Sunday, May 31, 2020

John Selden Roane: A Governor With No Military Talent

 John Selden Roane

John Selden Roane

       John Selden Roane was born in 1817 in Lebanon, Tennessee. He was the nephew of Archibald Roane a governor of Tennessee. Roane attended college at Cumberland College in Kentucky and at age twenty moved to Arkansas where his brother lived. He was elected to the Arkansas state legislature. When the Mexican War began, he raised a company and became its captain. Although he had no military experience, he was soon promoted to lieutenant colonel of an Arkansas regiment. Roane was a likable and intelligent man, but was called too lazy to ever succeed in military service. The regiment performed so poorly at the Battle of Buena Vista that the regiment wasn't used in combat again. 
       Roane made an enemy during his time in the regiment. Albert Pike commanded a company in the regiment at the time and he resented the fact that Roane had been promoted to lieutenant colonel. He felt like he was more qualified for the position. After the war, back in Arkansas, Pike began to spread stories about Roane's handling of the regiment during the battle. This eventually resulted in a duel between the two men. Both men fired twice, missing each time and then agreed to stop the duel. In 1849, Roane was elected as Arkansas's fourth governor. Evidently the stories of his performance in the Mexican War didn't affect how the voters felt about him. 
       When the Civil War began, Roane was against secession, but sided with his adopted state and received a promotion to brigadier general during the spring of 1862. He took command of a brigade in Van Dorn's army and was ordered to Corinth, Mississippi, but was soon sent back to Arkansas to defend the state from Samuel Curtis's invading force. He managed to harass Curtis enough to save the state. Thomas C. Hindman soon replaced Roane and took his troops. This turned Roane against Hindman. Soon the entire department was in an uproar as Roane was frustrated at Hindman, Hindman was quarreling with Pike, and Roane arrested Pike for Hindman. All that was accomplished was severe fighting among the commanders of the department. 
       Roane led a brigade at the Battle of Prairie Grove and Hindman praised his performance there. Yet, Hindman was forced to break up Roane's brigade because of desertions in his Texas regiments. Roane was the number three ranking general in the department and many feared that if something happened to Holmes and Price, Roane would command all the forces. Although he'd done a fairly good job in his Civil War actions, everyone feared for him to command the forces in Arkansas. He was given an infantry brigade in late 1864, but saw little action for the remainder of the war. 
       John S. Roane died at the age of 50 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1867 and rests today in Oakland Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas. There were many generals in the war that were far worse than General Roane, but today most historians claim that Roane was disliked by his troops and his superiors. They call him a politician with no military talent. His record, though limited, shows him to have been fairly successful in all of his endeavors. 

Picture of

Grave of Governor/Brigadier General John S. Roane

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Clement Hoffman Stevens: "Rock"

Clement Hoffman Stevens (1821-1864) - Find A Grave Memorial

A Pre-War photograph of Clement Hoffman "Rock" Stevens

       Clement Hoffman Stevens was born in 1821 in Norwich, Connecticut. His father (a Southerner by birth) was serving in the United States Navy at the time. While a child, Stevens family moved to Florida. When the Seminole War began the family moved to Pendleton, South Carolina (his mother's place of origin) for a safer environment. Like his father, Stevens also joined the Navy and served under two officers that were relatives of his. He married the sister of future Confederate generals Barnard E. Bee and Hamilton P. Bee. 
       Stevens didn't remain in the Navy long before entering the banking business in Charleston, South Carolina. When the Civil War began, Stevens dove into military studies and became an expert on Civil War ordnance. He was already a colonel in the South Carolina Militia when the war began. Stevens built a battery in Charleston Harbor using railroad iron to protect his gunners. He then traveled with his brother-in-law Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee to Virginia where he served as a staff officer during the Battle of Manassas. His brother-in-law was killed during the fighting there while Stevens was seriously wounded. 
       He returned to Charleston and took command of a militia regiment. He and Ellison Capers raised the 24th South Carolina Infantry. Stevens would become their colonel and Ellison Capers was made his lieutenant colonel. Both men would become general officers by the end of the war. He led the regiment in the Battle of Secessionville where he stopped the Federal attack. He remained on the east coast for the next year. During the spring of 1863, his regiment was assigned to Brigadier General States Rights Gist's brigade and sent to Jackson, Mississippi to assist Joseph Johnston's army relieve besieged Vicksburg. Johnston failed to move in time to assist Pemberton and soon Vicksburg was forced to surrender. Gist's brigade was then sent to the Army of Tennessee and fought at the Battle of Chickamauga. A funny incident occurred before the battle. While the battle raged the first day, Gist's brigade was stranded in Rome, Georgia because a railroad engineer was sleeping. Stevens was so angry that he threatened to shoot the man. Stevens had two of his men fire the boilers of the locomotive and forced the engineer to drive them to the battlefield at gunpoint. 
       At Chickamauga, he was severely wounded again and had two horses killed beneath him. His division commander William H.T. Walker called him "iron-willed" and recommended him for promotion for his gallantry as a leader in combat. Colonel Clement Hoffman Stevens became Brigadier General Stevens in January of 1864. He was given command of W.H.T. Walker's old brigade when its new commander Brigadier General Claudius C. Wilson died of fever. His brigade participated in the Atlanta Campaign but saw limited action. General Stevens earned the nickname "Rock" at this time from his troops for his steadiness under fire. Stevens was upset at the replacement of Joseph E. Johnston before the engagements around Atlanta.
       In the first battle for Atlanta at Peachtree Creek, Stevens was leading his brigade on horseback in a charge against Federal breastworks. Sources conflict each other about whether he was hit by a bullet or artillery fire. Either way, he was struck in the head by a projectile that fractured his skull behind his jaw. While being carried from the field by two officers, they were also shot. Stevens was carried to Macon, Georgia where surgeons removed what they called a bullet and bits of bone. General Stevens died on July 25, 1864. He rests today in St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery in Pendleton, South Carolina along with his brother-in-law General Barnard E. Bee. General Stevens was 42 years old. His wife Ann had died two years earlier and he left behind two sons. 

Picture of

Grave of General Stevens

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Frank Crawford Armstrong: The General Who Fought For Both Sides

Frank Crawford Armstrong.png

Brigadier General Frank Crawford Armstrong

       Many soldiers fought for both sides during the war, but you hardly ever think of a general officer as having done so. You'd be wrong. Frank Crawford Armstrong was born in 1835 in Choctaw Territory in what is today known as Oklahoma. His father Francis W. Armstrong was an American army officer posted there at the time. Unfortunately, Frank would not remember his father because he died three months before Frank's birth. Frank's widowed mother soon married Mexican War General Persifor F. Smith. At age 19, Frank accompanied his step-father into New Mexico to fight Native Americans. His performance there earned him a commission in the United States Army as a lieutenant without him having to attend West Point. 
       After this campaign into New Mexico, Armstrong attended Holy Cross College and got his degree. He retained his commission in the army and served under Albert Sidney Johnston during the Mormon Campaign in what was labeled the Utah War. When the Civil War began, Armstrong was made a captain in the Federal Army and led a company of cavalry at the Battle of Manassas. On August 10th, just two weeks after the embarrassing Federal defeat at that battle, Armstrong resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army. He served on both the staffs of Ben McCulloch and James M. McIntosh, both generals being killed at Pea Ridge. Armstrong was actually just feet from his commander Ben McCulloch when that officer was killed. He was then commissioned colonel of a Louisiana regiment before taking command of Sterling Price's cavalry. He soon received a promotion to brigadier general.
       At the Battle of Chickamauga, Armstrong served under Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was soon given a brigade of Mississippi cavalry under Stephen D. Lee and served in Mississippi before joining the Army of Tennessee during the Atlanta Campaign. He served under Forrest during Hood's invasion of Tennessee and helped Forrest cover the retreat of the army into Alabama. He was captured fighting under Forrest in defense of Selma, Alabama. His military career was over. 
       Following the war, he served in the mail service in Texas, became an Indian inspector, and eventually became Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He died in Bar Harbor, Maine in 1909 at his daughter's house. I actually wrote to the local city historian in Bar Harbor a few years ago and asked her about the address where Armstrong died. She knew of the address, but almost called me a liar when I stated a Confederate general died in her town. Having resigned his U.S. Army commission on August 10, 1861 and joining the Confederate Army, his resignation wasn't accepted until August 13th. This means that Frank Crawford Armstrong served three days in both armies during the war. Frank Armstrong was 73 years old when he died and rests today in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C. 

Another wartime image of Frank Crawford. (He is ranked colonel in this image). 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Daniel Frost: The Confederate General Who Deserted

Daniel M. Frost - Wikipedia

Brigadier General Daniel Marsh Frost

       There were only a couple of the 426 commissioned Confederate generals who were ever accused of cowardice. Daniel Marsh Frost was not one of them, however he is remembered today as the only Confederate general who deserted his cause. General Frost was born in Duanesburg, New York in 1823. He graduated from West Point ranked 4th in the class of 1844. Dan Frost saw action in the Mexican War and was brevetted for gallantry at the Battle of Cerro Gordo. Following the Mexican War, he almost lost an eye in a skirmish with Native Americans in Texas. In 1853, Frost resigned from the U.S. Army and began a career in business that involved both lumber and fur trading. By 1854, he was elected a senator in the Missouri State Legislature. He left the Missouri legislature in 1858 but became a brigadier general in the Missouri State Militia. 
       When the Civil War began, Frost was a supporter of the Southern states and raised Missouri troops for the Confederate cause. He and his recruits were surrounded by Federal troops near St. Louis, his men were marched through the city streets as prisoners and a riot broke out. After being exchanged he was commissioned brigadier general in the Confederate Army on March 3, 1862. He served briefly as a staff officer on Confederate General Braxton Bragg's staff before being reassigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department to serve under Major General Thomas C. Hindman. There he led a division in the Battle of Prairie Grove. In the spring of 1863, Hindman was relieved of duty in Little Rock, Arkansas (mostly for ruling the region with an iron fist) and Frost took command. 
       About five months after he took command of Confederate forces in Arkansas, Federal officials removed his family from their home in St. Louis, Missouri and exported them to Canada. Frost very quickly made a decision to desert the Confederate Army and rejoin his family in Canada. He didn't ask for permission to leave and was listed as a deserter from the Confederate Army (the only Confederate general out of the 426 to ever do so). He wouldn't return to Missouri until late 1865. 
       He spent the remainder of his life attempting to convince pro-Union people that he had not done anything wrong when he joined Confederate forces and at the same time he attempted to convince Southern supporters that he never really deserted. He wrote many articles attempting to explain what happened to him, but when he finally wrote his memoirs, he hardly even mentioned the greatest conflict of the time. 
       He died in 1900 on the outskirts of St. Louis and rests in that city today in Calvary Cemetery. He was 77 years old. No matter how you spin the story, he will always remain one of the most controversial generals of the war. 

Brigadier General Daniel M. Frost in a post-war view

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Tragic Death of Major General John Austin Wharton


Major General John A. Wharton

       Most people don't understand why people in the South are considered so much more respectful than Northerners. There is a reason for this and it goes way back beyond the Civil War. In the South, there was a code of honor among gentlemen. If you insulted a man, you may find yourself challenged to a duel. I've already written a blog on dueling in the old South if you'd like to read it. There were rules that were supposed to be followed. I read an article a couple of years ago about newspaper editors in the antebellum South. You'll have to forgive my memory, but I remember being amazed at the number of times the average editor was challenged to a duel during his lifetime for something printed in his paper. 
       The most famous duel of the war is the one that occurred between Missouri Major General John S. Marmaduke and Tennessee Brigadier General Lucius Marshall Walker near Little Rock, Arkansas. Marmaduke accused Walker of cowardice and they met at dawn one morning despite orders to refrain from dueling. When it was over, Walker lay dead, never to be called a coward again. The other famous duel of the war occurred earlier in the war when Major Alfred Rhett killed his commanding officer Colonel William R. Calhoun (nephew of John C. Calhoun). 
       Major Wharton wouldn't have the opportunity to defend himself in a duel. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the Wharton family moved to Texas while he was young. He was described as a "red-haired, freckle-faced boy." John Wharton graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1850. While in that state, he married the daughter of Governor David Johnson. Upon graduation, Wharton returned to Texas where he practiced law. He soon made enough money to purchase a plantation. He was a strong supporter of secession. 
       When the war began, he and other Texans headed to Richmond, Virginia. They saw action at Manasass (Bull Run), but Wharton was sick and missed the battle. He then became a captain in the 8th Texas Cavalry. The unit became known as "Terry's Texas Rangers". Colonel Benjamin F. Terry was mortally wounded at Rowlett's Station and his successor Thomas S. Lubbock became sick and died. John was promoted to colonel of the regiment. 
       At Shiloh, Wharton was wounded, yet he refused to leave the field. He remained in command and helped cover the retreat of the army to Corinth. General William J. Hardee called him "the gallant Wharton." This praise helped stoke the fires of military ambition in Colonel Wharton. He was then placed under command of Bedford Forrest and fought in an engagement at Murfreesboro on July 13, 1862. Forrest commended him for moving forward at the head of his command. He was severely wounded in this assault.
       Wharton recovered in time to lead his regiment during Bragg's Kentucky invasion. He had a horse shot from beneath him at Bardstown and at Perryville he was praised for leading one of the greatest charges of the war. Because of this, he was promoted to brigadier general on November 18, 1862. 
       John Wharton received command of a two-thousand man brigade and joined Joseph Wheeler's cavalry. He was praised by Wheeler and received promotion to major general on November 10, 1863. He continued to serve under Wheeler in the action around Chattanooga. Rumors began to circulate that Wharton was a superior general to Wheeler. These rumors soon reached Wheeler's ears and Wheeler immediately began to complain to General Joseph Johnston about his subordinate. Wheeler stated that ambition had turned Wharton into a "frontier political trickster." 
       Johnston understood something must be done to retain peace among his commanders. Wharton had applied to President Jefferson Davis for a transfer to the Trans-Mississippi (area west of the Mississippi River) and Johnston realized this would solve his problem. Wharton was ordered to report to Edmund Kirby Smith in Texas.
       He arrived there in the spring of 1864 and when General Thomas Green was killed at Blair's Landing, he took command of Richard Taylor's cavalry in Louisiana. Taylor praised his performance, but the Trans-Mississippi didn't receive the attention of the army's east of the river. He soon applied for a return to Johnston's army in Georgia. That transfer regrettably would never occur and John Wharton would die as a result. 
       Fellow Texan Colonel George Wythe Baylor (brother of Colonel John R. Baylor the famed Indian fighter) and John Wharton would have problems. Baylor had served on General Albert Sidney Johnston's staff at Shiloh. Both men were ardent Texans devoted to the Confederate cause. Deep down, they were very different men. Baylor was a self-made man who'd worked hard all his life for what he'd obtained. Wharton was born to wealth and education. More trouble was brewing than just their backgrounds.
       The first incident between the two men occurred when Colonel Baylor on furlough applied for an extension because of his wife's ill health. Wharton had denied the furlough writing, "I know nothing of Mrs. Baylor's health. Colonel Baylor is needed with his regiment." Baylor believed that Wharton was calling him a liar to have his furlough extended. 
       Most people saw Wharton as a future politician careful to look for future votes. Like a true politician, most felt he took care of his friends at the expense of others. General John B. Magruder placed Baylor's cavalry under Wharton's command and soon after asked Wharton for troops to serve as dismounted cavalry. Wharton immediately sent him Baylor's men. This infuriated Baylor. According to Baylor (he'd been commanding a cavalry brigade for some time), Wharton had promised him a promotion to brigadier general and now was forcing him to serve under a lower ranking officer as infantry. For Baylor, it was just too much. 

 In the Confederacy's Last Days, Two Texans Face Off in Futile Feud

Colonel George Wythe Baylor

       The sad part of the episode is the fact that Baylor was placed under a general who wasn't able to take the field which basically ensured him an independent command. Wharton probably saw it in this light. Baylor's pride was hurt and that fact didn't make him feel any better. In his defense, by this point of the war, Baylor was himself in poor health. He'd been suffering from dysentery and had lost a lot of weight. Despite standing six feet, two inches he weighed less than 140 pounds. His brother John R. Baylor was known for his fiery temper and Baylor probably wasn't much better. 
       Wharton didn't help the situation with his language. He was famous for cursing when speaking to his subordinates and talking harshly when he did address them. Things were quickly coming to a climax between the two men. On the morning of April 6, 1865 (just three days before Lee surrendered at Appomattox), both General Wharton and General James Harrison came riding into Houston in a carriage to visit their superior officer Major General John B. Magruder. 
      Colonel Baylor was in town that morning attempting to enlist the help of General Walter Paye Lane in getting his orders countermanded. Lane refused to get involved (especially after the reports of the way Wharton talked to his subordinates). Having failed to receive any help from Lane, Baylor strolled through town with Captain Sorrel. Wharton, riding in the carriage spotted Baylor and dressed him down for being absent from his command. It had to be an embarrassing moment for Baylor being "chewed out" in front of Captain Sorrel and General Harrison. Baylor informed Wharton that it was imperative that he be in Houston to have his men removed from the situation they were in or they would all desert. He then told Wharton he was going to see Magruder to complain about Wharton. The situation began to escalate and both men's voices began to rise. Wharton demanded to know when he'd ever treated Baylor unfairly. Baylor named several instances that in his mind were mistreatment. 
       Wharton called Baylor a "damned liar." In the old South calling someone a liar was just asking to be challenged to a duel. Baylor then called Wharton a "liar" and stepped toward the buggy with his hand raised. General Harrison shocked at the escalating situation nudged the horse forward. Baylor shouted, "Stop the buggy, sir!" Harrison ignored him. The buggy continued down the street with Baylor still shouting at Wharton. 
       Later that afternoon, Wharton and Harrison arrived at Magruder's hotel room to find his commander absent, but Colonel Baylor sitting on his bed awaiting his return. Wharton began to shout at Baylor about his earlier insubordination. Harrison attempted to intervene, but things were out of control. Wharton struck Baylor in the face (Baylor claimed he was punched with a fist, but some say it was an open-handed slap) before Baylor drew his revolver. Harrison was still attempting to get both men under control when Baylor fired under his outstretched arm hitting Wharton in the chest. Wharton was dead when he hit the floor. General Harrison then grabbed Baylor and said, "Colonel, he was totally unarmed!" Baylor simply turned and left the building. He would never be punished. 
       Unlike in a duel, Baylor had killed an unarmed man. In that time period, this would be construed almost like an act of cowardice. Wharton was 36 years old and rests today in the Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas. George Baylor would become a post-war Texas Ranger, writer, and serve in the Texas state legislature. He died on March 24, 1916 and rests today in the Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. He was 83 years old. Baylor claimed that he regretted killing General Wharton for the remainder of his life calling it a "lifelong sorrow." Those closest to Baylor reported that he couldn't mention the entire affair without coming to tears. He stated, "I trust everyone who knows me personally will believe me when I say the whole thing was a matter of sorrow and regret to me." Baylor is remembered as a military commander as "a courageous individual fighter...lacked reserve, was a poor disciplinarian, and an indifferent judge of men." Both men are remembered for their fearlessness in combat. Wharton is remembered as a fine combat commander. 

Col George Wythe Baylor (1832-1916) - Find A Grave Memorial

George W. Baylor later in life

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

PTSD Among General's of the War

Timmy and I visiting Brigadier General William F. Brantley

       My wife has been after me to get busy publishing blogs again and I've been struggling for subjects. If you know me, you probably think there must be something wrong. I have lots of blog subjects, but not the motivation. I guess if she "nags" me enough, I'll finally get busy. This blog was inspired a few minutes ago by my youngest son Timmy. He was watching youtube when out of the blue, he asked me if General Robert E. Lee (his personal hero) had PTSD. I immediately replied without giving it much thought. I told him I didn't think General Lee had PTSD, but that was a particularly bloody war and I'm sure some had it. Like today, I'm not sure it was as prevalent among officers as the true combat soldier himself. 
       That statement isn't exactly accurate either. If you look at the Confederate officer, he went into combat with his men. The Civil War (especially in the South) wasn't like the military today. Redd Foxx once said that he backed up so far once that he backed into a general. That wouldn't happen in the Civil War, especially in the Confederate army. Marine Lieutenant General Chesty Puller summed up Confederate leadership in one quote, "In the Confederate Army, an officer was judged by stark courage alone, and this made it possible for the Confederacy to last four years." Truer words were never spoken. Let's take a look at what is known about these incredibly brave men.
       There were 426 Confederate general's commissioned by President Davis (not all were confirmed). Out of those 426, 77 were killed in combat, not to mention how many were wounded. Some were wounded numerous times. Brigadier General Thomas Benton Smith was so severely wounded that he remained in a mental institution for the remainder of his life. Nineteen Confederate generals died during the war, Archer, Jones, and Winder had heart attacks, Bowen, Grayson, Hogg, Nelson, Smith, Villepigue, Wilson, and Bowen all died of fever, Wharton, Van Dorn, and Walker were murdered, Donelson, Floyd, and Twiggs died of old age, Cocke committed suicide in 1861 and Baldwin broke his neck in the fall from his horse. Another named Frost deserted to Canada during the war.
       One Confederate general resigned following the Nashville Campaign from effects that could be construed as PTSD. Major General Henry D. Clayton of Alabama asked to be relieved because of "chronic stress." He'd seen a lot of suffering and death by this point of the war. As a division commander at Franklin, he lost a lot of good men. He never regained his health to the point of returning to the army before the surrender occurred just four months later.
       I made a quick attempt at answering Timmy's question by looking at the post-war careers of these commanders. If you subtract 77 killed, 1 mentally unfit, 19 who died during the war, that leaves 338 commissioned Confederate generals. Here is what I was able to reveal. Three of those surviving generals committed suicide, but it's impossible to tell if it was because of their war experiences. Buford killed himself over personal and financial problems, Cosby committed suicide because of constant pain from an old war wound (he was 89 years old), and the other was Scott of Louisiana who drank himself to death (this one technically isn't a suicide, but he died in a New Orleans coffee shop). 
       Out of the remaining generals, eight were murdered, the only one that may have had something to do with the war is General Hindman (we will never know the true reason of his murder). Brantley, Liddell and Grimes were murdered in what appear to be family feuds. Parsons was murdered by Jauristas in Mexico. The rest were murdered in lawyer related issues. 
       That leaves the generals who turned to religion. This category is also difficult to establish because some became religious while others were religious before the war. Lowrey and Pendleton were pre-war ministers. General Leonidas Polk who was killed at Pine Mountain was a pre-war Episcopal bishop. Others became religious leaders following the war. Capers (Methodist), Colquitt (Methodist), Evans (Methodist), Hawthorne (Baptist), and Gano (Church of Christ). Many more became religious following the war, but whether it was because of what they'd been through is difficult to determine. 
       In answer to Timmy's question about PTSD, I can't prove they had it, but I can't prove they didn't. It was a different time period and people acted differently back then. Death became an everyday part of life in that war. It's as one old veteran once told me, you've made up your mind your not going to survive and every day that you do has been a blessing. Maybe that was their mindset. 
       By the way, the one general that did exhibit signs of PTSD, Alabama Major General Henry D. Clayton, following the war he resumed his law practice, became a circuit judge, became the president of the University of Alabama, and raised a son who became a prominent Alabama congressman, Henry DeLamar Clayton, Jr. 

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Frustration of Studying the Civil War

Nathan Bedford Forrest - Wikipedia

Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest

       Someone recently called my attention to a Civil War talk board online that mentioned a youtube video I posted several years ago. You would be surprised at some of the names I was called because some of these people didn't agree with my ranking of the Confederate lieutenant generals. If they had bothered to read the introduction they would have learned that I made the video just for fun and to spark some discussion, but now I've learned that I'm an idiot. The computer reminds me of the same people who drive automobiles. Behind a keyboard or a steering wheel it seems many of us become something we wouldn't be in person. If someone doesn't agree with your opinion, then you must be an idiot. It can't possibly be that they are the idiot, that would destroy the perfect world they've created in their own minds. 
       Is there no such of thing as friendly discussion with rational arguments anymore? After further study of my subject, I can honestly say I don't agree any longer with the way I have some of them ranked. One person called me an idiot because I didn't include General Beauregard in the list. It doesn't matter that Beauregard was never ranked as a lieutenant general, but was promoted from brigadier general to full general skipping the ranks of major general and lieutenant general, but of course, I'm the idiot. 
       In my "for fun" video, I ranked Stonewall Jackson as the best lieutenant general. Most people agreed with that choice, but after that I really rankled some feathers. I was attacked because I ranked Bedford Forrest second. The reason given was because Forrest wasn't promoted to lieutenant general until March 2, 1865 and this person called me an idiot for ranking him second when he only served as lieutenant general for a month and that isn't enough time to see how well he commanded at the corps level. What this genius fails to realize is the fact that Forrest had been commanding a cavalry corps since 1863 without having been promoted. Just because he wasn't ranked a lieutenant general, didn't mean he wasn't an excellent corps commander for two years. When he was promoted, his position as corps commander never changed, so why can we not judge him on his corps leadership ability for those two years. 
       The one that always gets peoples feathers ruffled is James Longstreet. Ever since the movie Gettysburg came out, he has been claimed by many people to be the greatest commander of the war. In this country today, all it takes is a fictional movie based on a fictional novel to change peoples perception of someone. Longstreet obviously fits this category. If I had a nickel for every time someone watched that movie and told me that Lee would have won at Gettysburg if he'd just listened to Longstreet. The move Longstreet proposed was expected by Meade and he was just itching to retreat to a better position on Pipe Creek. Without cavalry present (Jeb Stuart was off on a useless raid) it would have been almost impossible to perform the flanking move without Stuart's cavalry screen. Another question I have about Longstreet is why he made the move he made in Knoxville, Tennessee later the same year. On November 9, 1863, Longstreet assaulted Fort Sanders with around 3000 men. The fort only held a little over 400 Federal troops, yet the attack was a disaster. Longstreet lost over 800 men compared to just 13 Federal casualties he inflicted. Instead of responding as General Lee would have done and took the blame, he immediately began to emulate Braxton Bragg by arresting his subordinates. The mark of a true leader is when he takes the blame for his mistakes.
       If I had the video to make over, I'm sure there are several I would reorder. I ranked Jubal Early high because of his advance to the outskirts of Washington and Wade Hampton because of I felt he was an excellent cavalry corps commander especially his Beefsteak Raid. S.D. Lee I feel like I may have ranked too high. He made a severe mistake at Ezra Chruch and failed Hood at Columbia, Tennessee, however he helped save the army during the Battle of Nashville. I perhaps ranked Richard Heron Anderson low because of how he allowed his staff to run his forces. There were times when he acted like he had little interest in the war. Hardee is perhaps ranked too low because he was called "Ole Reliable," however he was the biggest back biter in the army. He undermined all of his superiors including Sidney Johnston, Braxton Bragg, Joseph Johnston, and John Bell Hood. However, when offered command of the army, he refused the responsibility. 
       Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of A.P. Hill, but he was often rash, just look at his actions at Bristoe Station. He was impulsive and got a lot of good men killed by his aggressiveness. He can be compared to the way General Hood is often perceived. The lieutenant general in my personal opinion that I believe should be ranked in the top five is D.H. Hill. He only saw action as a corps commander at Chickamauga was the reason I ranked him low, but he was a dependable commander and if he didn't suffer from chronic back pain which left him extremely sarcastic to subordinates and superiors alike he may have reached his true potential. He became so rude to others that General Lee was happy to see his dependable subordinate transferred to Bragg's army.
       I won't go into all the lieutenant generals that I listed. The full generals were listed in another video and I didn't rank them with the officers that only reached the rank of lieutenant general. If people would slow down long enough to read the descriptions of the videos before they decide to attack someone, they may find there is little reason to become so upset and insult others.