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Confederate Generals

Summary List of Famous Confederate Civil War Generals during the American Civil War

There were many important confederate generals and commanders during the American Civil War. Some, like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Nathan Bedford Forrest are household names. Others are less well known but are still important, as the southern generals were the commanders that led the troops and helped decide the ultimate outcome of most civil war battles. Here is a list of important confederate generals and commanders, along with links to more information and articles about each one.

List of Confederate Generals

Robert E. Lee

General Robert E. Lee was the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and is known as the most accomplished Confederate general. Learn more about Robert E. Lee

Stonewall Jackson

General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson fought boldly and with great success from Bull Run to his death from a mistaken shot from a Confederate sharpshooter at the battle of Chancellorsville. Learn more about Stonewall Jackson

J.E.B. Stuart

General J.E.B. Stuart was an accomplished cavalry commander known for his skill at reconnaissance. Read more about Jeb Stuart

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the most feared Confederate leaders. He was an innovative cavalry commander who started the war as a private. Read more about Nathan Bedford Forrest

James Longstreet

General James Longstreet was Robert E. Lee’s most capable and consistent generals. He led the First Corps of the Army Of Northern Virginia. Read more about James Longstreet

Braxton Bragg

General Braxton Bragg led the Army Of Mississippi and Tennessee from the battle of Shiloh to Chattanooga. Read more about Braxton Bragg

George Pickett

General George Pickett was a Confederate general whose unsuccessful attack on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg is now known as Pickett’s Charge. Read more about George Pickett

Bloody Bill Anderson

William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson was a brutal killer, leading pro-confederate units on attacks against Union forces throughout the war. Read more about Bloody Bill Anderson

Albert Sidney Johnston

Albert Sidney Johnston fought and battled in five U.S. wars, the last being the Battle of Shiloh, where he was shot and later bled to death. Read more about Albert Sidney Johnston

John Mosby

John S. Mosby was a Confederate Cavalry Commander known for his speed and elusiveness. Read more about John Mosby

P.G.T. Beauregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant (PGT) Beauregard was a Confederate General who gained fame for being the man to fire the first shot of the civil war when he bombarded Fort Sumter. Read more about P.G.T. Beauregard

A.P. Hill

A.P. Hill was a confederate General best known for commanding the "Light Division." He was commander Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson’s most trusted general. Read more about A.P. Hill

Richard Ewell

Richard Stoddert Ewell led numerous battles during the Civil War, but his failure to capture Cemetery Hill on day one at Gettysburg led to his men and himself to be captured and imprisoned at Richmond. Read more about Richard Ewell

Joseph Johnston

General Joseph Johnston was the highest ranking officer to leave the U.S. army to join the Confederacy. He fought in many of the Civil War’s major battles and died of pheumonia. Read more about Joseph Johnston

Jubal Early

Jubal Anderson Early was known for his aggressive and sometimes reckless style. Read more about Jubal Early

Kirby Smith

Edmund Kirby Smith commanded armies in Tennessee and the Trans-Mississippi Theaters. Read more about Kirby Smith

John Bell Hood

John Bell Hood (1831-1879) was reputed for his aggressive and bold commands, a reputation which continued in battles despite his physical disabilities. Read more about John Bell Hood

Barnard Bee

Barnard Elliot Bee Jr. fought only until the First Bull Run and is known for giving the nickname "Stonewall" to Brigadier general Thomas J. Jackson. Read more about Barnard Bee

Lewis Armistead

Lewis Addison was a successful Confederate General who fought and died at the Battle of Gettysburg. Read more about Lewis Armistead

Porter Alexander

Edward Porter Alexander was a Brigadier General known for being the first man to use signal flags to send messages using signal flags. Read more about Porter Alexander

John Pemberton

For a list of northern civil war generals, please see our union generals page. For a list of all important generals from the civil war, please see our civil war generals page.


 

Articles Featuring Confederate Generals From History Net Magazines

Featured Article

America’s Civil War: The South’s Feuding Generals

Imagine a situation in the modern American army where officers refuse to fight under other officers, where generals openly defy and even strike their superiors, where officers are cashiered or relieved of command at a whim, where dueling challenges are routinely issued and accepted with no fear of official censure or retaliation.

Such a detrimental state of affairs would never be tolerated by either the civilian leadership or the military high command. Yet, this was precisely the situation that existed in Civil War armies on both sides, although the Confederate Army suffered more from its consequences.

The Confederate officer corps was a collection of highly individualistic, temperamental and ambitious men. Honor and personal pride seemed to be at the root of most of their personal differences with each other, even to the point where these considerations were placed above the best interests of the Confederacy. These differences affected military decisions, strategic planning and campaign operations throughout the war and contributed greatly to the eventual demise of the Confederacy.

The Confederates began bickering among themselves at the first important battle of the war. At the Battle of Manassas, the oversized egos of Generals Joseph Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard were found to be too large for the same battlefield. In a dispute that was to be repeated again and again during the war, they argued over who should command their combined forces. Unfortunately for Beauregard, his opponent was better armed for the debate, having brought along a telegram from Southern President Jefferson Davis strictly establishing the relationship between them. Specifically, Johnston’s commission made him a full general, while Beauregard was only a brigadier general. Therefore, Johnston officially commanded their forces that day.

However, the wily Creole got in the last word; while Johnston napped in his tent after his long train ride from the Shenandoah, Beauregard drew up the battle orders, to which he attached his name. Later he awoke Johnston to have the commanding general cosign under Beauregard’s name. Wanting to avoid argument, or perhaps too sleepy to notice, Johnston signed, and history gave Beauregard the credit for the first great battlefield victory of the war.

Other disputes on the Confederate side were neither as harmless nor as fortunate in their outcome. Some, indeed, became legendary, such as those involving the fearsome cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was a bear cat for a fight. He once gutted one of his lieutenants with a pocketknife after the disgruntled officer had first shot the general. Such a man was not to be trifled with lightly.

On two different occasions, Forrest insulted superior officers in the bluntest terms, and probably only his lethal reputation as a duelist prevented them from taking action. On the first occasion, Forrest resented being placed under Brig. Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s command in 1862 and, when Wheeler committed their troopers to an ill-conceived attack on Fort Donelson in early 1863, Forrest flew into a rage. He told Wheeler, ‘This is not a personal matter, but you will tell General Bragg in your report that I will be in my coffin before I will fight under you again. (If it had been a personal matter, Forrest probably would have just shot Wheeler and been done with it.) Forrest then ended his tirade with the ultimate military gesture of protest: If you want my sword, you can have it.

Later in the war, Forrest told General Braxton Bragg just what he thought of that vacillating, indecisive officer after Bragg had twice tampered with Forrest’s cavalry command. The confrontation occurred at Bragg’s headquarters on Missionary Ridge during the ridiculous Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Forrest said: I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damned scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it…. If you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path, it will be at the peril of your life.

Major General A.P. Hill, one of Virginia’s favorite sons, was also known for his fiery temper. One historian calls him probably the most contentious of the Army of Northern Virginia’s officers. Hill quarreled with every officer he served under. After the Seven Days’ Battles, he engaged in a war of newspaper releases with Maj. Gen. James Longstreet over who deserved the most credit for the successfully completed campaign. After several volleys in the Richmond Whig and Richmond Examiner, Hill cut off all communications with Longstreet’s headquarters and demanded to be relieved from serving under Longstreet.

For his part, Longstreet heartily endorsed the request, adding a sardonic note that it was necessary to exchange the troops or to exchange the commander. When commanding General Robert E. Lee delayed taking action, the feud only grew worse. After Hill’s refusal to forward even routine reports to headquarters, Longstreet placed him under arrest and confined him to quarters. Hill took the next step, issuing a challenge to his commanding officer to duel. The two men began making arrangements to settle their differences on the field of honor.

The possibility of losing one or both of his finest commanders finally moved Lee to take action. He restored Hill to his command, then transferred his division to Stonewall Jackson’s corps in the Shenandoah Valley. The friendship between Hill and Longstreet was shattered beyond repair, and their relations henceforward were no better than coldly courteous. Lee had merely rearranged his problems, not solved them. Within a week, Hill and Jackson were squabbling, this time over Jackson’s uncommunicative command style and their differing interpretations of military protocol. That feud soon surpassed the Longstreet-Hill feud.

On the march into Maryland in the late summer of 1862, Jackson finally grew so exasperated with Hill’s failure to follow his prescribed marching orders that he rode to the head of Hill’s division and began personally issuing orders to Hill’s brigadiers.. At this moment, Hill galloped up and addressed Jackson in high dudgeon: General Jackson, you have assumed command of my division, here is my sword; I have no use for it. Jackson calmly replied, Keep your sword, General Hill, but consider yourself under arrest for neglect of duty.

For the rest of the advance, Hill was ordered to march in the rear of his division. Jackson’s charges against Hill were not for insubordination, as one might expect, but for allowing his command to straggle, a fine distinction, perhaps, that was lost on Hill.

Although Hill was restored to command before the campaign was over, and later fought magnificently, he did not forget or forgive. He preferred charges of his own against Jackson. The charges and countercharges persuaded Lee to step in again, this time to call a peace conference of the principals in order to defuse what was tepidly building toward an explosion that would have been extremely damaging to the Confederacy. The peace conference settled nothing, and the charges were still pending when Jackson was killed at Chancellorsville the next spring.

Jackson himself was a legendary feudist, even more obstreperous than Hill, if such a thing could be. At one time or another, he placed Turner Ashby, Richard B. Garnett and Hill all under arrest and ordered their courts- martial`and this was a man who died before the war was half over. On another occasion, he placed five of A.P. Hill’s colonels under arrest for letting the men use a fence for firewood. Jackson was chronically unable to get along with subordinates, in contrast to Hill, who was chronically unable to get along with superiors.

In the summer of 1861, Jackson began court-martial proceedings against a number of his officers. He blamed Garnett, commander of Jackson’s old Stonewall Brigade, for the defeat at Kernstown, and that was just the beginning. Other officers were brought up on charges ranging from insubordination to cowardice under fire. Jackson pressed so many charges that, at one point, all of his subordinate officers were on courtmartial duty.

Garnett’s court-martial for unauthorized retreat began in August 1862, but was never settled because the war intervened. Jackson was killed at Chancellorsville, and there are those who say that Garnett went to his death at Gettysburg a few months later in Pickett’s Charge glad for the opportunity to vindicate his besmirched honor.

As for Ashby, he was also reprimanded by Jackson after the Battle of Kernstown for the undisciplined state of his cavalry. The proud Ashby briefly considered challenging Jackson to a duel, but shooting the sanctimonious Stonewall did not seem sufficient to assuage his wounded pride. Instead, he announced his intention to leave the army. When word of this got out, his troopers announced they would follow Ashby out of the army rather than serve under anyone else. Faced with a mutiny of major proportions, Jackson backed down for the first and last time in his life. He restored Ashby to full command.

Jackson even quarreled with the sainted Lee on one occasion. In December 1862, he reacted angrily to Lee’s request that he transfer some of his artillery to other commands not so well equipped. Lee did not force the issue. It had been conjectured that the subsequent lack of communication between Lee and Jackson during the Seven Days’ Battles was at least partly because the two proud leaders felt a sense of rivalry and bent over backward to avoid stepping on each other’s toes.

As serious as the situation was in the Army of Northern Virginia, it was nothing compared to the situation in the Western armies. The surrender of Fort Donelson offers a case study in how to lose a campaign through jealousy and infighting. The Confederates began the campaign for the Tennessee River at a disadvantage because they were attempting to fight with a divided command. Brigadier General John Floyd, a former secretary of war, was the senior officer at Fort Donelson in February 1862, when Union forces under U.S. Grant initially besieged the fort. However, when Brig. Gen. Gideon Pillow arrived from Columbus, Ky., he immediately assumed command with no other authority than his own presumptuousness. Simon B. Buckner’s arrival on the night of February 11, 1862, put a third brigadier on the scene. From that point on, there was a definite lack of cooperation among the Confederate high command responsible for holding Fort Donelson.

Pillow and Buckner were already enemies from before the war, when Buckner had blocked Pillow’s ambition to become a US. senator from Tennessee. Old insults were not easily forgotten, even in the face of a common enemy, and their mutual hostility was hardly kept under wraps. The fact that Pillow was a take- charge kind of person, in a situation calling for tact and diplomacy, did not help. The 55-year-old Floyd might have served as a counterweight to the other two, but he was totally under Pillow’s influence despite his own impressive credentials.

While the three generals struggled to mount an effective defense of the vital fort, Grant tightened the noose. By February 15, a mood of defeatism had infected the Confederate side. That night there occurred one of the most amazing examples of a cumulative collapse of will in the annals of American warfare. The three generals held a council of war to decide on a course of action. Should they fight, retreat or surrender? Floyd and Pillow decided to surrender.

Having decided the fort could not be held, Pillow and Floyd then refused to surrender it personally to Grant. They feared they might be confined in a Yankee prison for the duration of the war, or worse, hanged as traitors. They turned the onerous task over to Buckner in the following famous exchange:

Floyd: I turn the command over, sir.

Pillow: I pass it.

Buckner: I assume it.

Several ironies resulted from this military fiasco. Although President Davis initially relieved Floyd and Pillow from command, the Southern press at first hailed them as heroes for refusing to surrender and castigated Buckner for turning over the keys to the fort and the Tennessee River. Pillow later was restored to command. Meanwhile, Buckner, arguably the best officer of the three, was marched off to a Northern prisoner- of war camp.

The Army of Tennessee had more than its share of general feuds, which usually seemed to start at the top with the general commanding. During his tenure at the head of the Army of Tennessee, Braxton Bragg made history by single-handedly setting military science and personnel management back to the Stone Age. It was Bragg, one should remember, who once got into an argument with himself while commanding a frontier post and serving at the same time as post quartermaster. Such a background did not bode well for a man who was expected to control a collection of temperamental, quarrelsome lieutenants against a superior enemy in a vast, sprawling theater far from Richmond’s authority.

Bragg quarreled, at some point, with everybody who served under him. It was not just that his cold, imperious manner offended everyone; he also displayed appalling incompetence, which only he failed to discern. Long before Forrest became fed up with Bragg and told him so to his face, other general officers had reached the same conclusion, although they expressed their opinions with more circumspection.

Bad feelings first surfaced during the Murfreesboro campaign, when Bragg’s two corps commanders, Leonidas Polk and William Hardee, refused to visit headquarters except as required by necessity, and even then they kept their visits as short as military matters permitted. It is doubtful that the men in the ranks failed to sense the cool relations between their senior officers.

After the Battle of Stones River, a strategic reverse for the Confederacy, Bragg took the highly unusual step of canvassing his officers to ask for their frank assessment of his leadership. All his division commanders advised him to resign immediately. Polk even wrote a personal letter to Jefferson Davis asking that Bragg be relieved. It was no coincidence that shortly thereafter Bragg placed Polk under arrest for his conduct in the recent battle and forwarded formal charges against him to Richmond. Davis, who considered both Bragg and Polk personal friends, refused to take action, and the charges were dropped. Worse still, Polk stayed with the army.

Bad news travels fast, and when Longstreet in Virginia heard of the problems in the Western army, he dashed off a letter to Secretary of War James Seddon making a thinly veiled offer to take Bragg’s place, because I doubt if General Bragg has the confidence of his troops. He also added, disingenuously, I am influenced by no personal motive. Longstreet, who always coveted independent command, probably dreamed of escaping Lee’s immense shadow and expected to whip the Western army into the same sort of fighting trim as the Army of Northern Virginia.

It is doubtful that Longstreet ever felt comfortable in the designated role of Lee’s Old Warhorse,’ a nickname Lee himself bestowed upon his lieutenant. Longstreet always saw himself in a grander role than his superiors allowed. On this occasion, Davis was not willing to put Longstreet in command, but he compromised by dispatching Longstreet and two of his divisions to Georgia after the Battle of Gettysburg to join Bragg’s army.

After Bragg snatched stalemate from the jaws of victory at Chickamauga, Longstreet took up the pen again, this time writing the secretary of war to request that Lee be sent west to replace Bragg. He seemed to have good cause this time` Bragg was busy cashiering senior officers like they were corporals and alienating those he did not dismiss. At the end of September 1863, he removed Generals Polk and Thomas Hindman, sending them to Atlanta to await further action from Richmond. Again, Davis intervened by ordering charges dropped.

The controversy swirling around Bragg was far from over. In fact, it was just climaxing in the famous Round- robin Letter, also known as the Revolt of the Generals. The dump-Bragg clique, now headed by Longstreet, was still hard at work. A letter was circulated among the senior officers of the army urging Davis to replace Bragg. When it finally reached the president’s desk, it bore the signatures of John C. Brown, William Preston, Leonidas Polk and D.H. Hill, among others.

The round-robin drawn up by Bragg’s senior officers was a devastating vote of no-confidence and secured the desired response from Richmond. Davis dropped all other matters and came to the army’s headquarters in person to investigate the problem. In a subsequent meeting called by Davis, the president polled the army’s senior officers for their opinions, while Bragg himself looked on uncomfortably. Longstreet, Hill, Benjamin Cheatham, Patrick Cleburne and Alexander Stewart all spoke up and said that Bragg was unfit for command and should be relieved. Only Lafayette McLaws defended Bragg, but his voice was drowned out in the chorus of naysayers.

Unfortunately for the Army of Tennessee, the majority opinion was not shared by the president of the Confederacy. With practically everybody wanting to get rid of Bragg except Davis, the decision to retain him in command was carried by a majority of one.

Longstreet continued to be a lightning rod for controversy in the West, and he apparently learned nothing from his experience in the Generals’ Revolt. His campaign against Knoxville was badly bungled in the winter of 1863 ; and he blamed his subordinates, specifically Brig. Gen. J.B. Robertson, commanding Hood’s Texas Brigade, and Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws, one of his division commanders.

McLaws’ list of faux pas began when he sided with Bragg earlier against the Longstreet faction in the Generals’ Revolt. On that earlier occasion, Longstreet had criticized Bragg for blaming his military setbacks on his subordinates; ironically, he now found himself doing the same thing. On December 11, 1863, he sent a curt note to McLaws containing odd, third person references to himself and an even odder ultimatum that one of them had to go and, since the commanding general could not leave, McLaws had to be the one.

The charges against McLaws included neglect of duty, failure to instruct and organize his troops, and poor command decisions. Longstreet charged that McLaws had the poor judgment to exhibit a want of confidence in the efforts and plans which the commanding general had thought proper to adopt. The irony of this vague charge from the same man who at Gettysburg had opposed the efforts and plans of his commanding general, seemed not to have registered on Longstreet.

McLaws sought exoneration by insisting on a full court-martial, which was his right and, like most wartime courts-martial, this one dragged on for months, sapping the energy and distracting the attentions of all the officers involved. The court, in May 1864, delivered a guilty verdict on only one of the three principal charges and handed down a relatively light sentence of 60 days’ suspension. Davis immediately set the verdict aside and restored McLaws to full command. The president’s action put Longstreet in a bad light, besides reuniting two unhappy officers.

McLaws’ case dragged on the longer of the two, but Robertson’s case was just as ugly. On January 21, 1864, Longstreet filed court-martial charges against him for alleged delinquency and pessimistic remarks during the [Knoxville] campaign. A military court was never convened to hear the charges; instead, a more subtle punishment was meted out by transferring Robertson to the Trans-Mississippi Department, where he finished out the war commanding reserve forces.

Bragg may have taken some secret delight in Longstreet’s command problems, but that did not improve his own situation. Eventually, after as much damage as possible had been done to the Army of Tennessee, he was replaced by Joe Johnston, whose last assignment prior to taking over the Army of Tennessee had been the poorly organized defense of Vicksburg. Unfortunately, Johnston was no better served by his lieutenants than Bragg had been. His officers during the fight for Atlanta in the summer of 1864 raised dissension to a kind of art form, which eventually contributed to his downfall.

Before that happened, however, the second great internal brawl of the Army of Tennessee occurred. A week after Johnston had assumed command, while the army was encamped at Dalton, Gal, Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne tossed a bombshell into the officer corps by proposing that the Confederacy arm its slaves and use them to fill up the depleted ranks of the armies. Other officers had already advised him not to bring up the controversial subject, if not out of consideration for army unity and morale, then out of consideration for his own promising career.

A furious uproar soon spread far beyond the confines of Johnston’s headquarters. General W.H.T. Walker complained to President Davis in a long letter also signed by Generals Alexander Stewart, Carter Stevenson, Patton Anderson and William Bate. Davis tried to put the lid on the entire matter, ordering Johnston to hush up any further discussion of it in the army. This Johnston did, but Bragg and others in Richmond hereafter associated Cleburne’s name with a traitorous scheme of abolition, and Cleburne never won corps command, despite a sterling combat record.

The Confederate situation, while not unique in military history, was nonetheless extremely disruptive. Reading through the records, one gets the feeling sometimes that more swords were surrendered to fellow officers during the war than to the enemy.

The quaint practice of surrendering swords at least provided a peaceful method of resolving personal differences. In other instances, Southern officers preferred to use their sidearms on each other rather than surrendering them. This is what happened on September 6, 1863, at Little Rock, Ark., between Generals John S. Marmaduke and Lucius M. Walker. Both commanded cavalry divisions in Arkansas, and Marmaduke impugned the personal courage of Walker, who had already been declared unfit as an officer by no less an authority than Braxton Bragg. A duel resulted in which Walker was mortally wounded. Following his death the next day, Marmaduke was arrested but quickly released because the army could not afford to lose two cavalry commanders while the enemy was active in the vicinity. Furthermore, Marmaduke was a well-liked officer, and popular opinion in the army was clearly on his side.

In April 1865, three days before Lee surrendered, Colonel George W. Baylor shot Brig. Gen. John A. Wharton, the latter being unarmed at the time. Baylor said Wharton called him a liar and slapped his face, sufficient provocation for any red-blooded Southern gentleman, but Wharton’s friends said Baylor was angry about being passed over for promotion and blamed Wharton for holding him back. Baylor was never charged with any crime, and even if he had been, it is doubtful whether other Southern gentlemen, particularly if they were Texans, would have convicted him.

There is no telling how many dueling challenges were issued and never acted upon. After Malvern Hill, General Robert Toombs challenged D.H. Hill to a duel for accusing him of taking the field too late and leaving it too soon. While Hill’s unofficial criticism had said nothing about Toombs’ brigade, Toombs interpreted the insult to be aimed at both himself and his brigade, and therefore demanded the satisfaction usual among gentlemen.

The two men sparred back and forth in a series of letters, with Hill reminding Toombs that they were prohibited from issuing or accepting challenges to duel by the plainest principles of duty and the laws which we have mutually sworn to serve. In the end, Toombs had to be satisfied with publicly calling Hill a poltroon, a taunt which no one else took seriously because of Hill’s well-known courage on the battlefield.

Constant squabbling among senior officers, accompanied by bitter recriminations and indiscriminate dismissals and transfers, ate away at the army’s heart and soul. Jefferson Davis himself never understood this fact and incredibly drew the opposite conclusion from his personal experience. After the Revolt of the Generals, he stated with more wishful thinking than common sense, I have learned that cordial cooperation between officers is not vital to success.

Noted historian Bell Wiley was closer to the truth when he observed: Perhaps the most costly of the Confederacy’s shortcomings was the disharmony among its people….One who delves deeply into the literature of the period may easily conclude that Southerners hated each other more than they did the Yankees.

Texas-based author Dr. Richard Selcer wishes to dedicate his article on Southern generals to the memory of his friend and colleague Colonel Harold B. Simpson, author of Brawling Brass, North and South. See also Colonel Red Reeder’s The Southern Generals.

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Attack Written Deep and Crimson – May ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureAttack Written Deep and Crimson By Robert Collins Suhr The strategic railroad town of Corinth was a key target for Confederate armieshoping to march north in support of General Braxton Bragg’s invasion ofKentucky. In late summer 1862, Confederate armies were on the march everywhere. The most notable advance, that of the Army of Northern Virginia, …
Heroine or Hoaxer? – August 1999 Civil War Times FeatureHeroine or Hoaxer? Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez wrote a controversial memoir disclosing her activities as a double agent and brave soldier during the Civil War. BY SYLVIA D. HOFFERT In 1876 the American public was introduced to an astonishing and controversial figure by the name of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez. Like so many others, she …
Smith-Taylor Disagreement – Sidebar: November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureSmith-Taylor Disagreement The Trans-Mississippi West was hardly a picture of soldierly bliss and harmony, either. There were too many idle generals full of fire and ambition, and not enough combat duties to go around. As a result, they spent their time bickering and intriguing among themselves. Because he had almost dictatorial powers in the department …
Civil War Times: October 1999 EditorialFrom the EditorCivil War Times THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF AMBITION I remember standing on Seminary Ridge, looking out over that ocean of a field that stretches to Cemetery Ridge. It was a windy winter day in the late 1980s, and there was scarcely anyone else at Gettysburg National Military Park. I studied the figures …
A Tar Heel’s Tale – October 1999 Civil War Times FeatureA Tar Heel’s Tale SUBMITTED BY LONNIE R. SPEER OF SWANNANOA, NORTH CAROLINA   NAME Charles Dock Jenkins DATES May 16, 1829, to January 20, 1915 ALLEGIANCE Confederate HIGHEST RANK Sergeant UNIT 29th North Carolina Infantry, Company F SERVICE RECORD Enlisted on August 31, 1861. Participated in skirmishes throughout eastern Tennessee. Wounded in the September …
THE SAVIOR OF CINCINNATI – February 1999 Civil War Times FeatureTHE SAVIOR OF CINCINNATI Long before he published Ben-Hur, Lew Wallace rose from a career as an obscure small-town Indiana lawyer to take a prominent role in the Civil War. BY ROBERT E. MORSBERGER During the first months of the war, when the Union suffered almost continual setbacks, Wallace received adulatory publicity for leading his …
Stonewall’s Only Defeat – Sidebar: January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureStonewall’s Cavalry Chief In an army not lacking for larger-than-life heroes, Confederate cavalry leader Turner Ashby had already become a legend by the time of his premature death in June 1862. As Stonewall Jackson’s cavalry chief in the Shenandoah Valley, the Virginia-born Ashby naturally took on some of the glamour of the South’s most-vaunted warrior. …
WHEAT’S TIGERS Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas – May ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureWHEAT'S TIGERS Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas By Gary Schreckengost Recruited from New Orleans’ teeming waterfront by soldier of fortune Roberdeau Wheat, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion more than lived up to its pugnacious nickname–Wheat’s Tigers–at the First Battle of Manassas. Of all the units that took the field at the First Battle of Manassas …
A Tragic Postscript – Cover Page: August ’99 American History FeatureA Tragic Postscript In a tragic postscript to the Civil War, as many as 1,700 Union soldiers, recently released from Confederate prisons, may have died while en route home aboard the steamer Sultana. By Jerry O. Potter On Christmas day, 1864, John Clark Ely shivered against the cold wind that blew through the small prison …
Why the South Lost the Civil War – Cover Page: February ’99 American History FeatureTen Civil War historians provide contrasting and controversial views on how and why the Confederate cause ultimately ended in defeat.
Savage Skirmish Near Sharpsburg – September ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureSavage Skirmish Near Sharpsburg By Scott Hosier With Robert E. Lee’s wily Confederates waiting somewhere in the vicinity of Antietam Creek, Union General George McClellan ordered I Corps commander Joseph Hooker to advance and turn the Rebel flank. But McClellan, for once, was too quick to move, and Hooker soon found himself in an unexpectedly …
War’s Last Cavalry Raid – May ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureWar's Last Cavalry Raid By Chris Hartley Even as General Robert E. Lee was surrendering at Appomattox, a vengeful Union cavalry horde led by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman made Southern civilians pay dearly for the war. It was a last brutal lesson in the concept of total warfare. Six-foot-four-inch Major General George Stoneman, powerfully built, …
J.E.B. Stuart: Gettysburg Scapegoat?Following the Confederate debacle at Gettysburg, many blamed Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart for leaving General Robert E. Lee in the dark. But was Stuart really to blame for the defeat? And if so, was he the only one at fault?
Cavalry Clash at Hanover – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureCavalry Clash at Hanover By Brent L. Vosburg Southern beau sabreur J.E.B. Stuart hardly expected to run head-on into enemy cavalry on his second ride around the Union Army. But a trio of ‘boy generals’ would soon give the famed Confederate horseman all the action he could handle. In mid-June 1863, General Robert E. Lee, …
Clark’s Mountain – Sidebar: July ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Perfect Cover Story Most accounts of the Second Manassas campaign rely heavily on Major General John Pope’s report from the Official Records. Many historians, in fact, have looked no further. Their trust has not been well-placed. Several clues within Pope’s version of events suggest falsehood, even without additional accounts. The key portion of Pope’s …

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America’s Civil War: May 1998 From the EditorOn the occasion of our 10th anniversary, we look back with pride at promises made and kept. Ten years ago this month, a sergeant in the 4th Alabama Infantry defiantly waved his new national banner from the cover of an equally new magazine–America’s Civil War. Fittingly enough, the painting on the cover, by contemporary artist …
Judson Kilpatrick – June 1998 Civil War Times FeatureJudson Kilpatrick BY EDWARD G. LONGACRE Union General Judson Kilpatrick was flamboyant, reckless, tempestuous, and even licentious. In some respects he made other beaux sabreurs like fellow-cavalrymen George Custer and J. E. B. Stuart seem dull. Because he was a passionate man, Kilpatrick won many admirers and made many enemies during his Civil War career–and …
Hard-Fighting John Hammond – Sidebar: January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureHard-Fighting John Hammond Although many citizens heeded the call to defend and preserve the Union, no one in Essex County, New York, felt more strongly about serving his country than John Hammond. The son of Charles F. Hammond, a local businessman in Crown Point, New York, John was born on August 17, 1827. He attended …
“Never Were Men So Brave” – December 1998 Civil War Times FeatureNever Were Men So Brave Their casualties were enormous but their courage and capacity for fun were legendary. General Lee, himself, gave highest praise to these Yankees of the Irish Brigade. BY JOHN F. McCORMACK, JR. Out Hanover Street in Fredericksburg they marched that December morning in 1862, sprigs of green in their caps, a …
CHRISTMAS IN THE CIVIL WAR – December 1998 Civil War Times FeatureCHRISTMAS IN THE CIVIL WAR Whether in camp, in prison, or on the homefront, Christmas came–and so did Saint Nicholas! BY KEVIN RAWLINGS Thomas Nast was in a quandary and his deadline was fast approaching. The editor of Harper’s Weekly, Fletcher Harper, wanted Nast to draw a “special Christmas picture” for the newspaper’s front page, …
Greybeards in Blue – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureGreybeards in Blue An eccentric Iowa farmer raises a regiment of old-timers with hopes of one dayleading them into battle. BY BENTON McADAMS The idea was a bold one: a regiment of old men in Union blue, risen from their comfortable parlors and front-porch rockers to rally ’round the flag. The sight of these ancient …
Robert E. Lee on Black Troops and the Confederacy – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureRobert E. Lee on Black Troops and the Confederacy In the waning days of the Civil War, Gen. Robert E. Lee disclosed his thoughts on the subject of Negroes as soldiers for the Confederacy. In the waning days of the Civil War, when desperation drove the Confederacy to enlist Negroes in her army, General Robert …
Out of a Frozen Hell – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureOut of a Frozen Hell The wind was howling, snow was falling sideways, and the temperature was dangerously low. What better time to escape from Johnson’s Island? BY ROGER LONG Part two of this article from Civil War Times Illustrated will appear on TheHistoryNet the week of March 30. Editor’s Note: As 1863 gave way …
Commands: The Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. By Richard E. Crouch Of all the special units that were formed to combat Confederate partisan rangers in Virginia during the Civil War–the Blazer Scouts, the Jesse Scouts, Cole’s Maryland Cavalry and others–probably the most promising was the Loudoun Rangers, an independent cavalry …
Rebels in Pennsylvania! – August 1998 Civil War Times FeatureRebels in Pennsylvania! The spearhead of Lee’s army was about to strike a lethal blow at the very heart of the Keystone State when the Battle of Gettysburg interrupted. BY UZAL ENT Gettysburg was a small rural town with no special significance or importance, like the thousands of other small towns that dotted the American …
Nothing But Glory Gained – Account of Pickett’s Charge at GettysburgJust before 3 o’clock on the morning of July 3, 1863, Robert E. Lee rose by starlight, ate a spartan breakfast with his staff, and mounted his famous gray horse, Traveller, for the ride up Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg. He went in search of his "Old War Horse," Lieutenant General James Longstreet, commander of I …
Out of a Frozen Hell Part 2 – May 1998 Civil War Times FeatureOut of a Frozen Hell part 2 A misplaced pocketbook jeopardizes the escape of three Rebel prisoners struggling to reach Canada. BY ROGER LONG Editor’s Note: In our last issue, we followed four Confederate officers on their daring escape from Johnson’s Island Prison, on Ohio’s Sandusky Bay. Going over the wall on New Year’s Day …
Carnage in a Cornfield – September ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureCarnage in a Cornfield By Robert C. Cheeks Mr. Miller’s humble cornfield near Antietam Creek became the unlikely setting for perhaps the worst fighting of the entire Civil War. On Sunday night, September 14, 1862, Confederate General Robert E. Lee issued orders for his much scattered commands to rally at Sharpsburg, Maryland. His ambitious plans …
Battle of Gettysburg: Remembering Pickett’s ChargeFew judgments have generated as much controversy as the Confederate decision to make a last desperate attack on the center of the Union lines on the afternoon of July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg.
Commands: The Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. By Richard E. Crouch Of all the special units that were formed to combat Confederate partisan rangers in Virginia during the Civil War–the Blazer Scouts, the Jesse Scouts, Cole’s Maryland Cavalry and others–probably the most promising was the Loudoun Rangers, an independent cavalry …
Remembering Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of GettysburgConfederate Captain Joseph Graham offers a different perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg, particularly its final hours.
America’s Civil War: May 1997 From the EditorThe unexpected and unnecessary Loring-Jackson incident almost derailed two promising military careers. When Major General William Wing Loring led the successful Confederate defense of Yazoo Pass in March 1863 (see story, P. 46), he unwittingly earned himself a new nickname. Personally directing his men’s fire, Loring cried in the heat of battle: “Give them blizzards, …
America’s Civil War: September 1997 From the EditorAt Antietam, George McClellan and his ‘bodyguard’ dawdled throughout a long ‘Fatal Thursday.’ This issue of America’s Civil War takes a close look at the Battle of Antietam on this, the 135th anniversary of the battle. There are feature-length articles on the fighting around Dunker church and Bloody Lane, as well as a "Personality" piece …
Civil War Times: August 1997 EditorialFrom the EditorCivil War Times CORSETS AND M-16s Sometime or another, every one of us daydreams about traveling in time. There are people who write out their time-travel fantasies in the form of novels or movie scripts, with characters who visit the past and change history. (You know the plot: someone gives Robert E. Lee …
BLIND JUSTICE- Cover Page: May 1997 Civil War Times FeatureBLIND JUSTICE Should a Texas Ranger Expect Justice or Death From His Union Captors? BY DANIEL E. SUTHERLAND Ephraim Shelby Dodd sat in his Knoxville jail cell and scribbled a note to a local volunteer who was taking care of him and some other Rebel prisoners. He made a modest request–“a piece of soap, towel, …
first thunder at SHILOH – Cover Page: March 1997 Civil War Times Featurefirst thunder at SHILOH A REBEL BATTERY’S FIRST SALVO WAS THE PRELUDE TO A STORM THE UNTESTED CANNONEERS COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED JON G. STEPHENSON A Confederate artillery captain peered through his field glasses, calmly studying the distant tree line. It was a lovely day. A breeze ruffled the budding branches of the oaks that …
Drop Poision Gas from a Balloon – August 1997 Civil War Times FeatureDrop Poison Gas from a Balloon Bombing enemy positions from aircraft during the Civil War? That’s exactly what one Confederate soldier proposed as a way to overcome a Yankee fort in Florida. BY BELL I. WILEY As various historians have observed, the American conflict of 1861-1865 was the last of the old-fashioned and the first …
Battle of Fairfield: Grumble Jones’ Gettysburg Campaign VictoryWhile the Battle of Gettysburg raged a few miles away, two very different cavalrymen fought for control of the strategic Fairfield Gap. At stake was the survival or destruction of General Robert E. Lee's army.
Battle for the Bluegrass – Mar. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureIt had been almost one month since Confederate General Braxton Bragg had pulled off an organizational masterpiece–four weeks since the first troop trains had rumbled into Chattanooga, Tennessee, completing an improbable 800-mile odyssey. Bragg had engineered one of the most innovative strategic strokes of the Civil War. An entire Confederate Army had been lifted from …
Stuart’s Revenge – June ’95 Civil War Times FeatureSTUART’S REVENGE A stolen hat and wounded pride spurred Southern cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart into action. His vengeance would be swift, daring, and–unexpectedly–funny. By JOHN HENNESSY A battlefield was a strange place for the reunion of old friends. The contorted bodies of men who had fallen in combat two days earlier littered the ground around the …
‘Home, Sweet Home’, Soldier’s Favorite Song – May ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureORDNANCE John Howard Payne’s haunting ‘Home, Sweet Home’was the Civil War soldier’s favorite song. By Ernest L. Abel A few weeks after the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862), about 100,000 Federal soldiers and 70,000 Confederates were camped on opposite sides of the Rap-pahannock River in Virginia. The battle had been one of the bloodiest …
General Samuel Garland – May ’96 America’s Civil War FeaturePERSONALITY When Samuel Garland fell at South Mountain, the Confederacy lost a promising general and a proven leader. By James K. Swisher In the years following the Civil War, the loss of outstanding young leaders in that fratricidal conflict had an immeasurable effect upon state and local affairs. The war had rapidly expanded to a …
Kill Cavalry’s Nasty Surprise – Nov. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureKill Cavalry’s NASTY SURPRISE Union General William Sherman considered Judson Kilpatrick, his cavalry chief, ‘a hell of a damn fool.’ At Monroe’s Cross Roads, N.C., his carelessness and disobedience of orders proved Sherman’s point. By William Preston Mangum II Major General William Tecumseh Sherman had made a swift and steady advance through Georgia and South …
Travelers to Wartime Richmond – Sept. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureTravelers to wartime Richmond had a wide choiceof luxurious hotels, inns and taverns. By John K. Trammell The outbreak of the Civil War ushered in an era of radical change in Virginia. Starting with fanatical John Brown’s failed revolution at Harpers Ferry, and ending with a devastating defeat and painful reconstruction six years later, citizens …
The 44th Georgia Suffered Some of the Heaviest Losses – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureThe hard-fighting 44th Georgia suffered some of the heaviest losses of any regiment in the Civil War.By Gerald J. Smith On March 10, 1862, companies of Georgians from Henry, Jasper, Clarke, Spalding, Clayton, Putnam, Fayette, Pike, Morgan, Henry and Greene counties all assembled at Camp Stephens, outside Griffin. Responding to Governor Joseph Brown’s mandate to …
The Lightning Brigade Saves the Day – July ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Lightning Brigade Saves the Day Armed with their new, lethal seven-shot Spencer rifles, Wilder’sLightning Brigade was all that stood between the Union Army and the looming disaster at Chickamauga Creek. By Hubert M. Jordan Historically, the Battle of Chickamauga is recorded as a two-day battle starting on September 19, 1863. For the men of …
Stonewall’s 11th-Hour Rally: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeatureWith a rusted sword in one hand and a Confederate battle flag in the other,a grim-faced Stonewall Jackson desperately rallied his faltering troops. What Rebelworthy of the name could abandon ‘Old Jack’ in his hour of need?By Robert C. Cheeks It was devilishly hot in the summer of 1862, an oppressive, debilitating heat that ravaged …

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The Proving Ground – April ’96 Civil War Times FeaturethePROVINGground The Mexican War gave future civil war generals their first taste of combatJOHN C. WAUGH Chatham Roberdeau Wheat would one day lead a famous Louisiana battalion called “Wheat’s Tigers” into battle for the Confederacy. He would fight and die in the Battle of Gaines’ Mill, Virginia, in 1862. But that was still some 15 …
Day One at Chancellorsville – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureNew Union commander ‘Fighting Joe’ Hooker planned to encircle Robert E. Lee at the Virginia crossroads hamlet of Chancellorsville. The plan seemed to be working perfectly, until….By Al Hemingway Early in the evening on April 29, 1863, Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart rode up to the Chancellor farmhouse, a well-known inn 11 miles west …
A Town Embattled- February ’96 Civil War Times FeatureWinchester, Virginia, saw more of the war than any other place North or Southa town EMBATTLEDCHRIS FORDNEY Ten thousand Confederate troops filled the small town of Winchester, Virginia, early in the summer of 1861. Soldiers were quartered in almost every building. Then, in mid-July, a call came to stop a Federal advance on Manassas, and …
First Eyewitness to War LetterMy Dear Wife, I this morning sat myself down to write you a few lines to let you know that I am in good health. At this time hoping when these few lines come to hand they may find you and the children all well. My dear wife, I want to see you and my …
Tall Tales of the Civil War – August ’96 Civil War Times FeatureTALL TALES OF THE CIVIL WAR Being a compendium of poppycock, balderdash, and malarkey told by civil warveterans for the amusement and amazement of future generations BY: WILLIAM C. DAVIS Men are deceivers ever,” wrote William Shakespeare in Much Ado AboutNothing. Certainly much of what men and women have said about their deedsthrough the ages …
Ewell Seizes the Day at Winchester – Mar. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureEwell Seizes the Day atWINCHESTERBy Dean M. Wells One month after Stonewall Jackson’s death at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee turned to Stonewall’s trusted lieutenant, Richard Ewell, to cover his invasion of the North. Was ‘Old Bald Head’ up to the challenge? June 14, 1863, was a hot, cloudy day in northern Virginia. A light breeze …
An Englishman’s Journey Through the Confederacy – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureSuave, gentlemanly Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards picked an unusual vacation spot: the Civil War-torn United States. By Robert R. Hodges, Jr. After graduating from Sandhurst, Great Britain’s West Point, Arthur James Lyon Fremantle entered the army in 1852 and soon became an officer in England’s renowned Coldstream Guards (both his …
Last-Ditch Rebel Stand at Petersburg – Cover Page: May ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureLast-Ditch Rebel Stand at PetersburgBy Ronald E. Bullock After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Va., suddenly collapsed. Desperate to save his army, Robert E. Lee called on his soldiers for one last miracle. After more than nine months of squalid trench warfare around the beleaguered Southern city of Petersburg, Virginia, …
Did ‘Baldy’ Ewell Lose Gettysburg?After disobeying Robert E. Lee's orders to avoid a general engagement at Gettysburg, Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell received an order to 'press those people.' His failure to do so created a controversy that survives to this day.
Eyewitness to War: Stonewall Jackson’s Final Days – November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureDr. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson’s 27-year-old medical director, chronicled the general’s last days. By Joe D. Haines, Jr. The circumstances surrounding the death of Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson are well known. Following perhaps his greatest performance, leading a brilliant flanking maneuver against Union Major General Joseph Hooker at Chancellorsville, he was mistakenly shot …
All-Girl Rhea County Spartans – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureBegun as a lark, the all-girl Rhea County Spartans soon attracted the attention of unamused Union officers. By Charles Rice “I must tell you about a candy stew that they had at Uncle Frank’s last night,” young Mary Paine of Rhea County, Tennessee, wrote to her Confederate-soldier brother in January 1863. “Miss Jennie and Manurva …
Valley of the Shadow – Sept. ’90 America’s Civil War FeatureVALLEY OFTHE SHADOW Overconfident and overextended, the Union Army of the Cumberland advanced into the deep woods of northwest Georgia. Waiting Confederates did notintend for them to leave. At Chickamauga Creek, the two sides collided. By Mike Haskew In the dimly lit log cabin of the Widow Glenn, the military map wasspread. Worried Union officers …
Virginia Yankee at PerryvilleOn the night of October 7, 1862, the eve of the Battle of Perryville, three Union officers sat around a campfire earnestly discussing the odds of being wounded in battle. Brigadier Generals James Jackson and William Terrill and Colonel George Webster decided to their satisfaction that such a likelihood was actually quite slim, given the …
Return To The Killing Ground – Sidebar: November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureVortex Of Hell When James Longstreet’s Confederate divisions advanced to the attack at 4:30 p.m. on August 30, the 1,000-man brigade of Colonel Gouverneur Warren held a wooded hill west of Young’s Branch in the direct path of John Bell Hood’s Confederate division. Warren’s command consisted of two Zouave regiments, the 5th and 10th New …
Taking of Burnside Bridge – September ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureTaking of Burnside Bridge By John M. Priest While Union commander George McClellan fumed and the Battle of Antietam hung in the balance, a handful of Rebels held off Federal troops at “Burnside Bridge.” The day–September 17, 1862–promised to be long and hot, and the regimental commanders in Brigadier General Samuel Sturgis’ division of the …
Munfordville, Kentucky’s Civil War Heritage – Nov. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureMunfordville, Kentucky, proudly preserves its Civil War heritage–including, some say, a wartime ghost. By Darleen Francisco Visitors to Munfordville, a small town in central Kentucky about 70 miles south of Louis-ville, are in for a pleasant surprise. The Hart County village is living proof that, as the old saying goes, “Looks can be deceiving.” For …
Return To The Killing Ground – November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureReturn To The Killing Ground By Jeffry D. Wert Brash, bombastic John Pope tempted fate by returning to the old battleground at Manassas. He thought he had caught Robert E. Lee napping. He was wrong. A heavy, soaking rain fell across northern Virginia on the night of August 30-31, 1862. Despite the storm’s intensity, it …
A Tour of ‘Mosby’s Confederacy’ – Jan ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureTRAVELA tour of ‘Mosby’s Confederacy’ gives a taste of thefamed cavalryman’s hair-raising exploits. By Karen M. Laski “They had for us all the glamour of Robin Hood and his merry men, all the courage and bravery of the ancient crusaders, the unexpectedness of benevolent pirates and the stealth of Indians.” So wrote Sam Moore, a …
Battle of Gettysburg: Union General George Stannard and the 2nd Vermont BrigadeThe first Vermonter to enlist in the war, Union General George Stannard helped turn the tide at Gettysburg.
Mexican War: The Proving Ground for Future American Civil War GeneralsFor young American army officers of the time, the Mexican War was not only the road to glory, it was the road to promotion--a proving ground for future Civil War generals.

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