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Thread: Who is the Greatest Civil War General?

  1. #1
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    Who is the Greatest Civil War General?

    who in your opinion is the greatest civil war general?

    go in depth with your reasoning please....
    I don't ever want to see Dan Fry chase me while he is wearing blue or after i have called Home Depot! Love you all, always have always will! Rock on! Lylas/lylab Also you should try Vicoden and 2 tylenol together...but not while there is a pharmacist around! lol. Bless all the gay people, both Ben and Dan, hope your Corn Field goes well and don't forget to buy more homemade, short and long, black socks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by prplpukimonke
    who in your opinion is the greatest civil war general?

    go in depth with your reasoning please....
    Grant.

    He won.


    P.S.
    Why did you post two identical threads?.....go in depth with your reasoning please....

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    Quote Originally Posted by prplpukimonke
    who in your opinion is the greatest civil war general?

    go in depth with your reasoning please....
    Gen. Jackson or Nathan Bedford Forrest. Both of whose tactics we still use today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim's trucking
    Grant.

    He won.


    P.S.
    Why did you post two identical threads?.....go in depth with your reasoning please....

    are you mocking me?! lol, sorry i had accidently posted it twice and i didn't know.
    I don't ever want to see Dan Fry chase me while he is wearing blue or after i have called Home Depot! Love you all, always have always will! Rock on! Lylas/lylab Also you should try Vicoden and 2 tylenol together...but not while there is a pharmacist around! lol. Bless all the gay people, both Ben and Dan, hope your Corn Field goes well and don't forget to buy more homemade, short and long, black socks!

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  5. #5
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    I'm from Minnesota so I've got no right as far as I can see to nominate Robert E. Lee. A rebel should do that, IMO, but we still wish up here that he were on our side.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    I'm from Minnesota so I've got no right as far as I can see to nominate Robert E. Lee. A rebel should do that, IMO, but we still wish up here that he were on our side.
    Let me handle that for you:

    LEE. IMHO One of the most brilliant military minds ever. If he had been with the north the war would have lasted three days.
    His leadership was second to none. His men loved him and would have followed him into Hell itself. They fought for him with little or no food for days on end and with poor equipment/ often with ne boots on their feet. I say he was a far better general than Grant for the simple fact that, while Grant may have won the war, he did so by fighting a war of attrition. He said at one time that he would lose fifty thousand men of it meant winning the war. Lee wasn't that anxious to win. He cared far more about his men. And before anyone shouts that slavery was the reason for the civil war, remember that Gen. Lee owned not one slave!

    STU

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toukalos
    Gen. Jackson or Nathan Bedford Forrest. Both of whose tactics we still use today.
    Stonewall Jackson was too much of a religious zealot for my tastes, but I grudgingly admire the amount of effort he mustered time and again. Much will never be known, but he frequently showed up in the center of the action with his troops after a forced march through the night.

    Forrest was the most feared, IMO. His tactics spooked the Union. He went on to found the KKK, which should forever sully his name, but to his credit quit when it became too radical.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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    Quote Originally Posted by S2Zturn
    I say he was a far better general than Grant for the simple fact that, while Grant may have won the war, he did so by fighting a war of attrition. He said at one time that he would lose fifty thousand men of it meant winning the war.
    STU
    But what a tactic by Grant. Can you imagine being in his boots, waking up in the morning to the sight of dead Union soldiers by the thousands strewn over a battlefield and then ordering an attack? I doubt whether I could have done it, nor could any of the generals who preceded him. It must have really unnerved Lee, and may have been the only way to win against him.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    Stonewall Jackson was too much of a religious zealot for my tastes, but I grudgingly admire the amount of effort he mustered time and again. Much will never be known, but he frequently showed up in the center of the action with his troops after a forced march through the night.

    Forrest was the most feared, IMO. His tactics spooked the Union. He went on to found the KKK, which should forever sully his name, but to his credit quit when it became too radical.
    I wasn't quite judging the generals personal lives, but that was a fair enough summary of them both. My criteria for the most sucessful/important general was on the impact they had on the tactics used today.

    Another figure to look at during the civil war, who strongly influenced guerrilla warfare in the 20th century is a man who led a group of Bushwackers in the Missouri/Kansas dispute, his name was (Col.) William Quantrill, and made many developments in warfare which took root in our time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toukalos
    Another figure to look at during the civil war, who strongly influenced guerrilla warfare in the 20th century is a man who led a group of Bushwackers in the Missouri/Kansas dispute, his name was (Col.) William Quantrill, and made many developments in warfare which took root in our time.
    I'm vaguely familiar with his name, but don't know what his legacy is. Doesn't the MO/KS dispute precede the Civil War?
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    I'm vaguely familiar with his name, but don't know what his legacy is. Doesn't the MO/KS dispute precede the Civil War?
    Yes, the MO/KS dispute did begin prior to the Civil War and then became part and parcel of the greater conflict after the outbreak of hostilities. His main contribution to tactics is on small group tactics. He pioneered the division of a fighting force into small groups (10-15) which operate independent of the chain of command, but towards the larger, group objective. Sort of what we see today in terror "cell" makeup. In addition, he brought to bear the concept of the hit and run attack with overwhelming firepower. While the Federal troops were using single shot rifles, Quantrill's Raiders would attack a platoon or a company with each man bursting from the underbrush on horseback (for speed and manoeuvring) armed with (in general) 2-3 revolvers, 1-2 sawed off shotuguns and either a machete or a sabre. This allowed the raiders to attack, dump nearly 15x the amount of lead on their enemies in a few minutes and then escape again on horseback while the Federal foot soldiers were still dazed from the ambush. Pretty advanced stuff for Quantrill's time, Interesting guy too, I recommend checking out one of his biographies, they are pretty wild

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    Thanks, I'll have to do that.

    I was thinking of some other generals to consider, but all I could think about was the absolute hands-down worst: George McClellan. What a legacy he left behind. I can only believe his absolute refusal to engage the enemy was because of his political ambitions. He didn't want to give Lincoln a victory, whom he hated and hoped to replace as president. If that was the case, and I may be wrong since it's hard to know what truly motivates a man, but if it is true, he would qualify as the most contemptible man in American history in my book. What needless loss of life, all for political purposes? It certainly makes me appreciate and understand the reason for the separation we have between military brass and politicians.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco
    Thanks, I'll have to do that.

    I was thinking of some other generals to consider, but all I could think about was the absolute hands-down worst: George McClellan. What a legacy he left behind. I can only believe his absolute refusal to engage the enemy was because of his political ambitions. He didn't want to give Lincoln a victory, whom he hated and hoped to replace as president. If that was the case, and I may be wrong since it's hard to know what truly motivates a man, but if it is true, he would qualify as the most contemptible man in American history in my book. What needless loss of life, all for political purposes? It certainly makes me appreciate and understand the reason for the separation we have between military brass and politicians.
    I completely agree! McClellan was one of the worst examples of an American General. His inability to damage the Confederate army in the first two years prolonged the war by a great deal, in addition to causing little damage to the South's economic infrastructure.
    What is your opinion of Gen. John "Blackjack" Pershing in WWI? (sorry I know its not Civil War, but I am curious to your perspective) If you want to stay on subject then please give your views on Gen. George Custer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toukalos
    What is your opinio n of Gen. John "Blackjack" Pershing in WWI?
    I'm almost ashamed to say I know so little about WWI. I've slogged through it before but that's unfortunately what it's been -- slogging. But your question intrigued me so I read a couple biographies of Pershing last night. I don't feel qualified to comment but that hasn't stopped me before:

    I was surprised to learn how hard he had to fight with the Allies just to be able to have a American force, led by an American, in the European theater. I immediately began comparing him to Ike, and began wondering if his troubles weren't in part due to his personality. He was characterized as somewhat abrasive and overly concerned with military decorum whereas Ike oozed schmooze. Do you think it is a valid comparison, or is it incompatible?

    His actual battles as a general were less than I would have thought for a major war, no doubt because of our late entry into Europe and the above-referenced squabble.

    But his legacy, as I see it, was in organizing a vast army so far from home. What do you think?


    Quote Originally Posted by Toukalos
    ...please give your views on Gen. George Custer.
    Custer has yet to have his last stand. His reputation has free fallen as of late because of the boisterous PC crowd. I wish there were a way to stop historians from examining yesterday's figures with today's morality.

    IMO, he displayed many good qualities in a general, not the least of which were boldness combined with true leadership. His service in the Civil War was exemplary. Again, what do you think?
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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    General Custer was the poorest example of leadership I can imagine. He finished at the bottom of his West Point class and his ego cost him his life, along with his men's lives.

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