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Thread: American Civil War Officers

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    American Civil War Officers

    What officers interest you? It doesn't have to be a famous general like Grant or Lee but corps commanders like Hancock, Early. Who interests you?

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    I can give you a shot gun list but that doesn't give the topic justice.

    Quick list

    Union

    William B. Hazen
    George W. Getty
    Thomas Hyde (24 year old BG!)
    Emory Upton
    John Buford
    John Sedgwick
    Horatio Wright
    Emerson Opdyke
    Black Jack Logan
    Henry Hunt
    George Thomas


    Confederate

    Pat Cleburne
    Allegheny Johnson
    Joe Wheeler

    I will try to get you CVs and possibly CDVs on all fo these guys later. Got to run right now.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Hmmmm. I notice that Albany Rifles does not include George Armstrong Custer of the Union Army in his list of favorites. I wonder why?

    Nor Jesse James or KKK founder Nathaniel Bedford Forest of the Confederate Army.

    Well, the last two weren't exactly nice guys after the war and the first one was a General by mistake and later (reduced to Colonel) did not make too many friends with the Sioux Nation.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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    I am really amazed at how knowlegeble many of the posters on this thread are about military history. I don't think the generals have to nice people to be interesting though. NB Forrest is very interesting even though (maybe because) he did found the Klan. I find the story of Dan Sickle's leg interesting as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Hmmmm. I notice that Albany Rifles does not include George Armstrong Custer of the Union Army in his list of favorites. I wonder why?
    Nor Jesse James or KKK founder Nathaniel Bedford Forest of the Confederate Army.

    Well, the last two weren't exactly nice guys after the war and the first one was a General by mistake and later (reduced to Colonel) did not make too many friends with the Sioux Nation.
    1. Actually, Custer was a tremendous brigade commander. His leadership of the Wolverine Brigade was awesome. He is best known for his action against Wade Hampton's troops at Gettysburg. But you should read about how well they, and by ecxtension he, did at Yellow Tavern, Haw's Shop, Hanover Court House, Cedar Creek, etc. He was one of the finest cavalry brigade commanders on either side.

    2. Jesse James was not an officer as I recall. I believe he was a sergeant...still he did not do anything on a scale which would make him noteworthy in my mind.

    3. NBF I am mixed on. My major problem with him is if he disagreed with his commander then he would disobey orders. Now if you see what he did at places like Brice's Crossroads he performed very well but he showed a stunnign lack of leadership and judgement later at Tupelo. And as for his raids, etc.? in 1864? His mission was to disrupt Sherman's attack to Atlanta, a mission he never accomplished. So I am not overly enamored with NBF. It has nothing to do with what he did during Reconstruction. If I held that view then I would have to dun Grant, who I hold in very high esteem for the Civil War but I believe he was one of the worst presidents we ever had.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Dan Sickles

    Quote Originally Posted by svs View Post
    I am really amazed at how knowlegeble many of the posters on this thread are about military history. I don't think the generals have to nice people to be interesting though. NB Forrest is very interesting even though (maybe because) he did found the Klan. I find the story of Dan Sickle's leg interesting as well.
    Ah, now THERE is an interesting character!

    I actually think he has received quitre a bad rap for Gettysburg. Yes, he did disobey and ignore orders and move forward at put the entire line at risk. But have you ever stood on the ground at Gettysburg where the III Corps was set up? It is sometimes called Sickles Hole. His position was in a depression looking to the west. Check out thsi website

    Sickles' Hole

    Okay, so what happened the last time on battlefield that Sickles had given up the high ground to the Confederates? It was called HAzel Grove and he got the snot pounded out of him by Confereate artillery

    The American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville - Hazel Grove / Fairview

    So I have a little more sympathy for him than some.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    For accomplishing so much with so little and doing so without an education, I'd have to go with N. B. Forrest. The fact he started the KKK (then disbanded it) distracts from his war record IMHO. If any of you get a chance to read "That Devil Forrest" by John Allan Wyeth, I highly recommend it. The title of the book is a quote from General Grant.
    0John Allan Wyeth -8071-1578-9 PAPER - That Devil Forrest: Life of General Nathan Bedford Forrest by John Allan Wyeth - History - LSU Press - Detail
    Last edited by GAU-8; 19 Dec 07, at 15:43.

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    Gau-8

    While I agree with the asessment he was a general pain in the ass what did he accomplish in a strategic sense other than Brice's Crossroads? Other than Smith's faield attack out of Memphis, all of his raids never stopped any major Union offensives. In 1864 all of his battles were against forces sent ou to tie him down. He, Forrest, never was able to disrupt Sherman's supply lines in a manner sufficient to cause the Union to stop a campaign. Only Van Dorn's Holly Springs Raid of Dec 62 stopped Grant's overland attack toward Vicksburg.

    And as I said he obeyed the orders given him by a superior when he agreed with the superior.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Confederates, East:

    John Mosby.

    Wade Hampton.

    John B. Gordon

    Jhn C. Breckenridge

    Confederates, West:

    Stand Watie

    Nathan Bedford Forrest

    Patrick Cleburne

    Leonidas Polk

    Confederates, Naval:

    Raphael Semmes

    Confederates, Civil:

    Judah P. Benjamin

    Federal, East:

    Phillip Kearny

    Robert Gould Shaw

    Francis Barlow

    Federals, West:

    Federals, Naval:

    David Farragut

    Andrew Foote

    Federals, Civil:

    Edwin M. Stanton

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    Old Cold Warrior Military Professional GAU-8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    While I agree with the asessment he was a general pain in the ass what did he accomplish in a strategic sense other than Brice's Crossroads? Other than Smith's faield attack out of Memphis, all of his raids never stopped any major Union offensives. In 1864 all of his battles were against forces sent ou to tie him down. He, Forrest, never was able to disrupt Sherman's supply lines in a manner sufficient to cause the Union to stop a campaign. Only Van Dorn's Holly Springs Raid of Dec 62 stopped Grant's overland attack toward Vicksburg.

    And as I said he obeyed the orders given him by a superior when he agreed with the superior.
    OK, you're right. No strategic accomplishments. I guess I just like guys that are a general pain in the ass. I found the book an exciting account and found NBF to be an incredibly resourceful and daring pain in the ass. The thread started with the question of what officer interests you. I find him interesting. So did Shelby Foote:

    "In his first fight, northeast(sic) of Bowling Green, the forty year old Forrest improvised a double envelopment, combined it with a frontal assault-classic maneuvers which he could not identify by name and of which he had most likely never heard..."
    Shelby Foote, The Civil War

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    I find it significant that virtually all the names mentioned on this thread originated from the British Isles. Today that would no longer be the case, and I would hazard a guess that the names would be mostly German.
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glyn View Post
    I find it significant that virtually all the names mentioned on this thread originated from the British Isles. Today that would no longer be the case, and I would hazard a guess that the names would be mostly German.
    Hazen was German and Longstreet was Dutch..as I said, it was a quick list. There were some tremendous officers from the Old Northwest (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin) of German ancestory. At teh start of the Civil War, the white populaiton of the US was approx 27 million. There had been some significant German immigration in the decades just prior to the war as well as some French and Italian. But America was still a preominantly Anglo-Saxon country...of course there was a lot of Irish immigration occurring from the 1840s onward...some forced some otehrwise.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Bluesman

    You couldn't find any Federals in the Western Theater you liked?

    And Stand Watie is more traditionally seen as being in the Trans Mississippi Theater. The Western Theater stretched from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    You couldn't find any Federals in the Western Theater you liked?

    And Stand Watie is more traditionally seen as being in the Trans Mississippi Theater. The Western Theater stretched from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River
    Well, I think he was at Pea Ridge.

    And I was runnin' out the door to a brief when I was putting the post up, so I missed the Federal, West entry (I'll catch it up after work tonight). (We just had a visit by the AF A2, LtGen Deptula; THAT was a dam' interesting brief!)

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    James Longstreet, thanks entirely to Michael Shaara and my high school lit teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluesman View Post
    (We just had a visit by the AF A2, LtGen Deptula; THAT was a dam' interesting brief!)
    David Deptula?

    And I just knew that Mosby would be on your list )

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