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Your vote for Best General (Poll)

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Poll: Who do you think is the Top General?

Ulysses S. Grant [US]?
4 10.5%
Robert E. Lee [CS]?
7 18.4%
Patrick Cleburne [CS]?
2 5.3%
Stonewall Jackson [CS]?
11 28.9%
William Tecumseh Sherman [US]?
2 5.3%
Nathan Bedford Forrest [CS]?
3 7.9%
George Henry Thomas [US]?
3 7.9%
George Gordon Meade [US]?
No votes 0%
J. E. B. Stuart [CS]?
No votes 0%
James B. Mcpherson?
1 2.6%
Ambrose Burnside?
No votes 0%
Rosecrans?
No votes 0%
Beauregard?
No votes 0%
Winfield S. Hancock
3 7.9%
Braxton Bragg?
1 2.6%
Longstreet?
No votes 0%
George A. Custer?
1 2.6%
John C. Breckinridge?
No votes 0%
Ambrose Powell Hill?
No votes 0%
Other (Post Who, and Why)?
No votes 0%
Total number of voters: 38 ( mb213, 13th Georgia, Marching Thru Georgia, 7th Cavalry, KG_Soldier ) See more
Only registered users can participate to this poll
9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #1 by Michael Slaunwhite

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  • So who deserves the top rank of best General? I like Grant, Lee, and Sherman. I like those three equally.

    :)
    Last edit: 9 years 3 months ago by Michael Slaunwhite.

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    9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #2 by Little Powell

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  • (Request: Could you increase your poll question from 10 to say 20, and could you allow polls to be made in the American Civilwar area)?

    :)


    Done and done. :)

    Interesting topic. I'll wait until you add more choices before I vote, but you already have some good one's there.
    Last edit: 9 years 3 months ago by Little Powell.

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    9 years 3 months ago #3 by JC Edwards

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  • STONEWALL

    'The path that is not seen, nor hidden, should always be flanked'
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    9 years 3 months ago #4 by Michael Slaunwhite

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  • (Request: Could you increase your poll question from 10 to say 20, and could you allow polls to be made in the American Civilwar area)?

    :)


    Done and done. :)

    Interesting topic. I'll wait until you add more choices before I vote, but you already have some good one's there.


    Thanks LP, I'll edit the list. :)

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    9 years 3 months ago #5 by Martin James

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  • I've gone with the man Lee was supposed to have voted for...Nathan Bedford Forrest. He certainly did the most with the leastest IMHO.

    Horrible man though.

    Martin
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    9 years 3 months ago #6 by Chamberlain

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  • Grant ...........

    As a school kid back in the 60's, my class took a trip to see Grant's Tomb in NYC.

    Learning about the Civil War back in the day and then going on the class trip is what gave me this love for the Civil War....

    Chamberlain

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    9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #7 by Little Powell

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  • I've gone with the man Lee was supposed to have voted for...Nathan Bedford Forrest. He certainly did the most with the leastest IMHO.

    Horrible man though.

    Martin


    Yeah, I'm leaning towards him myself. Forrest was a military genius, but yes an evil man indeed.

    And Mike, you left out the greatest Divisional commander of the war. :)
    Last edit: 9 years 3 months ago by Little Powell.
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    9 years 3 months ago #8 by Michael Slaunwhite

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  • I've gone with the man Lee was supposed to have voted for...Nathan Bedford Forrest. He certainly did the most with the leastest IMHO.

    Horrible man though.

    Martin


    Yeah, I'm leaning towards him myself. Forrest was a military genius, but yes an evil man indeed.

    And Mike, you left out the greatest Divisional commander of the war. :)


    Haaa, I ran out of room again. :)

    To list everyone, I think I need another 10 to 20 more slots... :pinch:

    Who would that be LP?

    :)

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    9 years 3 months ago #9 by Little Powell

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  • I think you can replace John Pope with the guy in the red shirt in my avatar.. ;)

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    9 years 3 months ago #10 by Michael Slaunwhite

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  • I think you can replace John Pope with the guy in the red shirt in my avatar.. ;)


    Done. :)

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    9 years 3 months ago #11 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • Without a doubt, it was Sherman. He was the only general who thoroughly understood the nature of that war and what was necessary to end it.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
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    9 years 3 months ago #12 by Little Powell

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  • Without a doubt, it was Sherman. He was the only general who thoroughly understood the nature of that war and what was necessary to end it.


    I think Lee understood that as well. Both Lee and Sherman remarked at the start of the war that it would be a long, bloody conflict.. The difference is; Sherman had practically unlimited resources. Lee, had very little...

    Although Sherman's march to the sea cost many civilian lives, left the South in ruins, it was one of the most brilliant strategies of the war.
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    9 years 3 months ago #13 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • LittlePowell wrote:

    I think Lee understood that as well. Both Lee and Sherman remarked at the start of the war that it would be a long, bloody conflict.. The difference is; Sherman had practically unlimited resources. Lee, had very little...

    Indeed, I think Lee was a better strategist. As you say, he did so much with so little. But I don't think he truly understood that this was a cultural not a territorial war. As such, defeating the enemy's army would not necessarily end the war. The culture itself, (military and civilian population), had to be defeated.

    Sherman knew the war would be long and bloody. I came across a letter written by Sherman in 1860 while he was teaching in Louisiana. It is in Shelby Foote's book, p.58. Talk about being prescient.

    You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it… Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.

    Letter to Prof. David F. Boyd at the Louisiana State Seminary Dec. 24, 1860

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    9 years 3 months ago #14 by Tacloban

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  • As such, defeating the enemy's army would not necessarily end the war. The culture itself, (military and civilian population), had to be defeated.


    I'm not sure how you can say that. If Lee had gotten between Meade and Washington during the Gettysburg campaign, the Copperheads would surely have been stronger, and Lincoln was already nervous.

    OK, so Sherman had a realistic appreciation of war. That is admirable; I wish a certain more recent President had that same opinion. But from a purely military stand point, nobody had a track record of doing more with less than Lee, both in strategy and in tactics.

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    9 years 3 months ago #15 by Damned Black Hat

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  • The only fault I can really put towards Lee was that he engaged in too many stand-up battles. With inferior troops and supplies, you really can't afford to keep taking casualties at the rate he did. While he was a brilliant tactician and soldier, he simply did not have the resources and manpower he needed to keep fighting the way he was earlier in the war. Generals like McClellan and Pope may have given Lee the time he needed to lick his wounds and ready up again, but when Grant kept the pressure on Lee, he was eventually worn too thin to keep up his ways and was eventually defeated. If McClellan had kept on pressuring Lee like Grant did early in the war, there's a chance it could have ended far earlier than it did.

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    9 years 3 months ago #16 by Hancock the Superb

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  • I think Reynolds would be the one to meet Lee on the field of battle and defeat him. But that does not make him the best...

    The war changed a lot from beginning to end. The battles that Sherman fought were less tactically complicated, which was his strength. But the early war was entirely made up of tactics, where I think a general like Reynolds takes the cake.

    Hancock the Superb

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    9 years 3 months ago #17 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • The only fault I can really put towards Lee was that he engaged in too many stand-up battles.

    True, but given the hand he was dealt, I don't think he had much choice. I do disagree as to his abilities as a tactician. I think he was mediocre at best. He even admitted as much to a Prussian observer right after Gettysburg. He is speaking of his battle management.
    "You have to realize how things stand with us. Recognize that my orders then would do more harm than good. I rely on my division and brigade commanders. How terrible if I could not. I plan and work as hard as I can to bring the troops to the right place at the right time. I have done my duty then."

    Justus Scheibert, A Prussian Observes The American Civil War, Univ of Missouri Press 2001, p.42.

    Such an admission speaks well of his character. How many other generals will admit to their shortcomings. Sherman is the only other I can think of.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    9 years 3 months ago #18 by Chris G.

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  • I think you're on the right path there MTG. I think General Lee did rely heavily on his battlefield commanders. I am also of the opinion that the deaths of so many of the good ones, also hastened the end of the war. I have no doubts about the eventual outcome (it ended the only way it was ever going to end)I do think that without the deaths of generals like A.S. Johnston, T.J. Jackson (there are several more), that the war may have been extended.
    I say this because I think A.S. Johnston, for instance, while never going to "win the west" probably makes Grant work harder to win out there, delaying his arrival in the Eastern Theatre (which was the begining of the end for the AoNV). I also think that Jackson at Gettysburg makes a difference. Enough to win the battle? That'll never be known. However, we do know that he was way more aggressive and decisive than any of the corps commanders that were there, and with a bit more aggresivness on days 1 and 2, maybe Meade does fall back or disengage...it's all speculative of course, but, possible(these are just a couple of scenerio's or "what if's").

    Thoughts?

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    9 years 3 months ago #19 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • Chris G. wrote:

    I say this because I think A.S. Johnston, for instance, while never going to "win the west" probably makes Grant work harder to win out there, delaying his arrival in the Eastern Theatre (which was the begining of the end for the AoNV).

    I agree. I don't think the people at that time or even this time appreciate that the war was going to be lost or won in the west. The loss of Johnston probably had a grater impact then that of Jackson. Lee's biggest blind spot strategically speaking, was in not sending troops west when they could have had a significant impact. Going to Gettysburg rather than Vicksburg was an enormous blunder. That sealed the fate of the south.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    9 years 3 months ago #20 by Little Powell

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  • Indeed MTG. The war was most definitely lost for the South in the West. Once the Union had control of the Mississippi, it was over.

    But with or without the Mississippi, the South's only true hope for independence the entire war was foreign recognition of the Confederacy. Lincoln knew this, and it was on Lee's and Davis's mind going into every campaign. I think Lee knew very well that it wasn't a territorial war. Win a major battle, crush the Union morale, and gain foreign recognition.

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    9 years 3 months ago #21 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • LittlePowell wrote:

    I think Lee knew very well that it wasn't a territorial war. Win a major battle, crush the Union morale, and gain foreign recognition.

    You raise a very interesting 'what-if'. Suppose Europe did decide to recognize the confederacy, then what? They could run the blockade with their ships and dare the US to sink them. If the US obliged, would they declare war and send troops? Sending troop ships while ironclads were patrolling the waters would invite disaster. Although, I suppose they could attack via Canada. Are there many eastern Canadian seaports? Or Lincoln could just avoid all of that by making the capture of southern ports his number 1 priority. With Savannah, Charleston and Mobile in northern hands, the south would be essentially a landlocked country.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    9 years 3 months ago #22 by Little Powell

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  • An interesting what if indeed. Great Brittan always had a very powerful Navy. What if they sent over a couple hundred ships to guard the coastlines for the Confederacy. They could then trade freely with Brittan as well as other foreign nations... That takes care of the financial and resource issues... :)

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    9 years 3 months ago #23 by KG_Soldier

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  • Hey. . . where's my boy George McClellan?

    If Lincoln had left him alone he'd have taken Richmond, eventually.

    But Lincoln wanted more blood than George was willing to give him.

    Yes. . . that's right. . . I'm a McClellan apologist.

    :woohoo:
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    9 years 3 months ago #24 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • LittlePowell wrote:

    What if they sent over a couple hundred ships to guard the coastlines for the Confederacy. They could then trade freely with Brittan as well as other foreign nations... That takes care of the financial and resource issues

    But if the ports are occupied by Union troops, where do the ships unload? How does the cotton get loaded? The north had a number of options and the initiative and resources to carry out almost anything it wanted. I think the European card was more of a pipe dream than anything else. The south needed that dream to hang onto. After Lincoln proclaimed emancipation and Europe was no longer an option, the south then pinned their hopes on the possibility that Lincoln would lose reelection and that his successor would be more favorable towards the south. Another pipe dream. Sherman's 1860 letter was spot on.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    9 years 3 months ago #25 by Little Powell

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  • LittlePowell wrote:

    What if they sent over a couple hundred ships to guard the coastlines for the Confederacy. They could then trade freely with Brittan as well as other foreign nations... That takes care of the financial and resource issues

    But if the ports are occupied by Union troops, where do the ships unload? How does the cotton get loaded? The north had a number of options and the initiative and resources to carry out almost anything it wanted. I think the European card was more of a pipe dream than anything else. The south needed that dream to hang onto. After Lincoln proclaimed emancipation and Europe was no longer an option, the south then pinned their hopes on the possibility that Lincoln would lose reelection and that his successor would be more favorable towards the south. Another pipe dream. Sherman's 1860 letter was spot on.


    Well you also can't discount the fact that foreign support would also mean more troops/manpower to guard those ports, just as the North had. Think about a Confederate British Brigade, or a Confederate French Brigade etc... :)

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    9 years 3 months ago #26 by KG_Soldier

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  • "But if the ports are occupied by Union troops, where do the ships unload?"

    But if the British controlled the sea, how would the occupiers get supplies?
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    9 years 3 months ago #27 by Braxton Bragg

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  • No problems there Queen Victoria would have called for 75000 Volunteers to put the Union Down :D


    Braxton Bragg :laugh:

    There will always be a counter argument!
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    9 years 3 months ago #28 by Flanyboy

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  • I'm honestly surprised that Longstreet isn't on that list. I would argue as a Corps Commander he was just as effective as Jackson was, if not more so at times, though admittedly his one independent command he did pretty poorly. Still many others on that list never got an opportunity at independent command and He was certainly if not the best Confederate Corps Commander the second best, IMHO.

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    9 years 3 months ago #29 by Little Powell

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  • Wow, good point, can't believe I didn't notice there was no Pete on the list. He was definitely one of the best.

    But I think the votes are pretty accurate right now.. Although one may argue against some of his tactics and decisions, Robert E. Lee was the greatest general of the Civil War, and one of the greatest out of any war.

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    9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #30 by LMUStats

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  • Hey. . . where's my boy George McClellan?

    If Lincoln had left him alone he'd have taken Richmond, eventually.


    Almost certainly true, but no one wanted to wait until 1882! (Which was the time he would have needed for all his troops to raise sons that he could draft and get his army up to the proportions that Pinkerton McClellan thought he would need to be able to cross the railroad tracks successfully.) :whistle:
    Last edit: 9 years 3 months ago by LMUStats.

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