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Union Generals

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

There were many important Union generals during the American Civil War. Some, like Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, George Mclellan and Joshua Chamberlain are household names. Others are less well known but are still important, as the northern 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 union generals, along with links to more information and articles about each one.

List of Union Generals

Ulysses S. Grant

General Ulysses S. Grant led the Union Army during the later years of the civil war, and later became the President of The United States. Learn more about Ulysses S. Grant

George Mcclellan

General George Mcclellan led the Army of the Potomac during the early years of the civil war and also ran for President against Abraham Lincoln. Learn more about George Mcclellan

Robert Anderson

Starting as a Major and ending as a Brigadier General, Robert Anderson is best known for surrendering Fort Sumter, the first engagement of the Civil War. Learn more about Robert Anderson

Nathaniel Banks

General Nathaniel Banks was a hapless leader of the Union Army, suffering one defeat after another. Learn more about Nathaniel Banks

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman fought in many battles and his best known for taking Atlanta followed by his brutal by effective “march to the sea.” Learn more about William Tecumseh Sherman

George Custer

General George Armstrong Custer was a United States Army officer who served in the civil war and Indian wars, meeting his famous demise at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Read more about George Custer

Winfield Scott Hancock

General Winfield Scott Hancock was a US Army officer for his entire career and eventually a nominee for the office of President of the US in 1880. Read more about Winfield Scott Hancock

Abner Doubleday

Though there is a myth saying that Abner Doubleday was the inventor of baseball, he never said that he did. Read more about Abner Doubleday

Ambrose Burnside

General Ambrose Burnside Ambrose, besides being a soldier, was an industrialist, railroad executive and an inventor. Read more about Ambrose Burnside

Arthur Macarthur

General Arthur Macarthur was one of five men to ever be promoted to the rank of a five star general of the army. Read more about Arthur Macarthur

Benjamin Butler

General Benjamin Butler was not only a soldier but also a lawyer and eventually a politician for the state of Massachusetts. Read more about Benjamin Butler

Daniel Sickles

General Daniel Sickles was a Union general during the Civil War as well as a controversial politician. Read more about Daniel Sickles

George Meade

General George Gordon Meade was a civil engineer and an army officer before serving as a Union general during the Civil War. He was successful in defeating General Lee but was criticized for not pursuing the Confederate Army when in his grasp. He became a commissioner of Fairmont Park in Philadelphia until his death. He died from a combination of pneumonia and old wounds and now rests at the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Read more about George Meade

George Thomas

General George Thomas served as an army officer throughout his career and a Union general at the time of the American Civil War. Read more about George Thomas

Irvin Mcdowell

General Irvin Mcdowell was an army officer who is better known for the defeat at First Battle of Bull Run. McDowell had at his disposal the army of Northeastern Virginia which unfortunately was inexperienced and not ready. He launched his attack due to pressure from Washington and though the strategy was imaginative, his troops were not ready to carry it out. McDowell died in 1885 and was buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery. Read more about Irvin Mcdowell

John Buford

General John Buford was an officer of the Union Cavalry during the Civil War and one of his most important roles took place at Gettysburg. Read more about John Buford

John Pope

General John Pope was a general for the Union during the Civil War and a career army officer. He is mostly known for the defeat at Second Battle of Bull Run in the east, after which he was sent to Minnesota. Read more about John Pope

John Reynolds

General John Reynolds was an army officer and a general during the Civil War. He was a very respected senior commander and is known for committing the Army of the Potomac to Gettysburg. Reynolds was killed early in that same battle. He was buried in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1863. Read more about John Reynolds

Joseph Hooker

General Joseph Hooker was a major general for the Union during the Civil War and a career army officer. Read more about Joseph Hooker

Joshua Chamberlain

General Joshua Chamberlain was a college professor and eventually a brigadier general and brevet major general for the Union army leading, among others, the 20th Maine Brigade. Read more about Joshua Chamberlain

Philip Sheridan

General Philip Sheridan was a Union general and an army officer throughout his career. He is known for his association with Ulysses S. Grant and for his fast assent to major general. Read more about Philip Sheridan

Oliver Howard

General Oliver Howard was a Union general in the Civil War and a career army officer. He suffered defeats at Gettysburg and Chancellorsville but at Western Theater his reputation was restored. Read more about Oliver Howard

William Starke Rosecrans

General William Starke Rosecrans was not only a general for the Union during the Civil War, but also a coal and oil company executive, an inventor, a politician and a diplomat.. Read more about William Starke Rosecrans

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


Articles Featuring Union Generals From History Net Magazines

Featured Article

Lincoln’s Political Generals

Lincoln’s Political Generals, by David Work
University of Illinois Press, 2009

Abraham Lincoln made his share of mistakes as commander in chief during the Civil War, but did his politically motivated appointments of nonmilitary men as Union generals help or hinder the war effort? The battlefield failures of the likes of Nathaniel Banks, Benja­min Butler and John Charles Fremont have been documented as part of larger studies, but David Work’s Lincoln’s Political Generals is the first book dedicated solely to examining who these men were, how they were appointed, what their responsibilities were, how they performed and how they influenced the president and the war itself.

Lincoln was quite aware of the strange dynamic created by the need for political generals and supposedly even joked about it one time. When a brigadier general was captured along with some horses and mules, he apparently said: “I don’t care so much for brigadiers; I can make them. But horses and mules cost money.” At the outbreak of the war, Lincoln was indeed besieged by requests for officer appointments, and Work shows that because of the lack of trained, professional officers in the Army, this became both a military and political necessity for him. Lincoln adeptly appointed Republicans, Demo­crats and men of particular ethnic backgrounds to secure the support of their respective constituencies and thereby unite the North behind the war effort.

Work looks at 16 political generals who fought for the Union—eight Republicans and eight Democrats, including two Germans and two Irishmen—and follows them over all four years to show the effects of Lincoln’s policy. While some of these men are well known today, a number remain relatively obscure—the raw ground Work covers alone makes this a worthy addition to anyone’s library.

Lincoln’s Political Generals will appeal to enthusiasts of Civil War military history, since more than half the book examines how these political generals performed on the battlefield. This includes not only famous failures such as Franz Sigel’s 1861 loss at Wilson’s Creek, Banks’ 1864 Red River Campaign and Daniel Sickles’ incompetency at Gettysburg, but also the lesser-known successes of men such as John A. Logan during the Atlanta Campaign, James S. Wadsworth at Gettysburg and Francis P. Blair Jr. at Vicksburg. As Work shows, political generals who began the war subordinate to professional officers learned to become competent and victorious commanders themselves. Conversely, the “citizen generals” who were given immediate command of their own forces proved incredibly inept and detrimental, even dangerous, to the war effort.

But Work’s book is more than just battlefield history. He also examines how political generals affected the quasi-civil administration of military districts during and after the war; how their particular policies toward slavery and raising black soldiers affected Lincoln’s own policy; and, most pertinent to Lincoln himself, how they exerted their own political influence to support the president and the Union. (After Lincoln’s 1864 reelection, he removed a number of his political generals whose inadequate performance he had been tolerating in order to secure the votes of their constituencies.) The last three chapters covering these topics are in fact the most interesting and enlightening of the book, examining topics generally skimmed in typical war histories.

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MHQ Reviews: Cain at GettysburgHistorynet Image MHQ Home Page Cain at Gettysburg By Ralph Peters. 432 pp. Forge, 2012. $25.99. Reviewed by Noah Andre Trudeau I confess to being a fan of Civil War fiction involving real battles. Over the years I’ve come to recognize three types. One alters some aspect of the engagement that changes the outcome, then …
Multi-Media Review: Lincoln’s Letters: The Private Man and the Warrior: ACWLINCOLN’S LETTERS: THE PRIVATE MAN AND THE WARRIORMost presidents’ written records have been pored over by scholars in minute detail. These scholars, in turn, produce volumes of their own, intended to tell us what our leaders’ writings really meant. Abraham Lincoln’s writings need no such interpretation. Love him or hate him, few can deny that …
American History: December 2000 From the EditorAn American Named UlyssesRecent months have seen the publication of no less than three novels about Ulysses S. Grant. Even taking into consideration the public’s enduring fascination with the Civil War, I find that somewhat astonishing. Yet, on further reflection, Grant’s life does provide the raw stuff of fiction, an epic tale of an ordinary …
MANTLED IN FIRE AND SMOKE – July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureMANTLED IN FIRE AND SMOKE By David F. Cross The Battle of Gettysburg, and perhaps the fate of the Union, was decided in one hour of desperate fighting on the rocky ledges of Little Round Top. In June 1863, Confederate military fortunes in the East were at their zenith. The Union Army of the Potomac …
Mantled in Fire and Smoke – Sidebar: July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Colorful 44th New York Regiment Colonel Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine may have won the most fame during the grueling fight for control of Little Round Top, but the largest regimental monument on the battlefield today commemorates a brother regiment that fought alongside the 20th Maine that desperate afternoon–the 44th New York, the “People’s Ellsworth …
The North’s Unsung Sisters of Mercy – September ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureThe North's Unsung Sisters of Mercy By Alice P. Stein A cadre of dedicated Northern women from all walks of life traveled to the charnel houses of the Civil War to care for the sick and wounded. They came from the paneled drawing rooms of the nation’s great mansions, the log lean-tos of the far …
Stonewall’s Only Defeat – January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureStonewalls Only Defeat By Lee Enderlin A furious Stonewall Jackson watched impotently as his proud Confederates stumbled down the hillside at Kernstown, Va. “Give them the bayonet,” Jackson implored–but no one obeyed. The Confederate general didn’t want to fight–he wanted to pray. It was, after all, the Sabbath, and if the Good Lord found it …
Camp William Penn’s Black Soldiers In Blue – November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureCamp William Penn's Black Soldiers In Blue By Donald Scott Under the stern but sympathetic gaze of Lt. Col. Louis Wagner, some 11,000 African-American soldiers trained to fight for their freedom at Philadelphia’s Camp William Penn. Three Medal of Honor recipients would pass through the camp’s gates. Major Louis Wagner of the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry …
The Photographer of the Confederacy – May 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe Photographer of the Confederacy BY CONLEY L. EDWARDS III In an attempt to explain why he undertook the task of battlefield photography during the Civil War, Mathew Brady said, “I felt I had to go, a spirit in my feet said go, and I went.” The modern student of the Civil War indeed owes …
Frederick Stowe in the shadow of Uncle Tom’s Cabin – January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureFrederick Stowe in the shadow of Uncle Tom's Cabin By James Tackach The fame of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe followed her son throughout the Civil War. “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!” President Abraham Lincoln reportedly said to Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her at a …
South’s Feuding Generals – November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureSouth's Feuding Generals By Richard Selcer It sometimes seemed that Southern generals were more interested in fighting each other than in fighting Yankees. Their inability to get along together contributed greatly to the South’s demise. Imagine a situation in the modern American army where officers refuse to fight under other officers, where generals openly defy …
Desperate Stand at Chickamauga – July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureDesperate Stand at Chickamauga By James B. Ronan II Brigadier General John King’s disciplined brigade of Union Regulars found itself tested as never before at Chickamauga. For two bloody days, the Regulars dashed from one endangered spot to another, seeking to save their army from annihilation. In the cold, clear predawn of September 19, 1863, …
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, …
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 …
they paid to enter Libby Prison – February 1999 Civil War Times Featurethey paid to enter Libby Prison A drafty Richmond deathtrap for captured Yankees became a tourist trap after the war–600 miles away! BY BRUCE KLEE The Union officers who stepped into the huge brick prison’s reception room knew all too well what this chamber was. It was the proverbial lion’s mouth. Here, men were swallowed …
Civil War Times: December 1999 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War Times RIGHT, BUT A LITTLE WRONG I had the great fortune to have been born and raised in the Gettysburg area and recall many instances of looking out over the revered battlefield, experiencing many of the same emotions put forth in your article (“The Last Full Measure of Ambition,” October 1999). …
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 …
A Solider’s Legacy – August 1999 Civil War Times FeatureA Soldier’s Legacy SUBMITTED BY REX ROWLAND OF CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE   NAME Calvin Kelley DATES 1834(?) to May 22, 1864 ALLEGIANCE Confederate RANK Private UNIT 8th Arkansas Infantry, Company K SERVICE RECORD Enlisted on October 12, 1861. Wounded in the December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863, Battle of Murfreesboro. Wounded in the September 1863 Battle of …
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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, …

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America’s Civil War: January 1998 From the EditorWhether hidden in coffins or hollowed-out watermelons, contraband whiskey regularly found its way into camp. During the Civil War, as with all wars, excessive drinking was not limited to high-ranking officers. Humble men in the ranks also turned to alcohol to relieve the tensions and terrors of battle and the wearying tedium of camp. But …
VOICES FROM THE STANDS . . . – May 1998 Civil War Times FeatureVOICES FROM THE STANDS In our February issue, we asked readers to send us their thoughts on baseball and its connection to the Civil War. Here is a sampling of what we received. All men have a hidden desire to compete and win. Baseball is a sport played for the fun of it, and the …
A MAN OF TWO TRADES – December 1998 Civil War Times FeatureA MAN OF TWO TRADES SUBMITTED BY DAVID A. WELKER AND F. WILLIAM SPANGENBERG, CENTREVILLE, VIRGINIA NAME: William Findlay RogersDATES: March 1, 1820 to December 16, 1899ALLEGIANCE: UnionHIGHEST RANK: Brevet brigadier generalUNIT: 21st New York InfantrySERVICE RECORD: Organized Company C, 74th New York StateMilitia, in April 1861. Enlisted in the 21st New York Infantry soonthereafter. …
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 …
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 …
“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 …
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?
America’s Civil War: March 1998 From the EditorContrary to widespread belief, even ‘Beast’ Butler had a better side. He just kept it well hidden. If the Confederate States of America had ever offered a prize for the most hated Union general, New Hampshire-born Benjamin Butler would have won the laurels hands down. Short, stoop-shouldered and cross-eyed, Butler looked the part of the …
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, …
Pope’s narrow escape – July ’98 America’s Civil War FeaturePope's Escape By John W. Lamb While Robert E. Lee’s entire army massed behind Clark’s Mountain to attack the Union Army of Virginia, a daring Yankee spy swam the Rapidan River to warn Maj. Gen. John Pope of the imminent danger. It was, said one military historian, ‘the timeliest single product of espionage’ in the …
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, …
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 …
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 …
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 …
The death of Wilhautyah: December ’98 American History FeatureThe death of Wilhautyah When a white settler killed a Nez Perce warrior in 1876, the incident set off a chain of events that led to war. By Mark Highberger From across a freezing Montana battlefield on October 5, 1877, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce rode into the camp of U.S. Army Colonel Nelson …
David and Goliath – December 1997 Civil War Times FeatureDavid and Goliath An Unstoppable Confederate War Machine Meets Its Match BY MICHAEL MORGAN It was the Union’s turn to suffer. For three years its forces had steadily grown stronger along the North Carolina coast. Federal soldiers occupied most of the eastern part of the state. Few ports remained open, and even those were increasingly …
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, …
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.
Mission to Relieve Fort Sumter – September ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureMission to Relieve Fort Sumter By John D. Pelzer For three long months, Major Robert Anderson and his besieged troops waited forreinforcements at Fort Sumter. Back in Washington, Union navalofficer Gustavus Foxraced against time to organize just such a mission.   The Union soldiers saw no one as they marched out of Fort Moultrie just …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …

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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 …
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 …
Father John B. Tabb Aboard Confederate Blockade Runners: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeaturePERSONALITYFather John B. Tabb, an unreconstructed Rebel to the end, had served the Confederacy aboard blockade runners. By Charles A. Earp The Tabbs of Amelia County were one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Vir-ginia, owning vast acreage and many slaves. When the Civil War came, 16-year-old Johnny Tabb wanted to join his brothers …
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.
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 …
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 …
Horsepower Moves the Guns – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle.Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.By James R. Cotner The field artillery of the Civil War was designed to be mobile. When Union or Confederate troops marched across country, the guns moved with them. During …
Hancock’s ‘Well-Conducted Fizzle’ – Jan. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureHancock's 'Well-Conducted Fizzle' With Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia stubbornly clinging to Petersburg,Ulysses S. Grant decided to cut its vital rail lines. To perform the surgery, he selected one of the North’s proven heroes– ‘Hancock the Superb.’ By Bruce A. Trinque General UIysses S. Grant had hammered and probed the defenses of Petersburg, …
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 …
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 …
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, …
George Smalley’s Vivid Account of the Battle of AntietamNew York Tribune reporter George Smalley scooped the world with his vivid account of the Battle of Antietam.
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 …
Wintry Fury Unleashed – Jan. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureWintry Fury Unleashed Union General William Rosecrans bided his time, waiting to attack Braxton Bragg’s Rebel army at Murfreesboro, 30 miles south of Nashville. By Michael E. Haskew Steadily the rain had pelted down all day, and now as wintry winds and darkness ushered in another miserable night at the mercy of the elements, the …
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 …
Union General George Stannard at Gettysburg – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureThe first Vermonter to enlist in the war, Union General George Stannard helped turn the tide at Gettysburg.By Anthony Buono The third day of the Battle of Gettysburg was hot and humid. The battlefield, littered with thousands of dead and dying, bore grim testimony to the fierce fighting of the previous two days. The smell …
Father John B. Tabb Aboard Confederate Blockade Runners: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeaturePERSONALITYFather John B. Tabb, an unreconstructed Rebel to the end, had served the Confederacy aboard blockade runners. By Charles A. Earp The Tabbs of Amelia County were one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Vir-ginia, owning vast acreage and many slaves. When the Civil War came, 16-year-old Johnny Tabb wanted to join his brothers …
American History: October 96 LettersPORTRAITS REMEMBEREDYour article by Harold Holzer in the July/August issue of American History on portraits of Southern gentlemen brought to mymind a childhood memory. I asked my mother what it was like when she was a little girl. She was born in 1884 in the tinyvillage of Big Fishing Creek in West Virginia. On one …
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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