Best during the War Between the States

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by renrich, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    Now that we have a former cadet from VMI in our midst, perhaps we could have a Civil(pun intended) discussion regarding who and what were the most illustrious commanders of corps, divisions and brigades and which units such as corps, divisions and brigades on either side had the best record during the War Between the States. All non US citizens are welcome since you can read history books also and I doubt any of the members are old enough to have first hand experience.
     
  2. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Texas
    I really think that General Robert E. Lee and the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia were one of the best armies ever fielded. If it wasn't for the South not having the industrial capacity they would have won the War of Northern Agression after a bitter few years of course.

    The Second Corps is probably my favorite though. Stonewall Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart, and A.P. Hill were very good commanders.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    US Grant's generalship in the west was supurb.

    Probably as well planned and fought as anything Lee did in Virginia.
     
  4. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    I agree. Robert E. Lee was one of the most sought after generals during the succession of states. Abraham Lincoln actually asked him to lead Union forces but Lee left for the South. A testament to his strength has the fact that although the Union changed generals every few years, Lee was the general right up until Appomattox court house.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,679
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    My opinion, Stonewall Jacksons Brigades were the best until his death. But I also really like some of the Corps under grants command in the west, so i guess Im no help...Ill think about the issue a bit more
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    Some candidates for best corps commander for the North might be Hancock, Uncle John(?) I can never remember his name but he was killed by a sniper in 1864, and John Reynolds, killed at Gettysburg. The Stonewall Brigade, the 1st Virginia, I think, had an illustrious record.
     
  7. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Virginia
    Jeezy-pete, if I'd known that being a VMI grad adds special status cachet around here, I might have mentioned long ago that I, too, graduated from that quaint institution.
     
  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    RL, I always wondered why your posts were so well spoken and readable. Hats off to you! I finally looked up the name of the Union corps commander whose name eluded me in my copy of the "West Point Atlas of American Wars" It was Sedgwick. He was an extremely well thought of corps commander in the Army of the Potomac. It was he, the story goes, during the siege at Petersburg in 1864, who when told there was a Confederate sniper lurking a number of hundred yards away said, "they could not hit an elephant at this dis!"
     
  9. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks.

    Sedgwick bought his packet in the Wilderness, I believe. He was, as you noted, a well thought of commander, from above and below.

    My choice for one of the best would be John Buford; solid cavalry leader, no flamboyance, not an unnecessary spender of his mens' lives, and with a great eye for ground.

    Rich
     
  10. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    mental health nurse
    Location:
    Canada
    always liked Burford, and Longstreet who seemed to have the knack for being in the right place at the right time.
     
  11. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    Buford commanded two brigades at Gettysburg and did a good job. He also defended at Thoroughfare Gap during Second Manassas. He was perhaps the best Union cavalry commander. Just read up on Sedgwick and he was killed at Spotsylvania Courthouse and he actually said several times, "they could not hit an elephant at this distance" The sharpshooters were firing from about 1000 yards. Must have been using Whitworths. Sedgwick had a distinguished career out West before the war, as did many of the officers, North and South.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    I am going to stick my neck out and give some of my choices, at least partly to perhaps gen up some interest. On the Confederate side for best brigade commander, although Armistead early on and at Gettysburg did fine work and Barksdale at Fredricksburg and Gettysburg did well also and Hood at Gaines Mill during the Seven Days was a dynamic leader, I have to go with Jackson for his work at First Manassas. For best division commander, one has to consider Powell Hill, especially at Sharpsburg and John Gordon at Sharpsburg also but my choice would have to be John Bell Hood for his work at Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg and Chickamauga. When he became an Army commander he did not do well, perhaps because of poor health but as a division commander he was all lion. As a corps commander I am tempted by the commander of the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, Old Pete. However, for the Shenandoah campaign where he actually commanded a small army and for Second Manassas where he commanded a wing and at Chancellorsville, I have to go with Stonewall Jackson. Incidentally, in the 40s I attended a brand new grade school in Dallas called Stonewall Jackson and his black bearded visage graced the entrance of the cafeteria so I saw him everyday.
    Now, in reverse order, for the best corps, I am going with the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by James Longstreet, Old Pete. Once Jackson was gone Lee relied on the First Corps more and more because his other Corps commanders had not the quality of Longstreet. That corps with the divisions of McLaws, Pickett and Hood was a formidable fighting force. For the best division I pick Hood's Division for the work at Second Mannasas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg and Chickamauga. In the evening after Sharpsburg, where Hood's small division had smashed the Union attack at the Cornfield and the Dunker Church in the morning of that terrible day, Lee asked Hood where his division was and Hood replied that they were there lying on the field. Some of his regiments took casualties of more than 80 % that day.
    Which leads me to my pick for the best brigade for the South. The Stonewall Brigade is obvious for First Manassas and almost every other major battle in the east but I am going(surprise) with The Texas Brigade also known as Hood's Texas Brigade. They reached the east too late for First Manassas but stayed busy from then on. There were three Texas regiments, the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas and in the beginning they were augmented with Hampton's Legion and the 18th Georgia, the Goober Grabbers. Later the Brigade lost the Legion and the Goober boys and were joined by the 3rd Arkansas, a big regiment, for the rest of the war. They first fought at Eltham's Landing during the Peninsular Campaign but first made their name at Gaines Mill under Hood during the Seven Days when they broke the Union lines along the Chickahominy. Hood went on to command a division after that which the Texas Brigade was part of and they played a major role at Second Mannassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, East Tennesee, The Wilderness, and all the rest of the campaigns leading up to the retreat from Richmond where the remnants of the Texas Brigade served as the rear guard for the Army. The three Texas regiments enlisted 4000 men during the war and 1000 died and most of the rest were wounded, some multiple times. An oddity was that on both sides, North and South, the ratio of deaths from disease versus battle wounds was about two to one. In the Texas Brigade that ratio was reversed, twice as many died in battle as from disease. Lee said of the Texas Brigade, "Their coats were ragged but it did not matter for the enemy never saw their backs."
     
  13. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Texas
    [​IMG]
    Lee's Grenadier Guard, who he refered to as "my Texan's".
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    If you watch carefully in the movie "Gettysburg" you can see the Texas flag in the background. Great picture. Thx.
     
Loading...

Share This Page