Who Was The Best Civil War General?

Discussion in 'History' started by Publius1787, Jan 15, 2011.

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Who Was The Best Civil War General?

  1. General Robert Lee

    30.0%
  2. General Thomas Jackson

    10.0%
  3. General George Pickett

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. General Jebb Stuart

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. General John Hood

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. General Ambrose Burnside

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. General Ulysses Grant

    40.0%
  8. General William Sherman

    15.0%
  9. General George McClellan

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. General Winfield Scott

    5.0%
  1. Publius1787
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    Publius1787 Gold Member

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    General Robert Lee
    General Thomas Jackson
    General George Pickett
    General Jebb Stuart
    General John Hood
    General Ambrose Burnside
    General Ulysses Grant
    General William Sherman
    General George McClellan
    General Winfield Scott

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Of course, I have my own opinion.
     
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  2. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    The best tactical general was Stonewall Jackson.

    The best operational general was U.S. Grant, the only general to kill a major enemy army in the field (Lee), and the only one to defeat a major enemy army in the field and drive it into fortifications and kill it (Pemberton).

    The best strategic general was Winfield Scott who developed the Anaconda plans for defeating the CSA (blockade and capture of the Mississippi River).
     
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  3. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    General Winfield Scott Hancock. If it wasn't for Hancocks leadership during Gettysburg, General Lee may have well won the battle.

    Note: it was the war between the states and not the civil war.
     
  4. Publius1787
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    Publius1787 Gold Member

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    General Grant got to clean up General McClellan's scraps and he rode that all the way in to the White House. I wouldent have contributed Lee's surrender to Grant. If Lee had won Getteysburg and for some odd reason the war continued, Grant would have been no match for Lee. Furthermore, if Grant had control of the Army before Gettysburg he would have been thrown under the bus in defeat just like every other northern general. Grant was about as good as a commander as he was president. And yes this is taking in to account Vicksburg.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  5. JakeStarkey
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    You underestimate Grant, just like so many CSA generals did to their rue. If Grant had commanded during the Gettysburg campaign, Lee would not have been able to concentrate before Gettysburg. Grant would have dominated the central ground and defeated each of the extended Confederate columns in detail. His campaigns in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Virginia speak for themselves. Lee's greatest strength was his also his greatest weakness, as Pete Longstreet had no hesitation to discuss after the war: an offensive spirit that ignored the reality of CSA's capacity to wage war. Lee fought battles while Grant waged war.
     
  6. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    It's hard to choose the best, but undoubtedly the worst was Ambrose Burnside.
     
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  7. RetiredGySgt
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    After his numerous successes in the West Grant won the war in the East by FIGHTING the War and not individual battles. He knew what his assets were and he USED them. He ground down Lee and the Confederates with his strengths.

    He refused to be deterred by any battle defeat and concentrated on the BIG picture, which was his job as Commander of the entire theater. He refused to retreat and lick his wounds like all his predecessors had done. He used the numerical and technological advantages the North had and forced the Army to fight on.
     
  8. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    I keep on wondering why folks think Lee could have achieved anything at Gettysburg but different kinds of disaster.

    Actually, General Thomas destroyed two armies in the filed. I forget the first time, but the second time was at Nashville.

    And Starkey forgot about Chattanooga, which was where Grant took on the problem faced by Pemberton in Vicksburg, and defeated the besieging forces and chased them away.

    All Lee had going for him was berserker courage and quality engineering. Grant would never have caused anything remotely like Antittum and Gettysburg Lee built his glory on a huge pile of corpses from the Seven days onward. Grant build this victories on strategic misdirection and speed.
     
  9. JakeStarkey
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    Baruch, I like your comments.

    Thomas held the gap at Chickamauga rent by CSA forces but did not defeat or destroy the CSA. Hood was badly beaten by throwing his forces onto Schofield's fortifications at Franklin, Schofield withdrew to Nashville to join his commander's troops (those of Thomas), and there Hood built fortifications. Thomas smashed Hood's army in its fortifications.

    Grant defeated Pemberton in the field and drove him into Vicksburg, and Grant defeated Lee in the field in a nine-day chase from Richmond to Appomattox Court Horse, where Lee's forces were surrounded and forced to surrender.

    I have read where some have argued that Thomas was the best general of the war.
     
  10. Granny
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    Granny Gold Member

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    OK - it's just a guess, but I think Gen. Sherman would receive the worst rating by those from Atlanta and Savannah - well, I think Savannah may have fared a little better than Atlanta. Sherman seemed to have a thing about fires.

    I guess having lived in Virginia I was most familiar with Gen. Lee. There's a rather lovely street in Richmond called Monument Avenue - has a whole lot of monuments to various people - Lee, Jackson, Stewart, etc. Lee is the only General whose monument faces South - due to, as I remember, his surrender at Appomattox. Richmond, of course, set itself on fire in advance of the on-coming Yanks - so they couldn't get their hands on all the munitions, etc. that could have been looted.

    I think they all probably had their good points and bad points. Lee didn't have all that much heart for bloodshed and I don't know much about Grant except for his penchant for booze.

    http://www.monumenthouse.com/richmond/monument/
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011

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