American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Civil War Generals and Military Leaders


Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

How destructive was Sherman's march?
To some, General William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the few Union generals who understood modern war. To others, especially to the Southerners whom he defeated, he is a war criminal. From August 1864 through April 1865, Sherman blazed a path through Georgia and the Carolinas, destroying anything of military value including railroads, grain bins and livestock. While Sherman did play a large part in consigning the Confederacy to the ashbin of history, the extent of the destruction he caused by his march has become exaggerated by folklore.
(stripes.com)

Commander of All Lincoln's Armies: A Life of Henry W. Halleck (Book Review)
Civil War buffs rarely get excited about General Henry Wager Halleck, even though he was, for a time, the supreme commander of the Federal armies. The view exists that he was a distant and demanding intellectual, happier behind a desk than on a horse. As John F. Marszalek's biography reveals, this view is not far from the truth. Halleck - called "Old Brains" by the troops after the Corinth campaign - was famous for his intellect long before the Civil War. The hallmarks of his command were caution and attention to bureaucratic detail - not planning winning strategies for the war.
(historynet.com)

Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig L. Symonds [book review]
There's no way to tell the story of Abraham Lincoln and his admirals without setting the context: the politics, the strategies, the land and naval campaigns, foreign relations and the state of the nation as a whole. Craig L. Symonds takes all those strings and weaves them into an informative book. Lincoln was prone to defer on military matters to the generals, but there were no admirals - The highest Navy grade was captain. Therefore, when one of the first naval crises came up, the Southern pressure on Fort Sumter, Lincoln turned to what advisors he had at hand, the newly nominated Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and his Assistant Secretary Gustavus Fox.
(washingtontimes.com)

Cavalryman Of The Lost Cause: A Biography Of J.E.B. Stuart
Although fans of Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest will argue the point, many Civil War buffs feel Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart's many exploits rank him as the South's best cavalry officer. In his book "Cavalryman of the Lost Cause" historian Jeffrey Wert thoroughly explores the life and adventures of the flamboyant Rebel cavalier whose men were the eyes and ears of General Robert E. Lee's army. Desiring a military life, Stuart got into West Point in 1850, and he graduated in 1854 - 13th in his class. A comrade recalled that Stuart was "worth a dozen ordinary men."
(washingtontimes.com)

Like the Army of Tennessee, Bushrod Johnson faced both glory, despair
Bushrod Rush Johnson was an unlikely Confederate general: Born in Belmont, Ohio, to an abolitionist and pacifist Quaker family. Nevertheless he applied for and was accepted at the U.S. Military Academy. Just like his classmate William Tecumseh Sherman, he turned to academics after his military career had difficulties. At one point he was assigned to General Winfield Scott's army for the Vera Cruz campaign - but only as an acting assistant commissary. He approached his commanding officer with a scheme to make money fraudulently. That officer turned him in. His career in the U.S. Army was over. Until the outbreak of the Civil War.
(murfreesboropost.com/)

Book review: Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea by Noah Andre Trudeau
Long before Hiroshima an American Civil War general exposed the power of "total war" as he moved across the South. Or did he? General William Tecumseh Sherman promised to "make Georgia howl" and he was not gentle during his famed march to the sea in 1864. But a thorough new history tells a story of military prowess and survival, not lawless and rampant devastation. Union soldiers did torch homes, seize crops, and cripple railroads as they carved a path from Atlanta to Savannah, writes Noah Andre Trudeau in "Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea." But few soldiers were killed on either side, and northeastern Georgia recovered soon.
(csmonitor.com)

Union colonel James Martinus Schoonmaker
James Martinus Schoonmaker had proved himself as a military leader in the years leading up to a Civil War battle in which his actions would make him one of the first Pittsburghers awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Born June 30, 1842, he left what is now the University of Pittsburgh in 1861 at age 19 to enlist in the Union Army. He was promoted from private to corporal to sergeant in less than a year. In August 1862 he was placed in charge of the 14th Pennsylvania Calvary and by November, was promoted up the ranks to colonel. Just 20, he was thought to be the youngest colonel in the North.
(pittsburghlive)

Michigan's first civil war general: Alpheus S. Williams
Civil War general Alpheus S. Williams will be focus of conversation at the Ellis Reference and Information Center. He crusaded in many of the Civil War's bloodiest battles: Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He commanded troops in Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. Yet, few people have heard of Alpheus S. Williams. "Gen. Williams fought in some of the most horrific battles of the Civil War in both the Eastern Theater and in the West. He started poorly but steadily improved as a combat general, close to his troops and to the front lines during the action," said Jeff Charnley.
(monroenews)

Civil War general's life fascinating - William Tecumseh Sherman
"Sherman: Fighting Prophet" by Lloyd Lewis. A few small facts stand out in this biography of Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. He was given the first name Tecumseh by his parents, he married his foster sister, he did say "War is all hell" in a speech in Ohio in 1880. By 1861 he was a nervous and brilliant man worrying "almost to lunacy" about the fate of the farm boys he soon would lead into the battles. Sherman's fame rests on 3 campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas in 1864: the fight for Atlanta, the march from Atlanta to the sea, and the winter march from Savannah through South Carolina to Columbia.
(nwitimes)

Gen. David Hunter issued emancipation edicts long before Lincoln   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Civil War General David Hunter has faded into obscurity, but his efforts at Fort Pulaski to enlist just-freed African Americans into the Union Army sent shock waves across the nation. Historian Charles J. Elmore recounts these events in book General Hunter's Proclamation. The Federal army that forced Fort Pulaski to surrender on April 11, 1862. Two days later, Hunter, the commander of the Department of the South, issued General Order No. 7, freeing "all persons of color lately held to involuntary service by enemies of the US in Fort Pulaski and on Cockspur Island ..." The next month, he went further: General Order No. 11 freed the slaves in 3 states.
(savannahnow)

The United States has suffered some really bad presidents
Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853, hated Catholics, Jews, and African Americans to the point that he ran for President as a Nativist on the Know Nothing Party ticket, their aims were just like those of the Ku Klux Klan in 1914 by Hiram Evans. -- Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857, was drunk for most of his time. He did nothing while the country fell apart. Kansas had its own mini civil war, and the country drifted toward the big Civil War during. James Buchanan, 1857-1861, also watched as the nation drifted into the Civil War. Bleeding Kansas was still a fact of life. His Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, shipped arms and ammunition to southern military posts.
(milforddailynews)

Controversies amplify lore of General Nathan Bedford Forrest   (Article no longer available from the original source)
By historical accounts, he was a handsome man who overcame poverty and a lack of education to become one of the military's most respected tacticians. As a general, he was decisive under pressure, the kind of leader men wanted to follow. He embraced his reputation as a tough guy, once stating that "war means fighting and fighting means killing." But the full history of Nathan Bedford Forrest is far from glorious. A controversial Civil War slaughter and his role in the birth of the Ku Klux Klan have made him a lightning rod for controversy.
(tennessean)

Maryland's two Confederate admirals
It is ironic that Maryland, a state with strong Southern sympathies, did not secede from the Union yet produced the only Confederate naval officers to attain the rank of admiral. Franklin Buchanan became the Confederacy's highest-ranking naval officer, while Raphael Semmes became its most famous naval hero. The Confederate navy was top-heavy with Marylanders. In addition to the only two admirals, Maryland provided one commodore, seven captains, 4 commanders, 7 lieutenants commanding vessels or shore batteries and 15 other lieutenants. In all, 163 Marylanders served as officers in the relatively small Confederate navy.
(washingtontimes)

Stonewall Jackson - Book and film   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was an extraordinary general and a slave owner. He also taught slaves to read. Jackson, a Confederate General and professor, is the subject of Richard G. Williams Jr.'s book, "Stonewall Jackson: The Black Man's Friend," and an aspiring movie by Ken Carpenter. He starts filming "Stonewall Jackson: Light Before the War" in Lexington. "The qualities that Gen. Jackson embodied are those that should make any man proud," he said. "What I find attractive about Williams' book is that it sheds light on the fact that Gen. Jackson's character transcended societal borders."
(newsleader)

Confederate general: Morgan`s band of Confederate horsemen   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Around 80 members of the Morgan`s Men Association met in Parkersburg to honor General John Hunt Morgan, the Confederacy`s hero, and visited the Meigs County battlefield where he met his Waterloo. His war exploits seem more fitted for Hollywood than a history book. Morgan`s band of Confederate horsemen not only sent the Union midwest into panic during the famous 1863 raid, Morgan and a handful of his officers were the first to escape from the Ohio State Penitentiary. Morgan led several successful raids deep into Union territory in 1862, but his 24-day, 1,000-mile July 1863 raid is the most famous and known simply as "Morgan's Raid."
(mariettatimes)

The first Union officer to die in the Civil War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
He was the North's first hero of the Civil War, and he didn't fall in battle. Colonel Elmer Ellsworth's death reportedly brought Abraham Lincoln to tears. Now, experts are studying a scrap of cloth believed to have been part of a flag Ellsworth pulled down from a hotel because Lincoln could see it from the White House. The hotel's owner killed Ellsworth, who's believed to have been the first Union officer to die in the Civil War. A large cloth star believed to have been part of the Confederate flag was found in a box in a town of Saratoga office. Archivists will try to verify its authenticity.
(wcax)

Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates
Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates, By Glenn W. LaFantasie. The Civil War may well have been decided at Gettysburg as troops of the 20th Maine Infantry turned back repeated assaults by the 15th Alabama Regiment. The Confederate commander was William C. Oates is hardly remembered at all except as the man who led his regiment against Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Oates appears given to moods: Sickened by the carnage at the Second Manassas in August 1862, he mounted his horse and roamed for a while, finding a farmhouse where he napped until awakened by the sound of cannon as the battle resumed.
(boston)

Union artillery's role in battle during Pickett's Charge   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Civil War generals gain fame for their stirring quotes, but that's what Brig. General Henry Hunt probably would have said to his troops during the Battle of Gettysburg. After all, his ears would be ringing from commanding 58 batteries for 3 days of booming artillery barrages. Hunt's role was one of the more crucial to the battle. Those taking part in the Battle Walks can learn about Hunt's role and the debate over how well Union artillery was managed on the battle's final day during Pickett's Charge. Hunt was a noted artillery expert. He felt the artillery was his area of expertise, and had no care for the functions of infantry or cavalry.
(eveningsun)

Judson Kilpatrick a dashing general? History of cavalry battles   (Article no longer available from the original source)
If you`re interested in dashing Civil War generals or the history of cavalry battles, the summer seminars at the Graffiti House might be for you. Sunday`s seminar focuses on Judson Kilpatrick, who was described as one of the "Union`s most dashing generals," led a large force of cavalry against Richmond in the late winter of 1863-64. However, he got within one mile of the Confederate White House and then turned back. The seminar will answer why he changed tactics, identify the role of Confederate soldiers and address some accusations of attempted atrocities, which made this attempt famous ever since.
(starexponent)

General Marmaduke honored during Civil War re-enactment
A small cross made of sticks, the sword of a fallen soldier and the Confederate flag were part of a ceremony for Major General John Sappington Marmaduke. He led several successful cavalry raids into Missouri. Battle of Chalk Bluff took place on May 1-2, 1863. He commanded the Confederate cavalry, Brigadier General William Vandever commanded the Union`s 2nd Division, Army of the Frontier. Vandever pursued Marmaduke to the point where he planned to cross river at Chalk Bluff. Marmaduke set up a rear guard in an effort to protect crossing. The rear guard got heavy casualties, but hold off Vandever. Due to the casualties, Marmaduke was forced to end the expedition.
(armchairgeneral.com)

Civil War forged bond between generals
In 1981, Charles Bracelen Flood paid tribute to Robert E. Lee in Lee: The Last Years, which chronicles the last five years of the Confederate general`s life. A quarter of a century later, Flood gives Ulysses S. Grant his due along with another Union general, William T. Sherman, in Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War. "It was a close friendship, beyond being a military partnership," Flood said in an interview.
(dispatch)

Biography of General James G. Blunt - Tarnished Glory
Robert Collins: General James G. Blunt -- Tarnished Glory. "No one had done a biography of General Blunt before. He seemed interesting enough to sustain the book, and I found some interesting things about him that haven't appeared in other histories of the area that had mentioned General Blunt. General Blunt was Kansas' highest-ranking and most important Civil War general. He commanded troops in several battles in this region including Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Honey Springs, Westport and the Second battle of Newtonia. It was his escorts that were killed at the Baxter Springs massacre."
(nevadadailymail)