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Old 10-07-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,630 posts, read 13,271,995 times
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One of my all time favorites:

Judah P. Benjamin

"The Brains of the Confederacy."

I think he was Jefferson Davis' brightest and most useful cabinet member.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:31 AM
 
437 posts, read 720,044 times
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Does Abraham Lincoln count?


If not, how about Tom Custer (1845-1876), a two time Medal of Honor recipient for gallantry during the War of the Rebellion. As he lept over enemy barricades and through lines of rifle fire, he seized the battle flag from the enemy on different occasions.


Intelligence and bravery, both on the battle field.

Last edited by jdrtx; 10-07-2011 at 11:32 AM.. Reason: syntax
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Willow Spring and Mocksville
275 posts, read 350,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
One of my all time favorites:

Judah P. Benjamin

"The Brains of the Confederacy."

I think he was Jefferson Davis' brightest and most useful cabinet member.
Oh, that reminds me of Stephen Mallory, too. I forgot him on my first list.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
5,015 posts, read 6,595,939 times
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In reading all the posts, it reminds me of many that I admire......and made me go and reread something about the ones I had forgotten so, it is good to remember and reflect. Thx for the thread.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,466 posts, read 12,217,459 times
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Colonel T. E. Hogg (http://www.hamell.net/2010/07/history-of-idanha-oregon/ - broken link) on the Confederate Side. His real name is somewhat in question, but he was a first class scoundrel.

Led a squad of Rebels to take steamer sailing between SF and Idaho. He sailed it Belize, Honduras where he convinced the British that they were a Confederate Blockade Runner. He then illegally sold the cargo but was reported to the British Authorities by the ship's crew. He then managed to escape to Panama where he planned to steal another ship, arm it, and under Confederate Colors, raid Opium carrying ships between China and California.

He was caught, sentenced to life imprisonment in San Quentin but was let go as part of the 1866 general amnesty.

With the help of English publicist Wallis Nash, he convinced the citizens of Corvallis Oregon to help fund the building of a wagon road. The wagon road grew to become a rail road, and it became generally known that he was attempting to get some of the land the US Government was giving out to help finance new rail roads.

Through skullduggery, deceit, and outright lying, Hogg actually successfully managed to build a railroad from Newport Bay to Albany Oregon. Somewhere between 1878 and 1880 his company was renamed to the Oregon Pacific Railroad and became a transcontinental rail road.

Continued expansion went slowly until the rail road hit the present day town of Idanha, which at the time was known as Muskrat Camp due to it's use as a hunting camp.

In 1893 Hogg was removed as Owner of the Oregon Pacific Railroad due to the millions of unaccounted dollars missing from the company. All accounts I can find of him say he was a liar, a cheat, a scoundrel, but he could convince anyone of just about anything.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,782 posts, read 15,442,141 times
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I always liked the story of John Mosby, aka the grey ghost, precursor to the navy Seals who killed Bin Laden. From wikipedia:

Quote:
Mosby is famous for carrying out a daring raid far inside Union lines at the Fairfax County courthouse in March 1863, where his men captured three Union officers, including Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Stoughton. Mosby wrote in his memoirs that he found Stoughton in bed and roused him with a "spank on his bare back." Upon being so rudely awakened the general indignantly asked what this meant. Mosby quickly asked if he had ever heard of "Mosby". The general replied, "Yes, have you caught him?" "I am Mosby," the Confederate ranger
Another account that I remember said that Mosby's reply was 'no, but he has got you.' Don't know which is accurate, but the latter would have been quite a line. Also supposedly the Gen had a female 'provider' in bed w/ him.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
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I have two favorites at the moment. The first is Harvey Hill (perhaps better known as "D. H. Hill" to some). A very fascinating character--I'm irretrievably drawn to his sarcastic humor and gloomy fatalism. I also have a soft spot for people who "got a bad deal" as someone so eloquently put it. No doubt Harvey's character flaws contributed much to his downfall; nonetheless, I still think he was treated rather unfairly by Bragg and Davis.

My other favorite is Gouverneur Kemble Warren. His was a tragic fate; it is said he died of a broken heart, just weeks before being exonerated from most of the charges brought against him (which were exceedingly unjust; he actually died from complications from diabetes, yet doubtless all the stress from the trial and hopeless waiting contributed much to the outcome of the condition). The biography "Happiness is Not My Companion" is a very good read, though it perhaps treads a bit lightly on Warren's character flaws, which were many. I'm not sure the reason, but I'm rather drawn to people with flaws in their personality (some of the people I'll list below whom I also like weren't very popular with other people from that time period).

The rest are too many for me list completely, but some that I can think of at the moment:

George Gordon Meade-- Theodore Lyman's papers give some good accounts of Meade; Meade's pessimism, fiery temper, and battle with the press have always intrigued me.

Andrew Atkinson Humphreys--I'm not sure why he has no modern biography, he's always held a great interest for me (Lyman writes some very intriguing things about him).

Otis Howard--who can forget poor Howard's 11th Corps? Someone once described him as having a rather sanctimonious air; for some reason he's always intrigued me, not to mention he's a surprisingly good writer.

Dan Sickles (and his cohort Daniel Butterfield; hell, the whole triumvirate is a bit interesting: Sickles, Butterfield, and Hooker)--though if Sickle's "version" of Gettysburg went down as historically accurate, I would most likely not regard him with as humorous an air as I do now; I just find him mildly entertaining, though I've still a bone to pick with him for all the trouble he and Butterfield and all their followers caused for Meade.

John Fulton Reynolds--I get the sense (from his personal letters and other information) he was much more sarcastic and colorful than the impression his outwardly stolid persona gives.

A smattering of others I have not read much in depth about: Isaac Lyman Taylor, Strong Vincent, Francis Channing Barlow, Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, George Sears Greene, Israel Richardson (looking forward to reading the new biography), Richard Stoddard Ewell, John Bell Hood, Lafayette McLaws, Isaac Rodman--I'm certain there's many more I'm forgetting at the moment.

[Ah, poor Harvey up there with so many Yankees--I would doubtless be assaulted with all manners of invective now for this. Yet I am hopeless to the bonds of affection, the intent of the heart is largely unknown to the mind.]
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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Quote:
..Basil...snip...George Gordon Meade-- Theodore Lyman's papers give some good accounts of Meade; Meade's pessimism, fiery temper, and battle with the press have always intrigued me.
I have always sort of enjoyed Meade. He wasn't a bad soldier, was he ? I may have to read the papers you refer to.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
I have always sort of enjoyed Meade. He wasn't a bad soldier, was he ? I may have to read the papers you refer to.
Oh, no, not at all. Perhaps a bit cautious at times. I found it interesting, while reading Meade's Letters, to note how during the Mexican War he would complain about how he wished the generals commanding would just send them out and fight--he was getting tired of the constant delaying, waiting, putting off a battle. Then when he is in command, he does much of the same (at least for some of the time--I don't feel right to criticize, but it nonetheless is interesting to note this). I imagine it is just much different being on the sidelines compared to actually being in the driver's seat (which is why I hesitate always to criticize).

Lyman's papers, which are collected in a book entitled "Meade's Headquarters" by George R. Agassiz can be found either on Amazon or for free via a Google download here: Meade's headquarters, 1863-1865 ... - Theodore Lyman - Google Books

If that link doesn't work, do a search on Amazon of the title, and then just copy and paste the title into google--there should be a result for it somewhere along the page linking to google books.

Lyman's writing is very entertaining; he wrote about a few of the generals I've mentioned here (namely Meade, Humphreys, and Warren), as well as many others.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:07 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 19,725,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basiliximab View Post
My other favorite is Gouverneur Kemble Warren. His was a tragic fate; it is said he died of a broken heart, just weeks before being exonerated from most of the charges brought against him
George Gordon Meade-- Theodore Lyman's papers give some good accounts of Meade; Meade's pessimism, fiery temper, and battle with the press have always intrigued me.

Andrew Atkinson Humphreys--I'm not sure why he has no modern biography, he's always held a great interest for me (Lyman writes some very intriguing things about him).

Otis Howard--who can forget poor Howard's 11th Corps? Someone once described him as having a rather sanctimonious air; for some reason he's always intrigued me, not to mention he's a surprisingly good writer.

Warren was slow and given to second guessing his superiors and I think his being relieved was overdue; I think Grant and Meade as well as Sheridan were fed up with him. Wright, Humphreys and Parke had already shown themselves as able and aggressive corps commanders and with Sheridan used as a heavy hitting task force commander the 5th Corps under Warren was not up to the standards now expected. Griffin was more aggressive and knew what was expected; I can't see Warren moving the 5th Corps along in the Appomattox Campaign the way Griffin did. In any event things went along fine without him.

Humphreys was an excellent division and corps commander and was crucial in the revitalization of the Army of the Potomac in 1865.

Indeed Howard did much better out west than he had in the east as did those elements of the 11th Corps which were taken into the Army of the Cumberland. He was evidently steady enough (or predictable enough) to warrant Sherman's giving him command of the Army of the Tennessee after McPherson's death, an army that had also been commanded by Grant himself and then Sherman.

There's a story about the only joke Howard supposedly made. After losing his arm in the Peninsula he was visited by Phil Kearney, who'd also lost an arm in combat, though the opposite arm, with a view to cheering Howard up. Howard quipped that now they could buy gloves together.
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