JOHNSON, HENRY. (1748–1835). British officer. Born near Dublin on 1 January 1748, Johnson was commissioned an ensign in the Twenty-eighth Foot Regiment on 19 February 1761. He was made a captain in 1763, and served primarily in the West Indies until 1775. At that time he went to America as a major with the Twenty-eighth Foot, and was assigned to one of the provisional battalions of light infantry during the next three years. On 8 October 1778 he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Seventeenth Foot Regiment, and was captured with his garrison at Stony Point, New York, on 16 July 1779. He was court-martialed for this defeat, but was acquitted and given command of the Seventeenth Regiment in subsequent operations in Virginia and the Carolinas. After the war he was posted in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, still as commanding officer of the Seventeenth Foot Regiment. From 1793 until 1798 he was inspector-general of recruiting for the English establishment in Ireland. On 5 June 1798 he was given command of 3,000 troops for the defense of New Ross, in Ireland, and in successfully accomplishing his mission he is credited with fighting the hardest action of the Irish rebellion. He was made colonel of the Eighty-first Regiment in 1798, and promoted to lieutenant general the next year, and of Ross Castle in 1801. He was promoted to full general in 1808, and was created a baronet on 1 December 1818. He died in Bath on 18 March 1835.
revised by Michael Bellesiles