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Military Quotes

Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve.

-- Sun Tzu

Current poll results


Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?

Ulysses S. Grant23 %23 %23 % 23.11 % (52)
Robert E. Lee44 %44 %44 % 44.00 % (99)
George B. McClellan1 %1 %1 % 1.33 % (3)
Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson24 %24 %24 % 24.89 % (56)
I do not Know1 %1 %1 % 1.78 % (4)
I have no opinion0 %0 %0 % 0.44 % (1)
Other, please list in comments4 %4 %4 % 4.44 % (10)

Total votes: 225
One vote is allowed per day

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Comments

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Re: Who was the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 19, 2002
Of those listed, I posted Lee. However, I truly believe that Nathan Bedford Forrest was the most impressive general. He was the only man in either army to go through the ranks from private to Lt. General.

Besides how can you not like a man who when surrounded just told his soldiers,"split in half and charge both ways." He was a fighter without peer except just maybe Stonewall. But Forrest had no military education. It came to him naturally.

Re: Who was the most impressive Civil War General?
by Gimpy
on Aug 19, 2002
Impressive in which way, that is the question. Great fighter? Great Pomp and Circumstance? Great at understanding how to win battles?

North and South had great generals and both had some real duds. Seems that the North Had more than its fair share of duds.

My vote goes to Grant because he was a winner and knew how to win. Maybe not the greatest tactician but he won. It is impressive that a shoe salesman could excell in battle.

Keith

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by David
on Aug 19, 2002

I would have to go with Robert E. Lee. He did so much with so little, especially after Jackson was gone.


Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 19, 2002
In choosing Lee from the options listed, though his army did not win the "Lost Cause" (a result all americans are STILL paying for whether we realize it or not!), I did so because his generalship seems to have transcended the battlefields and final truce. It isn't that he lost, but how he played the game.
He was at the top of his class at West Point. He commanded troops under the Union flag at Harper's Ferry. Lincoln, and many others, thought so highly of him that he was offered command of the Union forces, but reluctantly turned it down out of loyalty to Virginia. His command of officers and men was so deeply regarded that they remained completely unflinchingly loyal to him even in failure. He with his men won most of the battles they fought, usually against amazing overwhelming odds. Arlington Cemetery, Lee's ancestral home, our national military resting place today was taken from his family by Union officers burying their fallen on the grounds while the war was still on. Few who visit there are aware of this. He was gracious in defeat. His opposite at Appomatox truly respected him. He never ignored or forgot the sufferings of his troops or the Confederate citizens, he put them ahead of himself. He accepted responsibility in a genuine way for failures. After the war he went on to dignified service in his own quiet way, and did nothing to spoil the Union victory by bitterness or poor conduct, and he advised all to do the same. He was a true gentleman, and will always remain deep in the hearts of all who cherish the freedoms for which the Revolution itself was fought long before.

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 19, 2002
How do you discribe the most impressive general of the Civil War? The picture you have painted of General Lee is a grand one indeed. Lee has all of the qualities of a good general, academicaly, and on the battlefield but as a Confederate he has one undenyable character flaw. As an American soldier he took an oath to protect this country from all enemys foreign and domestic. To lead one must be able follow.

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 19, 2002
Bargunner,
I guess General Lee found that he DID find it necessary to do battle with and protect america from a domestic enemy. There was no other honorable choice, as an american soldier.

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 20, 2002
Mike,
I know the cause is just, and I see your point. States rights are important, protecting your home is important. But as American soldiers we have our roots in the United States not the Confederate States.

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 21, 2002

Sherman. His decisions were brilliant.


Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 22, 2002
Nathan Bedford Forrest was studied in the Berlin War College. His tactics were adopted to create that Panzer arm of the German Army in WWII. Rommel, Paton and Swartzcough (sp) all owe a great debt to General Forrest.

Andy

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 22, 2002
Hey guys,

Lee was a soldier in the service of the United States. When he felt he could not take up arms against the state of Virginia, he resigned. When you resign, technically at least you are released from your oath. Therefore his decision to aid the Confederacy was quite proper.

I can't speak from an officer's point of view, but from an enlisted person's point of view, I know this, when you reenlist or extend your tour beyond your original tour of duty, you have to take the oath again. That implies that the oath is not a forever kind of thing. In addition pre 1861 oaths swore fealty to the state NOT the nation.

I'm not sure so I need an officer's opinion here. I think officers have to take the oath again each time they are promoted.

Bill

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 22, 2002
Bill,
Fascinating information, had no idea about that at all. I was wondering in what way military loyalty oaths were given in 1860s.
Mike

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 22, 2002
Mike,

In 1861, the oath still refered to the state as opposed to the nation. The June of 1861 class was subject to the old oath. When the federal government realized the issue regarding the oath was creating problems they changed the oath to swear allegiance to the United States. It was done in the summer of 1861. So the true class of 1861 used the older oath. Then to get more officers into the field, the second class of 1861 was graduated. THAT class was subject to the new oath which swore fealty to the Country.

At one point there was a real problem because the cadets who were sworn in under the older oath were asked to reaffirm their allegiance by swearing to the new oath referencing the United States. As a result many of the southern cadets that were still hanging on, resigned or were dismissed due to their refusal to take the new oath.

Bill

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 22, 2002

I agree Robert E. Lee was a General who commanded his troops with the dignity and grace of a truly noble gentleman. He was humble with his troops and in his glory but carried his command with earned respect and dignity while the alcohol drinking Grant even was in awe at his gracious surrender of his troops.


Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 23, 2002
Tamaroa,

Thanks for bringing me up to date on the oath, I had no idea things were this different. Do you know if the Confederate Army had an oath, and if so was it like the pre-1861 or post-1861 U.S. oath.

bargunner

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 24, 2002
The Confederate army did have an oath based on the pre civil war US oath but they obviously changed the reference of fealty to the Confederate States of America. I find numerous references to southern soldiers taking the oath but I have not seen an original copy of the Confederate oath itself. I know that after the war anyone under the rank of Colonel took an oath of allegiance to the United ststes and they could become full time voting citizens again.

It was not until Christmas of 1868 when Johnston gave a blanket pardon to everyone. One interesting note here. Lee had applied for reinstatement as a citizen. It was denied because there was no signed copy of the oath of allegiance with his request for citizenship. For many years, people thought that he had been singled out just because he was Lee. Well, in the early 70's his signed oath was found out of place in the archives by a researcher indicating that had all the paperwork been together, he would have been granted citizenship. So when they found it in the 1970's he was granted citizenship posthumously.

Some people argue that his oath was lost on purpose to turn the screws so to speak. I don't believe it because had that been me who was in possession of his oath and wanted to cause him grief, I would have just destroyed it altogether, not hide it.

regards,

Bill

Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 27, 2002

Nathan B Forrest. From what I've read of the man, I can't help but NOT like him; but I don't think anyone (except Sherman) had a better understanding of how to fight a war. I don't know if NBF could have handled the large number of troops that Sherman did so I lean a bit towards WTS and really wish Reynolds had kept his head down.


Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Aug 29, 2002

<b>Nathan Bedford Forrest, ruthless, cunning and not an overall nice guy what hey that's war.</b>


Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on Mar 17, 2003

Yes, But under the Geneva Convention we are under today Sherman would have been convicted of War Crimes by the World Court and probably Court Martialed for his actions against civilians whose homes ,Farms, and livestock were slaughterd and deystroyed all in the process of cutting the Souths Supply lines and... Because He decided to spare Savanna GA as a present "Happy St. Patty's Day"


Re: Who was overall the most impressive Civil War General?
by Anonymous
on May 14, 2005

Nathan Bedford Forrest


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