Born in Barnwell, South Carolina, Hagood attended Richmond Academy in Augusta, Georgia, and afterwards graduated at the top of his class from The Citadel in 1847. He was admitted to the bar in 1850, but never practiced because he preferred life on the plantation.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Hagood volunteered and was appointed a brigadier general and assistant adjutant general of the South Carolina Militia. His first commission in the Confederate States Army was as a colonel in the 1st South Carolina Volunteers. He participated in the Battle of Fort Sumter and the First Battle of Bull Run, after which he returned to South Carolina with his regiment and was appointed brigadier general, effective July 21, 1862.
During the 1864 Overland Campaign, Hagood brought a brigade north to Petersburg, Virginia, and fought under Major General Robert F. Hoke in the battles of Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor. He and his men served in the entrenchments at the Siege of Petersburg until December 1864, when Hoke's Division was ordered to the relief of Fort Fisher. Hagood commanded Fort Anderson during the Battle of Wilmington.
At the end of the war, Hagood's troops served under General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina, and he may have surrendered with him at Durham Station in April, 1865, although Hagood's Brigade was commanded by its senior colonel at the time and no record of his parole has ever been found.
After the war, Hagood resumed planting, but became incensed by the misrule and corruption of Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. He actively campaigned for fellow Confederate general Wade Hampton in the 1876 gubernatorial contest and himself was elected on the Democratic state ticket as Comptroller General. He served a term until 1880 when he was nominated by the state Democrats for Governor. Hagood easily won the gubernatorial election that fall and his major achievement in office was the reopening of The Citadel in 1882.
Hagood died in Barnwell and was buried at Episcopal Churchyard. For his loyalty and commitment to The Citadel, Johnson Hagood Stadium was named in his honor. Hagood, South Carolina is named for him.
- Bradley, Mark L., This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place, University of North Carolina Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8078-5701-7.
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders, Louisiana State University Press, 1959, ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
- Eicher, p. 272.
- Bradley, p. 292
- Eicher, p. 272; Warner, pp. 121-22.
- SCIway Biography of Johnson Hagood
- Statehouse Biography of Johnson Hagood
- NGA Biography of Johnson Hagood
|- style="text-align: center;"
|width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Thomas Bothwell Jeter |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Governor of South Carolina
1880–1882 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Hugh Smith Thompson |- |}
Template:Governors of South Carolina
de:Johnson Hagood ja:ジョンソン・ハーグッド (サウスカロライナ州知事)