Nicknames of the Generals

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John Hartwell

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Many (most?) Civil War generals had popular nicknames, sometimes multiple ones. What are some of the more memorable ones?

U. S. Grant was known early on as “Sam” (from “Uncle Sam”), and also “Unconditional Surrender” Grant from the terms he offered at Ft. Donelson -- both were a play on his initials.

Robert E. Lee didn’t impress the men of his early command, who dubbed him “Granny” Lee, and “King of Spades” for his commitment to entrenching. Later, of course, he earned such sobriquets as “Bobby Lee,” and “Marse Robert,” and “the Marble Man.”

There was “Cump Sherman,” who was also “Uncle Billy;” but Sedgewick was “Uncle John,”

“Stonewall” Jackson was also “Old Jack,” and, to VMI students he had been “Tomfool” Jackson.

Others include: “Prince John” Magruder; Hancock “the Superb;” “Commissary” Banks; and “Fighting Joe” Hooker, or Wheeler, if you prefer. Other fighters were: Polk “the Fighting Bishop,” “Fighting Dick” Anderson and “Fighting Dick” (Israel B.) Richardson, among them.

“Baldy” could be either Ewell (CSA) or Smith (USA). But there was only one “Bloody Bill” Anderson. There was “Little Billy” Mahone, “Little Powell” Hill, and “Little Mac” McClellan; who was also “the Young Napoleon,” and “the Virginia Creeper” (depending on your point of view).

“Old Jube” or “Old Jubilee” Early was also “the Bad Old Man.” Both Thomas and Hardee were “Old Reliable,” but only Hood was “Old Woodenhead.”

“Rooney” Lee; “Old Flintlock” Hanson; two Johnsons, “Allegheny” and “Stovepipe;” “Autie” Custer; “Old Pap” Price; “Bull” Sumner; “Extra Billy” Smith; “Grumble” Jones; “Shanks” Evans.

“Stonewall’s” cousin was “Mudwall” (William) Jackson; the rebs had a lot of nicknames, in fact: “Rum” Jones, “Sally” Archer, “Seminole” Smith, “Shot-Pouch” Walker, “Old Rock” Benning. Turner Ashby was “the Black Knight of the Confederacy,” Mosby was “the Grey Ghost,” and M. Jeff Thompson was “the Swamp Fox of the Confederacy.”

Yankee George Crook was “the Gray Fox.” Fremont was “the Pathfinder.” Andrew A. Humphreys was “Old Goggle Eyes.”

Not to mention “the Beast,” “Spoons,” or “Kill-Cavalry” -- so I won’t.

What are your favorites?
 

jackt62

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In addition to the ones already noted:

George Meade: "Old Snapping Turtle"
Henry Slocum: "Slow Come"
Philip Sheridan: "Little Phil"
Nathan Bedford Forrest: "Wizard of the Saddle"
Joseph Hooker: "Fighting Joe"
William Rosecrans: "Old Rosy"
Henry Halleck: "Old Brains"
Patrick Cleburne: "Stonewall of the West"
 
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diane

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My favorite for Forrest is The Old Rebel. He changed a heck of a lot in his later years on many things, but he never was reconstructed enough to give up the hope of a Southern nation coming to be some day. "They can't beat the Old Rebel!" Sturgis, who proved he sure couldn't!
 
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