Who was the Greatest Civil War General? (poll)

Who was the Greatest Civil War General?

  • Jubal Earl

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • George Gordon Meade

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • James Longstreet

    Votes: 15 5.4%
  • George Henry Thomas

    Votes: 6 2.2%
  • Robert E. Lee

    Votes: 90 32.3%
  • Ulysses S. Grant

    Votes: 97 34.8%
  • Philip Sheridan

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest

    Votes: 18 6.5%
  • Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

    Votes: 24 8.6%
  • William T. Sherman

    Votes: 14 5.0%
  • Don't Know

    Votes: 11 3.9%

  • Total voters
    279

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Ok, Thomas and Forrest. The last I heard both Grant and Sherman reached their heights in the East. Almost all the discussion, however, seemed focused on the East. The war was lost in the West.

Last I saw, Vicksburg and Chattanooga were western theater.

Sherman's great campaigns are all western theater campaigns. He was in the east for First Bull Run, but in the west with his move to Kentucky and thereafter.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Jubal Early, Wade Hampton, and John Gordon spring immediately to mind.

Also,

Early, in independent command, was defeated by Grant's protege, Sheridan.
Hampton was ineffective in South Carolina.
John Gordon didn't get an independent command, whereas Sheridan, Wilson, and Sherman all excelled in independent command.
 

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Location
Manor, TX
Not against Sheridan.

I strongly disagree. Consider the odds against Early. He had 15,000 men against 40,000, longer odds than Lee ever faced in any of his battles. Sheridan's men were also lethally better equipped and his cavalry mounts were vastly superior. Considering all this, I think Early did much better than anyone had a right to expect. At Third Winchester, he fought tooth-and-nail all day long and made the Yankees pay a heavy price for their victory. And even after the disasters at Third Winchester and Fisher's Hill, Early was still game enough to come back a month later and launch one of the best executed surprise attacks of the entire war and nearly rout Sheridan's army at Cedar Creek.

Early did as well as anyone else could have done against Sheridan. In fact, I can't think of a single Confederate commander who could have done better.
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Location
Quinton, VA.
Not against Sheridan.
Well that is certainly a low threshold. My dead cat could have provided competition to Sheridan. Now Sheridan's army on the other hand was quite good, or at least the disparity in cavalry was such by that time in the war it was simply quite difficult for the South to compete against the Cavalry Corp of the AoP.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
I strongly disagree. Consider the odds against Early. He had 15,000 men against 40,000, longer odds than Lee ever faced in any of his battles. Sheridan's men were also lethally better equipped and his cavalry mounts were vastly superior. Considering all this, I think Early did much better than anyone had a right to expect. At Third Winchester, he fought tooth-and-nail all day long and made the Yankees pay a heavy price for their victory. And even after the disasters at Third Winchester and Fisher's Hill, Early was still game enough to come back a month later and launch one of the best executed surprise attacks of the entire war and nearly rout Sheridan's army at Cedar Creek.

Early did as well as anyone else could have done against Sheridan. In fact, I can't think of a single Confederate commander who could have done better.

I seem to recall Early losing every battle against Sheridan and being chased up the Valley. Do you have a different version of those events?
 

dvrmte

Major
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
South Carolina
Lee. Could anyone short of Jesus Christ himself have managed the collection of prima donnas and politician general wantabes had he had to work with and simply stay inside the head of the enemy like he did? The only Federal commander to actually surprise Lee was Hooker. And we see how that turned out.

Jackson and Lee both complimented Hooker's move, Jackson thought Hooker screwed up sending his cavalry away.
 

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Location
Manor, TX
I seem to recall Early losing every battle against Sheridan and being chased up the Valley. Do you have a different version of those events?

At odds of 15,000 to 40,000, even the best general will probably lose, especially considering Sheridan's additional advantages in logistics and cavalry. What impresses me about Early is that he did as well as he did. Most other generals would have lost much more decisively and much more quickly.

Are you saying that Grant or Lee would have won the battles in question, with the same odds?
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
At odds of 15,000 to 40,000, even the best general will probably lose, especially considering Sheridan's additional advantages in logistics and cavalry. What impresses me about Early is that he did as well as he did. Most other generals would have lost much more decisively and much more quickly.

Are you saying that Grant or Lee would have won the battles in question, with the same odds?

We'll never know. But the fact remains that Early was not a success against Sheridan.
 
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