US Civil War Generals

Ask questions here about famous US Civil War generals, on both the Union and Confederate side.

3,516 Questions
US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

What strategy did grant use against Lee?

Based on the ways that US Civil Wars were fought, very few of them resulted in the destruction of an entire army. This was true with both Union and Confederate victories. Two of many reasons for this was the fact that both sides' armies were commanded by men who were West Point graduates. They either knew each other from West Point or fought with them in the Mexican War. To a certain degree, this allowed the generals to gage the types of reactions the enemy forces to various military situations. The phrase " to a certain degree" is important to note.

Here are two examples that demonstrate how the annihilation of a losing army was impossible.

This idea refers to major field battles. With that said, the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg were major conflicts resulting in huge numbers of dead and wounded. Yet even the South, with a much smaller recruiting base, was able to continue on and fight again in other major battles. This fact brings us to what US Grant realized and why he eventually turned his strategy to one commonly used in military terms as a strategy of of "exhaustion".

Although casualty rates continued to be high, Grant's main focus was, in many cases to attack an opposing army's logistics. Meaning its routes of communications and military supplies including weapons and food.

The success of this in seen at Vicksburg, Atlanta and Petersburg.

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Ulysses S. Grant
US Civil War Generals

Did Ulysses S. Grant replace George McClellan?

McClellan was replaced by Major General Ambrose E. Burnside on November 7, 1862, shortly after the Battle of Antietam.

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US Civil War Battles
US Civil War Generals

Why did Civil War generals use Napoleon Bonaparte's famous military strategies?

At the time Napoleonic tactics were a widespread and accepted military doctrine in many military institutions around the world and Napoleon's campaigns had widespread influence on the western world. These tactics were feverishly taught at West Point where a majority of the American generals were taught. So much so that students were required to learn French to be able to translate the reading material given to them on Napoleon. You also have to understand that for over 20 years Napoleon and his French armies dominated the other powers of Europe and defeated multinational coalitions brought up to defeat him so it would make sense they would be studied and emulated by future generations. Many military commanders in the American Civil War also idolized and emulated Napoleon and his tactics along with dreams of glory and grandeur. The basic point of Napoleonic tactics was to have masses of infantry in shoulder to shoulder ranks usually three men deep to maximize their firepower against the enemy. Unfortunately technology had far outpaced the tactics by this time. By this time most weapons used rifling which greatly increased the accuracy of artillery and muskets as well as the minie-ball which resulted in the horrendous casualties during battles. By wars end these tactics had been largely abandoned such as the Siege of Petersburg which quickly transformed into trench warfare and a lesson Europe would wait to learn in World War One.

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US Civil War Generals

What civil war ranks did John bell Hood make?

John Bell Hood entered Confederate service as a First Lieutenant in the cavalry in April 1861. He would hold the rank of major, colonel, brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general, and general. He would command companies, regiments, divisions, corps' and finally an army. He surrendered himself and a small detachment of troops May 31,1865 at Natchez Mississippi.

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US Civil War
US Civil War Battles
US Civil War Generals

Why was the Battle of Stone's River an important battle of the US Civil War?

The US Civil War Battle of Stone's River was important in several ways. The first element of this battle to consider was the high number of casualties that were suffered on both sides. The three day battle was also noteworthy in that Confederate General Braxton Bragg had no qualms about being the aggressor and initiated a strong assault on December 31, 1862. Further more it displayed an element that is seldom given credit in historical accounts in the war, namely artillery. The account of this battle is also important in that it was a battle in the Western Theater that is so often downplayed in comparisons to battles fought in the East.

Some key elements of the battle are as follows:


1. At dawn on December 31, Confederate General William J. Hardee begins an assault against Union troops commanded by General Alexander McCook. At first Rebels push back the Federals but later their defense stiffens. Bragg would like to finish off the left flank of the widely spread Union force and sends in General Leonidas Polk to make the assault a rout;

2. At dawn on January 1, 1863, Union General Horatio Phillips Van Cleve crosses Stone's River. He must change all of his plans in that General McCook needs reinforcements from McClelve who remains under pressure.

3. Union General Rosencrans's entire battle plans are now changed as he must insure that McCleve can help McCook from being destroyed;

4. Van Cleve's forces help, however, the assault by Hardee and Polk continue to push back McCook's unit. The good news for the Union is that General Sheridan holds the Nashville Pike and the Federals rally;

5. Union generals Thomas and Crittenden and Thomas Have been brought in to stop the Confederate's advance;

6. On the far easter front of the battle, Bragg himself leads an assault on the Union's left flank;

7. Bragg's early success weakens as once again Union troops rally and now Bragg is under heavy artillery fire and cannot remain in that position; and

8. Bragg chooses to disengage and retreat to Tullahoma, Tennessee.


The battle is over and both sides claim victory in what military historians label the battle as a technical draw.


The importance of this battle significant to Washington DC, as it has claimed a victory not long after it tremendous loss at Fredericksburg in Virginia. The importance of artillery is highlighted and from a Union prospective, at that time, Bragg's attempt to recapture important territory in Tennessee has been ended.



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US Civil War
US Civil War Generals
Robert E. Lee

Who is the Confederate general whose surrender led to the end of the US Civil War?

General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9th 1865. This led directly to the end of the US Civil War. This took some time, however, for all practical purposes, Lee's surrender began the ending process.

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US Civil War Generals

Was general lee union or confederate?

Robert E. lee was the commander of the Confederate army

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US Civil War Generals

Where was General Joshua Chamberlain born?

Joshua Chamberlain was born in Brewer, Maine September 8, 1828. See the link below for more on Chamberlain's life.

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Mexican-American War
Military Terminology
US Civil War Generals

Where was Robert Anderson when he died?

Robert Anderson died in Nice, France, October 26, 1871.

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US Civil War
US Civil War Generals
Robert E. Lee

How tall was Robert E. Lee?

Most sources place him at around 5' 10" -5' 10-1/2"

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History of the United States
US Civil War Generals
Confederate States of America

When did John Hunt Morgan die?

John Hunt Morgan died on September 4, 1864 at the age of 39. (He was a general in the confederate army.)

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US Civil War Generals

Who was highest rank gen killed in civil war?

General Albert Sydney Johnston was the second highest ranking officer in the Confederacy (behind the elderly Samuel Cooper and ahead of Robert E. Lee). he was killed at the battle of Shiloh.

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Miscellaneous
US Civil War Generals

How many generals are in a squad?

1, i would imagine.

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Anaconda
US Civil War
US Civil War Generals

Two goals of the anaconda plan?

1. Establish a blockade of Northern ships around the Southern State's coastline; and

2. Prevent the South from exporting cotton and receiving supplies.

The third part of General Winfield Scott's plan was to take control of the Mississippi River. This would enhance the Union's use of this major waterway by having it act as a supply route and transportation of troops vis the river instead of railways and roads. Large cargo loads would be made possible via the river.

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US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

What was the Anaconda Plan that General in Chief Winfield Scott prepared to end the Southern rebellion?

Blockading the Southern ports, to deprive the Confederates of imports, effectively strangling the economy.

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US Civil War Battles
Battle of Chancellorsville
US Civil War Generals

Who was the southern general killed at Chancellorsville?

ANSWER

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

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US Civil War
Battle of Gettysburg
US Civil War Generals

Who was general of the Union army in the Battle of Gettysburg?

Major General George G. Meade was the general of the Union army at the Battle of Gettysburg. Meade led the Army of the Potomac, having been appointed to replace General Hooker.

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US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

Why did the north and south fight the civil war?

The main cause of the Civil War was States Rights. The South was afraid that Abraham Lincoln would emancipate slaves, and they believed that the US President should not be making decisions that affected the entire country and that States should have the right to make those decisions. It wasn't so much the emancipation of slaves that concerned the South, but rather the fact that if Lincoln were to free the slaves, it would be denying the states their rights.

In order to fully understand the reasoning of the South, you have to step into their shoes. Back then the US was thought of much as we think of the UN, a group of nations (or states) that were united. So if several leading nations in the UN were to tell us to do something that we thought was infringing on our rights, what would we do?

On the other side of the argument, the Northern states saw is as an uprising, or rebellion, against the US, and were determined to keep the Union together. If it meant war, so be it. Lincoln summed it up when he said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The North believed that if the South seceded that both nations would collapse. The economy was very dependent on both the agriculture of the South and the factories of the North. If the South had won the war, there might have been an economical collapse.

Of course there is many other reasons contributing to the friction felt between the US and CS, and there will always be debating about the cause of the war, but most agree that the reason stated above is the main, underlying issue.

The Division Over Slavery

It is, of course, the fact that slavery was an integral part of the Southern agricultural economy made it a more important "right" than other activities that the states did not want to cede to the federal government. Some historians describe the Civil War as the triumph of industry over agriculture, which when comparing the two economies is also a reasonable factor. And slavery was the biggest single attribute that differentiated the North and South. To say that the war's single biggest cause was not slavery is to overlook the contentious history of the early 19th century, in which slavery was a principal issue.

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US Civil War
History of the United States
US Civil War Generals

Who had the anaconda strategy?

The Union or the US side had the Anaconda Plan. It was devised by the aged General In Chief, Winfield Scott. It was a plan to blockade the Southern coast and capture ports along the Mississippi River in order to choke off Confederate supply lines from Europe as well as from the western reaches of the Confederacy.

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US Civil War Generals

Was Nathan Bedford Forrest good or bad?

Both. He was a human being and had numerous faults. He was also a very kind, generous person and no better soldier ever lived.

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US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

Who is Nathan Bedford Forrest?

He was a Confederate Lieutenant General who served as one of the most gifted cavalry and guerrilla commanders of the American Civil War. After the war he became involved in the newly formed Ku Klux Klan and opposed Reconstruction in his home state of Tennessee. Within a few years of taking over the KKK however, Forrest felt it had become too violent in regard to African Americans and other people involved with Reconstruction, and ordered it disbanded.

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US Civil War
US Civil War Generals
Robert E. Lee

Was Lieutenant General Robert E. Lee a great general?

Clearly Lieutenant Robert E. Lee was a great general. His counterparts in both the South and the North did not have the ability to win battles or escape from severe danger if they were outnumbered.Grant, Sherman, Halleck, McClellan, Burnside, Pope, Hooker, Rosencrans, and Buell always, except for perhaps a few instances, fought with more troops and had more access to supplies than did Lee.

Also, Union generals had warship & gunship support on Southern waterways.

On the Rebel side, a case can be made for Stonewall Jackson. His exploits are legendary.

Credit and consideration should also be given to J. Johnston, Beauregard and Longstreet, also to AP Hill.

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US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

Why is General George B McClellan a famous US Civil War general?

George B. McClellan remains a famous general of the US Civil War because he was excellent at organizing and training troops for battle. Additionally, Lincoln's appointment of him as general in chief was an important position. Also, McClellan's name remains prominent because of his involvement in the Peninsula Campaign, Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam. His dismissal by Lincoln was a negative for him, but it helped his image of being "famous". He added to that so-called fame by running against Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election.

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History, Politics & Society
US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

Which union general captured Atlanta Grant Sherman Sheridan or Meade?

sherman
Sherman

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US Civil War
War and Military History
US Civil War Generals

During the Civil War what union general had success in the West?

In the Western Theater of the US Civil War, there were several noteworthy and successful Union generals. Here is a brief list:

1. US Grant 2. Don Carlos Buell 3. William T. Sherman 4. John McClernand 5. Henry W. Halleck

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