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"Who Are Your Favorite 'Civil War' Leaders!" Topic

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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AngusIII02 Nov 2002 5:40 p.m. PST

Who is your favorite Civil War Leader or Leaders and why? You can pick from any civil war.

I will jump it off by mentioning Pompei and Caesar. Two great generals who where once allies in the First Triumvirate and then great enemies and antagonists in a Roman Civil War. Of course Julius Caesar defeated Pompei and his sons.

I will also mention Ieyasu of the Tokugawa family- became Shogun in 1603. He beat Ishida Mitsunari at the battle of Sekigahara.

DeWolfe02 Nov 2002 6:15 p.m. PST

Prince Rupert of course! Why? Because he is the quintessential Cavalier. He is never boring! He is a fascinating character who led a life of adventure that could have been straight out of a novel.

OldGrenadier Fezian02 Nov 2002 7:41 p.m. PST

John Buford, the Ultimate Professional Soldier, and Lawrence Chamberlain, the Ultimate Gifted amateur.

21eRegt02 Nov 2002 8:15 p.m. PST

His racist politics aside, Nathan Bedford Forest accomplished a great deal with very little. Benjamin Franklin Cheatham was a hard drinking, hard fighting general on the oft over-looked western army. Not that talented, but a colorful character indeed. Hard to argue with Bufurd and Chamberlain from the OldGrenadier.

Warmage02 Nov 2002 8:57 p.m. PST

Sherman and Grant, the Dynamic Duo, who truly understood total war.

I agree with naming Buford but NOT Chamberlain. How about Hazen at Stone's River? Talk about reaping the whirlwind!


Bad Painter02 Nov 2002 9:00 p.m. PST

#1 Oliver Cromwell- "A great,bad,man".
#2 Grant- From hardware store clerk to U.S. President in seven years. He understood what he had to do to bring the ACW to an end. Too many people remember him for just Cold Harbor.

autichamp02 Nov 2002 9:14 p.m. PST

acw-jubal early-refused to be re-constructed

rcw-baron wrangel-one of the underated leaders of the 20th century.his style was reminiscent of forrest.

vendee-jacques cathelineau-his untimely death 3 months into the war may have spared the collapse of the jacobin coup.

ccw-chaing kai-shek-he had the misfortune of relying on political allies with globalist objectives.

angola cw-joseph savimbi-leader of unita,which has fought the communists,african,cuban,and russian for almost 30 years.only recently defeated by a mercenary army of ex-south africans employed by EXECUTIVE OUTCOMES.

Calico Bill02 Nov 2002 11:37 p.m. PST

Lee & Jackson. In a word, Chancellorsville.

Beyonder03 Nov 2002 3:03 a.m. PST

1. Alfred the Great ((Wessex via Danelaw) which combined to become England). His actions and leadership - not just the burning of the cakes lead to the creation of a nation that became united to form England, Britian and then the British Empire. with out his man the whole western world could be different. ( how he only manage to get to N#14 in the Beebs voting and St D. is up in the top ten ???

2. Richard the third, because he was so blasted by tudor propaganda - shakespear .

Bran Mak Morn03 Nov 2002 6:43 a.m. PST


In a word: integrity.

skink master03 Nov 2002 7:31 a.m. PST

Stonewall Jackson.Lemon sucking madman who wouldnt take no for an answer.

Ptolemy03 Nov 2002 9:17 a.m. PST

Ah, but does integrity win a war?

richardjblade03 Nov 2002 9:42 a.m. PST

Jeb Stuart, because he was the epitome of the Cavalry Commander (at least in America).

Oddball03 Nov 2002 9:49 a.m. PST

Patrick Cleborne, Division Co, Army of Tennessee. Not well known, but called "Stonewall of the West". Killed at Franklin, TN, in 1864 while leading his men in a hopeless charge. Wouldn't send his men where he wouldn't go himself.

Daniel Harvey Hill, Lt. Gen, CSA, he couldn't get along with anyone, so he kept getting shipped to different theatures. As a result, saw a great deal of action.

Phil Kearney, hard fighting one armed general. Promising Federal commander who was killed in 1862. One of the few good commanders in the Army of the Potomac at that time.

Braxton Bragg - Ok, just kidding.

jupe195503 Nov 2002 1:51 p.m. PST

Grant, Sherman, Cromwell for obvious reasons.
Cleborne for being the only CSA general fighting for independence not slavery.
Lee is my least favored. A marginal general with a great amount of luck. He does not believe in either slavery or succession but goes out with his state.

60th RAR04 Nov 2002 7:10 a.m. PST

I'll agree on Pat Cleburne. Any reading about him and the "Orphan Brigade" is reccomended.
I also like Prince Rupert. Characters don't get much more colorful.

Scott Mingus04 Nov 2002 12:32 p.m. PST

From the AoP, several unsung leaders...

1) George Greene at Gettysburg - he did far more than Chamberlain, who always gets the publicity for saving the Union on day 2.

2) Phil Kearny - excellent general whose life (and contributions to the AoP) ended way too early. This guy might have been in charge of III Corps instead of Sickles at Gettysburg - what a different that might have made!

3) John Gibbon - cooly efficient, organized, great knowledge of artillery and infantry interactions. The consummate tactician.

4) Henry Hunt - whipped the AoP's artillery into shape, and made them an efficient killing arm.

CSA ANV favorites...

1) Dorsey Pender - young, aggressive, tactically brilliant. It was his loss at Gettysburg that perhaps more than anything took the steam of the Rebels' early success.

2) Jubal Early - crusty, ill-tempered, mean, but the man could fight, and inspire the most from his men.

3) John Gordon - another aggressive offensive-minded general. He was fearless on the battlefield, and survived 5 or 6 wounds at Antietam.

4) Wade Hampton - check his record carefully versus Stuart, and one gets the impression that he, not Stuart, was the best cavalier in the ANV (and maybe in the entire Southern cause).

Out west, certainly Cleburne deserves a lot of attention (Stonewall of the West). On the Yankee side, I tend to favor Pap Thomas.

unknown member04 Nov 2002 12:38 p.m. PST

Ok I will jump in


take care


Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2002 1:11 p.m. PST

Chamberlain, not just because of Gettysburg, but for all his other exploits and heroic behavior and his undying devotion to his cause (a just one at that). Grant's nomiating him to receive the surrender of the ANV stands as testament to his courage and how his contemporaries viewed him (especially Grant).

My $0.02.....

Cheers and good gaming.

CorpCommander04 Nov 2002 1:25 p.m. PST

Braxton Bragg. The guy was pure genius on the battlefield. The Union would have been extremely hard pressed to win the watershed of the Heartland without his expert ability at turning his own troops against him.

At one point a private who was acting as scout got to report to Bragg and his entire staff. The honor of it! He reported that the Union was retreating. Bragg eyed him sharply and condecendingly said, "How would you know the difference between a unit relocating and retreating." Forever hallowed will this Private be for replying, "well, I've been campaigning with you for over a year now!" Huzzah!

superdude252504 Nov 2002 7:20 p.m. PST

none cause they are all ignorant

Daffy Doug04 Nov 2002 8:15 p.m. PST

Strange subject this immediately became on the "MEDIEVAL" board. Oh well.

My fav civil war is the war between Matilda and Stephen, roughly during the 1140s in England. And my fav commander of the protracted fracas is Stephen himself. He managed to wade through piles of adversity and emerge with his crown still on his head. What a mess the country was in, and yet somehow I think most of the peasantry hardly noticed: the king was too busy fighting to survive to bother them much!

Frontovik05 Nov 2002 1:28 a.m. PST

Nestor Makhno - leader of the Greens during the Russian Civil War. Anyone who can be a Bakuninite Anarchist and organise an army then go on to invent the Tachanka gets my vote!

Terry L05 Nov 2002 7:19 a.m. PST

My choice has to be Nathan Bedford Forrest. A great tactician.

Steve Hazuka06 Nov 2002 4:06 a.m. PST

Lee should have been hung as a traitor. I understand the need to heal the nation but he did betray his oath.

60th RAR06 Nov 2002 5:57 a.m. PST

Uh, since he resigned his commission in the US Army first, I don't think he betrayed anything. Besides, if we hung Lee, we would have had to hang hundreds of others who did the same thing.

seanull06 Nov 2002 5:29 p.m. PST

Cromwell for me.

Scott Mingus18 Nov 2002 1:40 p.m. PST

Interesting comment on hanging Bobby Lee, Tabletopwarrior. There were a few hotheads in the North that did indeed want to hang Lee, Davis, and others, but it was not taken seriously by either the government or by Lee himself.

One CSA general actually did worry quite a lot about being hanged as a traitor. John C. Breckinridge had been a politician before the war, including stints as a US Senator from Kentucky and then as Vice President of the USA at the time that the first states seceded. Breckinridge headed south, joined the CSA cause, and became an influential general officer. After the war, IIRC he fled to Canada to avoid what he feared would be prosecution and a possible capital punishment. Eventually cooler heads prevailed, and Breckinridge returned to the USA.

marcshefelton200018 Nov 2002 6:07 p.m. PST

For the ANV, it has to be Jackson, Lee, and Hampton. Hampton! Check it out. He NEVER lost an engagement srom the time he took over the ANV's cavalry til the army surrendered. He whipped any Unioner that came his way.

Also, Chamberlain. Not at Gettysburg. At an engagement whose name escapes me at the moment. He was terribly outnumbered, 3 brigades to one, and he won. Also, he was forced to attack Petersburg, his brigade only! And he actually did it. Brave!?(or stupid?) Sure many other may have done great with regiments, but now we're talking about risking many more troops than just regimental level. Also, get this, after Gettysburg, Chamberlain got the Congressional Medal of Honor and given a brigade. However, it would take months, and a wound that almost killed him to get him promoted!

Dread Pirate Garness Fezian21 Nov 2002 11:10 a.m. PST


BunkerMonkey21 Nov 2002 11:28 a.m. PST

ECW: That frothing madman himself, Oliver Cromwell. Not the nicest person (esp. if you were an Irish Catholic) but he understood early in the war that there was going to be no peace until Charles I or Pym's Dogs were wiped out, unlike the other commanders who were "just in it until Chuck came to his senses..."

Wars of the Roses: Edward IV and his little brother, Richard III. Edward gets no press at all, even though he never lost a battle and won the crown fair and square (at age 18, no less!). Richard gets wiped out too early in his reign for us to see what "might have been" but he was no slouch militarily, either ( see the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury).

ACW: Mosby, the Prince Rupert of the COnfederacy. Nuff said!

unknown member21 Nov 2002 11:59 a.m. PST


I agree with Hampton. It would have been different at Gettysburg


unknown member26 Nov 2002 5:44 p.m. PST


Whattisitgoodfor23 Jan 2003 5:34 p.m. PST

Just as a matter of interest, i was fascinated by the rvisionsit interpretation of Cromwell in the marvelous BBC "History of Britain".

I had never considered Cromwell had a tolerant side and was very surprised to learn that it was he who allowed the Jews to return to, and worship in, England.

It is worth remembering that Cromwell was painted as bad guy by both Royalists (naturally) and Parliamentarians (it wasn't us, it was him) after the Restoration, and to an extent our perceptions of him are still coloured by theirs.

In any event, he was a damn fine General, though certainly had a fanatical streak in an age not noted for tolerance at all.

Dashetal23 Jan 2003 7:01 p.m. PST

On the Union side, Wilder of the Lightning Brigade fame, known for his odd surender early in the war and his spontaneous idea later in the war to use unbroken mules to chase down Bedford Forest. On the Confederate side the commander of the Alabama who fought on not believing the war was over sinking most of the Union whaling fleet.

BunkerMonkey23 Jan 2003 7:34 p.m. PST

To Whattisitgoodfor:

Was that the History Of Britain hosted by Simon Schama that you were referring to? I did'nt catch all of the episodes and that one sounds pretty interesting.

Martin Rapier24 Jan 2003 7:24 a.m. PST

Ummm, so many civil wars to choose from....

Spanish: 'El Campesino' - the peasant, just because it is such a great name;)

English: Prince Rupert. Even though he was on the wrong side, never a dull moment with this one.

Russian: Strelnikov! Anyone with a big black train covered in guns and red flags is OK by me.

WW2 'Yugoslavia': everyone is a bit distasteful in this one, so probably Guy Crouchback.


Whattisitgoodfor24 Jan 2003 11:34 p.m. PST

To Bunkermonkey,
Yes that was it. I didn't catch all the episodes either but have found a copy in a local DVD store so I'm planning a thorough watch soon. The ECW episode was facsinating, quite scathing on Charles I and almost kind to Cromwell.
The final episode, which compared Orwell to Churchill, was a tour de force by a man who considers them to be the two greatest Britons of the C20. Worth renting the series just for that episode.

BunkerMonkey27 Jan 2003 8:44 a.m. PST

Thanks, Whattisitgoodfor !

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick27 Jan 2003 9:28 a.m. PST

Leon Trotsky. Brilliant organizer, rabble rouser, deep thinker, good strategist, great writer.

Scott Mingus27 Jan 2003 2:05 p.m. PST

Larry Huber / Marc Shefelton,

More on Wade Hampton... if you carefully study the tactics employed by Hampton as a brigade commander, and then later after Stuart's death when Hampton became a division commander, you will see that he had a strong grasp on cavarly tactics. Hampton was a results-oriented leader who demanded excellence from his subordinates, and today he might fit well into the corporate world. He was not seeking fame and glory, but rather was seeking victory.

IMO, Stuart was invaluable in whipping the CSA cavalry into an effective fighting force and instilling the espirit de corps and elan that marked their swagger. Particularly in 1862, Stuart rendered valuable service to the Confederacy, and again at Chancellorsville where he subbed for a stricken Jackson. However, from May of 1863 until his death, Stuart's value to me declined, and Hampton's star was rising. I't been speculated that Lee's loyalty to Stuart for his past services blinded him to the reality that a new commander was needed as the war progressed. it took Stuart's death at Yellow Tavern to open the door for Hampton, who fought brilliantly until the surrender.

Just my opinion since Stuart even today gets all the press, but IMHO, he was better than Stuart, Wheeler, Forrest, Mosby, and the rest.

mikeah28 Jan 2003 8:51 a.m. PST

You all missed the obvious. George Washington (it was a civil war that became a revolution). What is a revolution but a successfull civil war? Marshall Tito (Yugoslavia) was also excellent, he was also smart enough to keep the Russians out of the entire affair. Sadly, but objectively, the North Vietnamese guy (who most admired Lincoln) has to be on the list. William Wallace perhaps? And how about the guy who lead the zealots at Massada?

The question was favorites, not best, so there can be no wrong answer.

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick28 Jan 2003 3:09 p.m. PST

Angus: On the poll there is somebody named "Joseph Savimbi."

Is that supposed to be the late * Jonas * Savimbi, former leader of UNITA?

pink panzer30 Jan 2003 1:05 a.m. PST

No contest ; James Graham 5th Marquis of Montrose during the Covenanting Wars in Scotland (1640s).

Mallen30 Jan 2003 5:53 a.m. PST

Lincoln---not a field or theater commander, but he understood the full social and political dimensions unlike no one else in his times.

Winfield Scott as a strategist. See above.

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