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Civil War: Generals who captivate your attention...


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Showing 1-25 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2013, 1:53:13 PM PDT
Patrick says:
I love reading and chatting about this period in American History. Give me a General, one on each side, of any level that for some reason or another captivates your attention and why that is...

Two of mine for example are George Thomas and John B Gordon...though there are many more.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 3:53:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2013, 3:59:26 PM PDT
You're all going to think this is crazy, but the Union General that most captivates my attention is John Wool. As I read different periods of American military history (War of 1812, Trail of Tears, Mexican War, Wars in the Northwest 1855-56, Civil War, New York Draft Riots) his name kept coming up again and again. Seems he became an officer in 1812 and served as a general officer in the US Army longer than virtually anyone in history other than Winfield Scott. He was the oldest officer on either side to hold field command in the Civil War. And from a guy that essentially no one has ever heard of...Fascinating to me!

Confederate - Nathan Bedford Forrest: Unprecedented unschooled/ natural strategist and tactician. Had 31 horses shot out from under him, but made up for it by personally slaying 32 enemies in combat - some hand-to-hand! Of all the Civil War generals, only his and Stonewall Jackson's campaigns/battles are still studied at West Point.

Posted on Mar 18, 2013, 3:56:20 PM PDT
Pat Answer says:
George B. McClellan, James Longstreet

I like controversy. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 4:20:26 PM PDT
Debunker says:
John Pope and Ambrose Burnside. Pope because of the personalities involved when he came east...him, McClellan, Mcdowell, Porter. Plus the short-lived Army of Virginia, the Banks/Sigel/McDowell corps commanders and the Second Bull Run Campaign.

Burnside because of the scope of what he was involved with. The early campaign of the Carolina coast, Antietam/Fredericksburg, out "west" to Knoxville, back for the Overland campaign. Not too successful, but was certainly involved in a lot of the war.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 4:39:10 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Rosecrans! Was he good, bad, or in between. How do you evalute his performance- Also Bragg for the same reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 4:48:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2013, 4:49:31 PM PDT
Debunker says:
Ok, I broke the rules...you said one from each side. I'll stick with those two anyway, and toss in Patrick Cleburne.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 4:55:02 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Debunker says:
Ok, I broke the rules...you said one from each side. I'll stick with those two anyway, and toss in Patrick Cleburne.
***
Not much controversy to Cleburne's legacy. Widely regarded as a superior tactician. Never had the large command that would have allowed him to show that he was made of the same stuff as Lee or Jackson though. (Also since he served in the West) His plan to free slaves if they fought for the South is the most intiguing thing about him in my opinion (you have to admire him for that open mindedness I think)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 5:03:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2013, 5:04:20 PM PDT
Pat Answer says:
We have a thread on that very question down the page: "Rosecrans v Bragg"
IMHO, both were in between, with Rosecrans leaning "good" and Bragg leaning "bad".

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2013, 5:07:40 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
at Answer says:
We have a thread on that very question down the page: "Rosecrans v Bragg"
IMHO, both were in between, with Rosecrans leaning "good" and Bragg leaning "bad".
***
Oh cool. I'll search it out.

Posted on Mar 18, 2013, 8:48:29 PM PDT
forrest whatizname
who gets there fustest with the mostest

ever wonder what would happen
if he were the only one to get there at all
and the other side had captured some other town or something

Posted on Mar 19, 2013, 3:59:09 AM PDT
Smallchief says:
Forrest. Could he have made the jump from good cavalry leader to general of an army? The Confederates should have given him the opportunity.

Posted on Mar 19, 2013, 6:59:48 AM PDT
the first modern general William Tecumseh Sherman

Posted on Mar 19, 2013, 8:24:52 AM PDT
Patrick says:
Thanks everyone so far, some great names including Wool and Cleburne, who'se defense against Sherman at Chatt. is something that should be talked about more. Does anyone know of any good biographies of either man? Burnside seems an unusaual man. From what I have read he seemed to have a clear grasp of what his capabilities were, yet he was often put in postions that were beyond him...I can't recall reading where anyone hated the man personally.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2013, 8:30:40 AM PDT
Debunker says:
Pat Cleburne is covered in "Stonewall of the West" by Craig Symonds. I believe he also gets fairly extensive treatment in Connelly's "Autumn of Glory" and Mcdonough/Connelly's "Five Tragic Hours, The Battle of Franklin".

Not sure about Wool.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2013, 3:36:24 PM PDT
Wool is kind of the mystery man of US military history. I did a paper on him years ago, but it was basically a footnoted compliation of short incidents from all of the books I had read where his name kept popping up.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2013, 3:37:38 PM PDT
he was a war criminal and terrorist

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2013, 7:41:15 PM PDT
Debunker says:
You're clueless.

Posted on Mar 20, 2013, 8:50:33 AM PDT
Patrick says:
John Wool was a war criminal? He was decorated for bravery in the Mexican War while serving with Z Taylor. In the Oregon Territory he was very public with his opposition to the brutality being brought upon the indian population by the local militias and in the Civil War he ensured that fortress Monroe stayed in US hands from the start, a very underpublicized but important act....

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2013, 8:58:11 AM PDT
Debunker says:
He meant Sherman.

Posted on Mar 20, 2013, 9:12:24 AM PDT
people like "thehorse" cry about Sherman ,but loss of life was not near as high in his famous marchs(not counting,pigs,chickens,and turkeys) then in any other major campaigns
I guess you can kill all the soldiers you want,but don't take there chickens and burn the barns!

Posted on Mar 20, 2013, 9:19:59 AM PDT
Patrick says:
LOL...we Sherman makes a little more sense, not that I agree with it. I don't think he was the tactical genius some believe but terrorist is kinda out there. Good fodder for the discussion mill I guess

Posted on Mar 20, 2013, 9:28:05 AM PDT
Debunker says:
Can't take anything Horse says seriously.

Posted on Mar 20, 2013, 9:32:27 AM PDT
what Sherman did in the Civil War(war of southern treason),was common place in WW2

Posted on Mar 20, 2013, 10:02:15 AM PDT
Patrick says:
I guess one could debate the soundness of moving away from your supply base and marching to the sea while living off the land. Perhaps Sherman knew that Thomas could handle Hood, perhaps he didn't care. The opposition Hardee could provide in Georgia was far too inadequate for the force Sherman could bring to bear. For the sake of discussion...could or should Hood done something besides moving back into Alabama and into TN allowing Sherman to divide his force and begin his march? Would the famous march have occurred had Joe Johnston remained in command? Should Sherman have moved towards Virginia instead to end Lee quicker?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2013, 10:05:03 AM PDT
anybody who did it today would be tried for war crimes
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  40
Initial post:  Mar 18, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 25, 2013

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