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Old 10-07-2011, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,579,599 times
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Former US vice President and Senator, turned CSA General and then Secretary of War, John Breckinridge was one of those men who seemed to be amazingly competent at whatever they needed to do. With the exception of Breckinridge's decision to go with the South despite his native Kentucky voting to remain in the Union, I admire everything about the man.


As a General he won what was perhaps the most romantic battle of the War, New Market, where Breckinridge pieced together an emergency army from scratch, including the VMI cadet corps, and defeated the larger Union army threatening the Valley. He had been stuck serving under Braxton Bragg for the larger part of the war, and like most of Bragg's subordinates, could not stand the man.

Breckinridge was among the few to speak out against the announced CSA policy of treating black Union soldiers so severely. He went so far as to try and convene court martial procedures against officers who murdered captive blacks soldiers. He was a realist who recognized that the war was lost by the end of 1864, and he tried hard to persuade Jefferson Davis to quit shedding useless blood.

Bredkinridge is a friend to historians. As Richmond was burning in April of 1865, Breckinridge personally rescued the Confederate archives and arranged for them to be turned over to the Union army for safe keeping.

Fearing arrest for treason, Breckinridge fled to Cuba at the end of the war in what turned out to be a harrowing adventure in a tiny boat.

After amnesty was issued, Breckinridge returned to the US and became an outspoken opponent of the KKK in Kentucky.

Breckinridge continues to hold the record for the youngest national executive in our history, he was 36 years old when sworn in as VP.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
1,918 posts, read 1,884,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Warren was slow and given to second guessing his superiors; I think Grant and Meade as well as Sheridan were fed up with him.
Absolutely, I could never figure out why he wasn't relieved long before the whole incident at Five Forks (it seems a lot of the engineers could never get it through their heads that nothing in war is ever going to be "just so"; they were much too involved in planning and so overwhelmingly cautious). I want to say there were plenty of opportunities to relieve Warren before Five Forks, though nothing specific comes to mind. I always got the sense that Meade didn't know what to do with him [they were on friendly terms before, though I hesitate to say something as unsubstantial as that Meade didn't want to hurt Warren's feelings--though doubtless he was arriving at the conclusion that Warren was a basket-case (not to mention the whole "engineer-clique"), so there may have been something to this], and then up to a certain point it seemed Grant just left all those matters up to Meade. Then once Warren was under Sheridan's command, Sheridan didn't have any qualms at all about getting rid of what I believe he saw as a problem all along (I don't think it would be any stretch at all to say those two didn't care much for each other).

Sheridan wanted Wright's Sixth Corps to co-operate with him on the movement on the left flank, though due to the placement of the corps at the time, it would not have been practical to shift the sixth over to where they would have been able to assist him. Thus, Grant stuck him with Warren's Fifth Corps, and we know what happened after that. Grant should have at least allowed Warren's court of inquiry to go through, but it seems that since he knew the charges were flimsy, he did not want to touch his pet Sheridan and risk the chance of souring his shining public reputation [I would have to consult my books for the specifics, but at one point in the trial Sheridan made a fool of himself by stating that he was able to travel a number of miles in a certain amount of time which was preposterous; since it was obviously impossible, the whole court laughed at him].
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
8,114 posts, read 8,620,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
Mine personally (though I side with the South, in terms of their attempt of independence. Do have a favorite Union man as well)

Confederate:
Robert E. Lee
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Patrick Royanne Cleburne
Lewis Armistead
Simon Bolivar Buckner
John Hunt Morgan

Confederate (special mention):
Winnfield S. Featherson
Jefferson Davis (though a bit unlikeable by others, I always found him to be a little tragic, especially how his first marriage ended and all).
Henry Hopkins Sibley: If a chance for glory in our Civil War was so close for a man to taste it, and failed to achieve it, breaking him for the rest of his life, this man was it.
Jack Hinson: Union troops kill this man's family in Tennessee, and he goes on an "Outlaw Josey Wales"-style revenge spree with a sniper rifle!

Union:
Joshua Chamberlain: This guy was pretty inspirational, Medal of Honor recipient and died at the ripe old age of 85 after 4 terms as governor of Maine.

I'm still trying to learn more on Union leaders


I agree with most of this list, but would add Longstreet for the confederacy. Im guessing you just forgot to add Stonewall Jackson to the list. As far as union leaders I would list mine as being
1.Grant- It is his stratagies that ended the war as a win for the north. The Vicksburg campaign showcases this mans skill as a general. Of course so do his exploits in Va in 64-65.
2. Sherman- Im not fond of what Sherman did in Georgia as Im partial to the southern cause, however there is no denying that his tactics worked very well. I would support him fully if those tactics were used against foriegn enemys, but on US soil?? It did end the war quicker, so for that he deserves credit.
3.Meade- Gettysburg, end of discussion
4.Joshua Chamberlain- I agree with you on this one. One cannot look at his activities on the little round top and later at the recieving end of picketts charge and not have admiration for this mans bravery. He represents everything that is "American"
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:03 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 19,716,413 times
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Many are now of the opinion that Chamberlain was a self promoting egoist who loudly tooted his own horn while failing to give credit to others. He was probably an outright liar in some cases such as his version of the surrender at Appomattox.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,594 posts, read 22,042,368 times
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Sherman changed warfare from Napoleonics to modern warfare.

Custer, kept the Confederate Cavalry away from Gettysburg leaving Lee to poke blindly at the Union Forces

Meade defeated Lee at Gettysburg

Farragut ran an exceptional blockade
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,643,064 times
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William Jackson played an interesting role. He was a slave on the household staff of Jefferson Davis who escaped to the north and revealed a great deal of useful intelligence.

Black Heroes of the Civil War - ratboy's anvil 2
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,550 posts, read 10,859,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert kid View Post
Mine personally (though I side with the South, in terms of their attempt of independence. Do have a favorite Union man as well)

Confederate:
Robert E. Lee
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Patrick Royanne Cleburne
Lewis Armistead
Simon Bolivar Buckner
John Hunt Morgan

Confederate (special mention):
Winnfield S. Featherson
Jefferson Davis (though a bit unlikeable by others, I always found him to be a little tragic, especially how his first marriage ended and all).
Henry Hopkins Sibley: If a chance for glory in our Civil War was so close for a man to taste it, and failed to achieve it, breaking him for the rest of his life, this man was it.
Jack Hinson: Union troops kill this man's family in Tennessee, and he goes on an "Outlaw Josey Wales"-style revenge spree with a sniper rifle!

Union:
Joshua Chamberlain: This guy was pretty inspirational, Medal of Honor recipient and died at the ripe old age of 85 after 4 terms as governor of Maine.

I'm still trying to learn more on Union leaders
I like most of the people mentioned in the thread so far but is it ok that I give a shout out for the soldiers of the Confederate Army of Tennessee? They were the poor man's Army of Northern Virginia and usually the underdog compared to the Federal armies.

My favorites among this army are:
Old Joe Johnston
Patrick Cleburne
William Hardee
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Joe Wheeler
Wade Hampton
and even Leonidas Polk.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
8,114 posts, read 8,620,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
Sherman changed warfare from Napoleonics to modern warfare.

Custer, kept the Confederate Cavalry away from Gettysburg leaving Lee to poke blindly at the Union Forces

Meade defeated Lee at Gettysburg

Farragut ran an exceptional blockade

Yes Custer did have his great moment there at Gettysburg, but when I think of Custer I think of one thing LITTLE BIG HORN !!!!!!! Anything Custer accomplished during the war between the states is negated by his foolishness at the Little big horn. Custers name is now synonomous with the word defeat.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:33 PM
 
31,371 posts, read 33,845,593 times
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Personally I side exclusively with the Union and can think of nothing laudable about the insurrectionist on a personal level, so all of my choices must be Unionist.

Abraham Lincoln,
Frederick Douglas,
U.S. Grant,
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman,
Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock,
Colonel Robert Gould Shaw,
General George Henry Thomas,
Maj Gen. John F. Reynolds

just to name a few.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Houston, texas
15,149 posts, read 11,864,182 times
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Union Brigadier General Lew Wallace ( later author of Ben-Hur ). Saved the Union Capital even in defeat by the south's Lt General Jubal Early at Monocacy by delaying Early for one day. Grant wrote that Wallace gained more for his country with the Monocacy defeat than many generals had gained with their victories.
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