan. 1878. His last appointment was that of director-general of military education at the war office in London, which he held from 10 Dec. 1884 to 31 Dec. 1886. He was decorated with the grand cross of the order of the Bath on the occasion of the queen's jubilee on 21 June 1887. Johnson retired from the active list on 31 Jan. 1891, and died on 18 June 1893, being buried at Hanwell.

[Despatches; India Office Records; Stubbs's Hist, of the Bengal Artillery; Norman's Narrative of the Campaign of the Delhi Army, 1857; Medley's A Year's Campaigning in India, 1857-1858; Kaye's Hist. of the Sepoy War; Malleson's Hist. of the Indian Mutiny: Holmes's Hist. of the Indian Mutiny; Archer's Punjab Campaign, 1848-9; Thackeray's Two Indian Campaigns; Gough and Innes's The Sikhs and Sikh Wars; Baronetage; Men of the Time, 12th ed.; Army Lists; Times, 21 June 1893.]

R. H. V.