View single post by JoanieReb
 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 04:51 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Posts: 620

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What Qualities made a Civil War General “great”,  and are these qualities timeless and universal?

 OK, this seems like a pretty sophomoric question, I admit.  

 And, I’m being more than a bit whimsical with this one.  But who knows, given a little serious input, it may actually go somewhere….we've done wonders with less in the past!

Over time, as I’ve looked at the individual “Great Generals” of the CW,  I’ve kept little mental lists of the characteristics that made them “great”.  The lists don’t always overlap.  I’ve often wondered, if you moved the Great CW Generals around in space and time – assigned them to different wars, so to speak, would they still distinguish themselves?  Or was the “greatness” time, war and even “side” specific?

It seems to me, that ideally, The Qualities of a Great General should be pretty universal.  A great leader is a great leader by nature, right?  Like, put Genghis Khan at the head of any army during any war and look out!

But what got me really thinking about this is this:  I started out with a pretty good-sized list of “great general” qualities for Grant, but as time as gone on, my respect for him has diminished.  My personal list for him now has two things that made him “great”:  First, superior resources (far superior number of troops along with technologically and numerically superior weaponry); Second, the killer instinct that led him to use these effectively.  Not sure how effective he would have been fighting for The Confederacy….(them’s fightin’ words, Pvt. Clewell, I’m sure – care to engage?)

 What think Y’All Venerated Students of The Civil war?





Last edited on Tue Mar 18th, 2008 04:52 am by JoanieReb

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