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 Post subject: Best "unknown" General
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 12:13 am
Posts: 335
Location: USA
In your opinion, on each side, who was the best general that most people (aside from Civil War Buffs) haven't ever heard of? Of course, everyone has heard of Lee and Jackson, Grant and Sherman and the like. Even Forrest is reasonably well known.

My picks:

Union: Curtis. I admit, beating up on Van Dorn isn't really a major challenge, but it was a very well run campaign.

Confedrates: Richard Taylor. Seems he took after daddy a bit.

Brig. General Gary McClellan
1st Division, XXIII Corps
AoO,USA


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:03 pm 
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For the South, I think Gordan (commanded II Corps AnV at the end)

For the North I think Upton, interesting fighting concepts.

LT. GEN. Tony Malone
Commander Army of Mississippi
"Do your duty in all things, You can never do more, You should never wish to do less".


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:29 pm 
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Problem is, if the guy is truly unknown, we won't know of his exploits. [8D]

I am not sure if Emory Upton really qualifies as "unknown", because with all his post-war writings he made himself appear like some sort of land-war Mahan, which he certainly wasn't, but which contributed to his creeping up in ACW historiography as some sort of tactical innovator for not much more than a stubborn column-of-regiments attack at the Bloody Angle.

Maybe we should ask for the most under-rated general? Curtis would probably qualify.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:03 am 
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I like Herman Haupt and Henry Hunt....

<center>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
[url="http://www.scott-ludwig.com/"]<b>Brigadier General Scott Ludwig</b>[/url]

Image

Commanding Officer
[url="http://scott-ludwig.com/ACWGC/ANV"]Army of Northern Virginia
[/url]CSA

[url="http://www.scott-ludwig.com/ACWGC/index.html"]Personal Command Tent[/url]

For the Glory of Virginia!!</center>


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:40 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by D.S. Walter</i>
<br />Problem is, if the guy is truly unknown, we won't know of his exploits. [8D]

Maybe we should ask for the most under-rated general? Curtis would probably qualify.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I would put George Thomas in that list also. He was a modern general, inovative and careful with his troops (not something that others were considering). But because he was from Virginia and didn't have the politicals connections he was overshadowed by Grant first and Sherman then...
[;)]

<font color="green">
<b>BG David Guégan</b>, Brittany Volunteers,
<b>Army of the Cumberland </b>
</font id="green">


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:13 am 
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Without a doubt, Ben "The Beast" Butler was the best Yankee general. Certainly the most maligned, his visionary occupation of New Orleans and the use of "contra-band" were the models for modern warfare and occupation armies everywhere.

As far as the rebs are concerned, the better question is who is the most over-rated general.

Lt.Col Ed Lytwak
2/2/XV/AoT/USA


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:07 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by elytwak</i>
As far as the rebs are concerned, the better question is who is the most over-rated general.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Ah, that's easy ... ASJ. He needed two days days for marching his army a distance it should have easily covered in one, then messed it totally up by deploying it in some allegedly Napoleonic way that Beauregard seems to have dreamed up but which was uniquely unsuited for the terrain, he totally yielded command of the army in order to lead from the front, and finally had himself killed because he didn't manage to pick for his personal staff even a single man who could handle a tourniquet, yet somehow the Rebs seem to be convinced that only his untimely death prevented him from rising to overall command of the Reb army and winning the war for Jeff Davis. Doubtlessly he falls in the large category of "famous Reb generals who conveniently died before they could demonstrate the full extent of their incompetence".

PS It just occurred to me that we have done this before ...

http://www.wargame.ch/board/acw/topic.a ... IC_ID=4506



Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:27 am 
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For the Union-Joshua Chamberlain

For the Confederacy- my vote is for Gordon



Col. Phil Driscoll
1st Brigade/1st Division/VCorps/AoP


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:14 am 
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Sorry to disagree here, Phil, but Chamberlain is certainly one of the best-known generals on either side. He took care of that himself, mostly. [:)]

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:56 am 
The Union’s Jefferson Davis, I had read a book on him, he was a hard pusher with sound military thinking, at times as I was reading about him I thought what an A** he was but then when in battle I thought he was better than that Stonewall guy.

Maj.Gen. Les Knight
**Corcoran's Legion** 2nd/VIII
Army of the Shenandoah USA


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:33 am 
When I think of the lesser known generals of ability I note Generals Stand Watie, Jo Shelby, Richard Gano, and Louis Hebert for the CSA and Generals Ben Grierson, Gordon Grainger, John T. Wilder, John Gibbon, and Abner Doubleday for the USA to consider a few. In terms of commanders for the army, I suppose I would have to go with Gen. George Thomas for the Union and Gen. John B. Gordon for the CSA.

Most Respectfully,
Fld. Lt. William Shrum
3/1/1 AOM
CSA


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:51 am 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Gen Walter wrote </i>"famous Reb generals who conveniently died before they could demonstrate the full extent of their incompetence". <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Which begs another list, famous Generals who's reputation would have been salvaged by a timely, heroic death.

For example, if McClellan had died early in the Peninsula Campaign, or at least at some point before Antietam, he could easily be thougt of by many as one of the "greats". Ditto Hood if the Chickamauga wound had been fatal, or at least severe enough to end his career.

As was said of Elvis's death by some wag "Good career move."

Maj Gen Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:25 am 
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<b>Sorry to disagree here, Phil, but Chamberlain is certainly one of the best-known generals on either side. He took care of that himself, mostly. </b>

Well, him and a guy named Michael Shaara. Of course Jeff Daniels deserves a little credit there too. He did one hell of a job in turning the guy into a hero in "Gettysburg." Seems to me that Shaara can also take a lot of credit into resurrecting James Longstreet's career and making him the great genius of the Army of Nothern Virginia as well...

PS. Not that I don't think Chamberlain was a hero...but the greatest general of his age, he was not.


Colonel Philip Roubaud
1/XX
AOC
USA


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:37 am 
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Absolutely, Phil. Shaara's novel and the movie Gettysburg did most for the Chamberlain legend ... picturing him as the honest and modest civilian who miraculously discovers some natural talent for soldiering and on a crucial day holds the flank of an entire army with a tiny regiment against at least a Reb brigade and thereby saves the Union. But they just made popular a legend that Chamberlain himself had already spread for decades after the Civil War in one reunion etc. after another. Not difficult for a guy who, afterall, was of above average intelligence, a gifted orator and experienced writer, who had the added advantage of having survived a wound considered mortal, and who could capitalize on success in an action that was, first of all, obscure in that hardly anyone outside the 20th ME actually witnessed what was going on in this neck of the woods on that day. Ideal conditions for creating oneself as a hero. Interesting also that hardly anybody else who *was* there later attested to a crucial role played by Chamberlain in the action, or to the significance of the action for the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg.

Incidentally I believe that if there is a hero of LRT it's Gouverneur K. Warren.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:23 am 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by D.S. Walter</i>
<br />Absolutely, Phil. Shaara's novel and the movie Gettysburg did most for the Chamberlain legend ... picturing him as the honest and modest civilian who miraculously discovers some natural talent for soldiering and on a crucial day holds the flank of an entire army with a tiny regiment against at least a Reb brigade and thereby saves the Union. But they just made popular a legend that Chamberlain himself had already spread for decades after the Civil War in one reunion etc. after another. Not difficult for a guy who, afterall, was of above average intelligence, a gifted orator and experienced writer, who had the added advantage of having survived a wound considered mortal, and who could capitalize on success in an action that was, first of all, obscure in that hardly anyone outside the 20th ME actually witnessed what was going on in this neck of the woods on that day. Ideal conditions for creating oneself as a hero. Interesting also that hardly anybody else who *was* there later attested to a crucial role played by Chamberlain in the action, or to the significance of the action for the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg.

Incidentally I believe that if there is a hero of LRT it's Gouverneur K. Warren.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Indeed, the 20th Maine gets an awfully lot of credit for holding high, easily defended ground against a single Reb regiment (with little support) that had already marched 14,000 miles that day during the heat of the day, and fought its way from Longstreet's staging area over creeks, through woods and valleys, up and down hills, and then had to charge uphill against the 20th Maine over rocks and through the woods... Are there many regiments that WOULDN'T be able to hold their ground in that situation?

Little Round Top is the most over-rated position on any battlefield of the way - it would have done the Rebs little or no good if they had taken it, and the Yanks had an entire Corps coming up with which to retake the hill if the Rebs had succeeded in pushing over the top... And as a result, the 20th Maine and JLC are some of the most over-rated Yanks from the war.



Regards,
Lt. Col. Alan Lynn
3rd Battery "Jacksonville Greys"
4th Div, II Corps, AoA
God bless <><


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