Open Debate The Business of America is ...


Forum Host
Nov 27, 2018
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Well, Sherman and Grant don't make the list. How about McClellan and his railroad management after the war? I would be more impressed with Southern Gentleman that built up from scratch, though I cannot think of any but political successes.


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
May 27, 2011
los angeles ca
Which Civil War general was the best 'businessman'?

As in 'commerce'?

And why? Examples?
George McClellan was a successful Railroad Executive before and after the ACW.
Ambrose Burnside at least per Steven Sears went bankrupt trying to sell the Burnside Carbines but was luck enough when he went Bankrupt that McCelllan had Burnside and his wife live temporarily in McCelllan's mansion in New Jersey.
Forrest stated that just before the war he was worth one million dollars in property and had a credit limit of one million dollars but ended the war as a pauper.
Forrest tried his hand in railroads and convict leasing but failed.
Maybe not a general but supposedly former Georgia Governor Joe Brown did get rich on convict leasing post ACW.
Jefferson Davis obviously ( and has a commander and chief he was a kind of general) lost everything when his Plantation lost its slaves.
Davis and his brother Joseph financed the sale of their plantations to a former slave but that didn't work out.
Jefferson Davis eventually made money has an insurance executive and more importantly as a author and guest speaker.