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Favorite/Most Interesting Nicknames of Civil War Generals

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by pamc153PA, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    What are some of your favorite, or some of the most interesting, unique or descriptive nicknames of generals, North or South, from the Civil War?

    A couple of my favorites: "Grumble" Jones, "Fighting" Joe Hooker, and of course "Baldy Dick" Ewell. . . I also like the stories and/or descriptions behind these nicknames.

    Pam
     
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  3. The Iron Duke

    The Iron Duke First Sergeant

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    Some off the top of my head:

    • The Indians nicknamed Grenville Dodge as "Level Eye" because of his work on the railroad.
    • Hood was "Old Wooden Head"
    • Alexander McCook was once described as being a "chuckle head and deficient in the upper story."
    • AP Stewart as "Old Straight" because of his erect bearing.
    • James Archer was nicknamed "Sally" because of his supposed effeminate manner.
    • John B Turchin was the "Mad Russian."
    • Kilpatrick was "Kill Cav" because he got so many of his men killed.
    • William Loring was known as "Old Blizzards" because of his participation in the Romney campaign.
    • Wheeler was the "War Child."
    • Edward Johnson was "Old Club" because of his wooden leg.
    • DS Freeman once said that it seemed as if Robert Rodes jumped from the pages of Beowulf.
     
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  4. The Iron Duke

    The Iron Duke First Sergeant

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    Here are some more for you Pam:
    • William Walker was called "Shot Pouch" because of his tendency to get shot.
    • William Bate was "Old Grits" but I'm not quite sure what the reasoning behind that name is.
    • JEB Stuart was "Beauty." He supposedly was not good looking so this was meant more as a tease.
    • Kirby Smith was the "Blucher of Manassas" because of his timely late arrival during First Manassas.
    • The Indians called John Gibbon "No Hipbone" because of his Gettysburg wound.
    • George Sykes was "Tardy George" because of his late arrival at Gettysburg.
     
  5. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    I think "Tardy George" is before Gettysburg, but I'm not sure.

    Some that I find at least...well, interesting.

    "Pete" - James Longstreet.

    "(A) google eyed snapping turtle" - George Gordon Meade.

    "Paddy" - Joshua T. Owen

    "Old Brains" Halleck

    "Rooney" - William H.F. Lee

    "Mudwall" - unclear (William L. Jackson or John K. Jackson - maybe both)
     
  6. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    I thought Longstreet was 'Ol Pete, not just "Pete"
    "Skin N Bones Mahone"... Gen Wm. Mahone
    "Tom Fool"... VMI students nickname for "Stonewall"
    "The King of Spades"... Gen. Robert E. Lee
    "The Gray Ghost"... Col. John Singleton Mosby
    "Old Brains"... Gen. Halleck
    "Cump" ... Wm. T. Sherman
     
  7. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    General James Longstreet's nick name was Pete; Bulldog of the woods and Bulldog.

    If you look up in the A-Z section of CWT; look up a General's name, often his nickname will be listed there as well.

    Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock - "Hancock the Superb"

    General Robert E. Lee "Old Granny" (but that was short lived).



    M. E. Wolf
     
  8. PvtClewell

    PvtClewell Corporal

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    The men of the 153rd Pennsylvania nicknamed Francis Barlow, their division general, "Dogberry." Dogberry Barlow.

    My dictionary says a dogberry is "a fruit of poor eating quality from any number of other shrubs or small trees, e.g., the American rowan."

    Ta-dahh.
     
  9. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Dogberry--perfect! Can't get better than that!

    Pam
     
  10. 16thVA

    16thVA Sergeant

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  11. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    I am inclined to agree that there were multiple Mudwalls, but applying it to William L. Jackson seems unmerited (whether actually done or not).

    http://www.braxtonbragg.org/bandpage.html

    Never heard of "General Incompetence" for Bragg before, but that would be one to list.
     
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  12. gary

    gary 1st Lieutenant

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    Beast - Ben Butler
    Prince John - John Magruder
    Papa John - John Sedgwick
    Mother McAllister - Robert McAllister
    Ole Pat - Pat Cleburne
    Old Reliable - Hardee
     
  13. The Iron Duke

    The Iron Duke First Sergeant

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    I would be a little hesitant accepting something from a musician's website. I have never heard of that nickname either.
     
  14. REnglish

    REnglish Cadet

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    At one time I did quite a bit of research on Barlow. Certainly one of the best battlefield Generals in the Union's service. I find the nickname interesting as a result but wish I better understood the origins (if any) and intent.

    My favorite nickname I remember, hopefully correctly, reading in one of Bruce Catton's books on Grant ("Grant Moves South" or "Grant Takes Command") in the nieghborhood of 40 or more years ago. IIRC about the time of the Siege of Vicksburg his troops hung him with "Peach Whiskey". I know when I first read it I was nearly hysterical.
     
  15. Bobbie

    Bobbie Cadet

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    "General Terror" - Albin Schoepf,
    "Aunt Polly" - Jerome Robertson,
    and of course Benj "Spoons" Butler.
     
  16. Scribe

    Scribe Cadet

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    Brig. Gen. James Totten. a.k.a. "Iron Face," "Uncle Jimmie," and most often "Bottle-nose."
     
  17. PvtClewell

    PvtClewell Corporal

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    Not sure of the origins of Dogberry (although I can speculate), but I'm pretty sure of the intent.

    The men of the 153rd PA despised Barlow, most likely because they sensed his xenophobic dislike of the Germans under his command.

    I have an original (1863 copyright) regimental of the 153rd, worm-eaten and worn, entitled 'Ten Months with the 153d Penn'a Volunteers,' co-written by William Simmers and Paul Bachschmid, a couple of lieutenants in the regiment.

    On page 26, they write in the aftermath of Chancellorsville:

    "Upon the recommendation of the board of survey, convened to ascertain the kind and quantity of property lost by the men, requisitions were at once made to cover the deficiency, and in less than 10 days the wants of the men were again supplied. This attended to, things began to look more cheerfully. The despondency of the men gradually vanished, and soon all traces of our late disaster were obliterated. With Colonel Glanz in our midst, and Brigadier-General Barlow banished to the Antipodes, our happiness would have been complete. Neither, however, came to pass; Col. Glanz continued in 'durance vile,' Billy Barlow continued the scourge of the division until a chance bullet at Gettysburg lowered the petty tyrant from his exalted position, and freed the division of his presence. The short reign of this individual forms an epoch in our history, which will never be forgotten by those who had the misfortune to serve under him. As a taskmaster he had no equal. The drudgery imposed upon the regiment by the division commander during our sojourn at camp near Potomac Creek Bridge, left the men with little time for recreation. On the morning of the 3d of June, our stay here terminated by the removal of the regiment to camp near Brooks' Station. Here Dogberry ruled, as it were, with a rod of iron, and by his trifling punctiliousness caused everybody 'to be down' on the service."

    In addition to the dictionary definition I previously offered for 'dogberry,' the name also shows up as a character in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing.' Dogberry is the grand constable of Messina's night watch and represents the jester, fool, or comic relief in the play, particularly with his use of malapropisms.

    Wikipedia says 'The name Dogberry reflects Shakespeare’s common practice of giving fools ridiculous-sounding names.'

    Double ta-dahh.
     
  18. REnglish

    REnglish Cadet

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    Barlow certainly was a martinet with troops he felt needed to be brought up to the bar, rightfully or wrongfully. He was also, as you stated, down on German troops. I remember reading through the Barlow papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society. He was not pleased with being given a divisional command in the 11th Corp and wrote (I believe to his brother), " The Dutch will not fight and the whole history of the war proves it." His discipline could be savage.
    That being said as a battlefield commander he was fearless, aggressive, opportunistic and able to "read" the unfolding chaos as only a very few could.
     
  19. RobertSchuldenfrei

    RobertSchuldenfrei Cadet

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    Nathaniel "Commissary" Banks

    How about Nathaniel "Commissary" Banks!

    Cheers,

    Bob
    Robert Schuldenfrei

     
  20. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    George Armstrong Custer-The Boy General
    Ambrose "Sideburns" Burnside
    Winfield Scott-Old Fuss and Feathers, Grand Old Man of the Army
    Philip "Little Phil" Sheridan
    P. T. Beauregard-The Little Creole, The Little Napoleon, Bory, Felix
     
  21. PINCKNEYUSMCRET

    PINCKNEYUSMCRET Sergeant

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    I thought Hood's nickname was Sam.

    Pinckney
     

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