Discussion Armistead leading his brigade by putting his hat on the end of his sword - is this unique?

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Hannover

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Everyone knows about Lewis Armistead leading his brigade during Pickett's charge by putting his hat on the end of his sword, but are there any other examples of either Confederate or Union generals doing the same thing in other battles?
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Saint Jude

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Don't know about the hat thing, but I'm interested in how many major-generals were at the front of their troops in a battle. I've read about several brigadiers (like Armistead) who did that, but the only major general on the Union side I know of was Sumner. Don't know about the Confederate side.
 

rpkennedy

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Don't know about the hat thing, but I'm interested in how many major-generals were at the front of their troops in a battle. I've read about several brigadiers (like Armistead) who did that, but the only major general on the Union side I know of was Sumner. Don't know about the Confederate side.
If a major general is in front of his troops, he's not doing his job. I don't imagine it happened all that often.

Ryan
 
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Cavalier

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@Saint Jude Wouldn't Reynolds fall into the same category as Sumner?
And Hancock may not have been exactly in the front but he seems to have been very close to the it, no? Just some thoughts.

John
 

thomas aagaard

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Don't know about the hat thing, but I'm interested in how many major-generals were at the front of their troops in a battle. I've read about several brigadiers (like Armistead) who did that, but the only major general on the Union side I know of was Sumner. Don't know about the Confederate side.
Well, Lee tried to do similar a few times... but was stopped by his men.
Jackson got him self killed being infront of his own lines.

We have some corp commanders and division commanders who decided to be close to the action.
Hancock is one. But I do think what he did made some sense.

Not that different to how Wellington did things at Waterloo.
 
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Saint Jude

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If a major general is in front of his troops, he's not doing his job. I don't imagine it happened all that often.

I have read that this is so. Schurz seems to have tried to lead a charge (three times) during the panic of the Eleventh Corps at Chancellorsville, but then he wasn't very bright.
 

Peace Society

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I read recently about someone else doing that. Smith at Donelson?

yes -
When the Federals reached the abatis, they necessarily slowed. Smith put his cap on the point of his sword, raised it high, and picked his way upward as he called out to the men behind him, "No flinching now, my lads, here this is the way, come on." The brigade followed.

p.279
Men of Fire: Grant, Forrest, and the Campaign that Decided the Civil War Jack Hurst 2007

Brig. Gen. C F Smith, Grant's commandant and instructor at West Point, much admired by Grant, who felt awkward giving him orders.
 
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Sbc

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Don't know about the hat thing, but I'm interested in how many major-generals were at the front of their troops in a battle. I've read about several brigadiers (like Armistead) who did that, but the only major general on the Union side I know of was Sumner. Don't know about the Confederate side.
Cleburne at Franklin
 

rpkennedy

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I have read that this is so. Schurz seems to have tried to lead a charge (three times) during the panic of the Eleventh Corps at Chancellorsville, but then he wasn't very bright.
I don't know if I would go that far since he seems to have been quite bright. I would say in the example of Chancellorsville, he was desperate.

Ryan
 
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Lampasas Bill

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I'm confused: was the original question about generals' leading their troops from in front or about
generals leading with their hats on their swords? I guess either one is interesting.
 
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major bill

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It would seem a hat would soon have a hole in it. Also if one ran with a hat on the tip of their sword, it would seen like it would get blown of or fly off do to the officer running.
 

Hannover

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I'm confused: was the original question about generals' leading their troops from in front or about
generals leading with their hats on their swords? I guess either one is interesting.
I am particularly interested in generals who made a show of leading their men by putting their hat or cap onto their sword as Armistead did at Gettysburg. I was interested whether this was a unique event or did others do this before or after Gettysburg. I have not heard of any other examples similar to this in European battles, was Armistead the first to do this?
 
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On the Union side Rousseau did so at Perryville, though if I´m not mistaken not in an advance. And like so many other things the French had done that before.

EDIT: As for more specific examples, a search through google books brings up e.g. Massena at Arcole, Francois Lanusse at Dego (both the same campaign) and ... ... Wellington at Waterloo? Also one more for the Union, Charles F. Smith around Fort Donelson.
 
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