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Most profane/saintly men in Civil War - Other People of the Civil War - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Tue Jan 6th, 2009 11:34 pm
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pamc153PA
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Who, in your opinion, were the most profane men, of any level, in the Civil War?  And, on the flip side, who were the most "saintly," or religious (besides Stonewall, the obvious!)?

Although we usually ask for specifics here, you might want to be, er, judicious with examples of the profanity!! ;)

Pam



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 12:30 am
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Dixie Girl
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dern i was gonna say Stonewall......Robert E. Lee as most saintly and William T. Sherman as most profane



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 12:59 am
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ole
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Actually, there were likely more judicious men than profane. When a man was pretty good at profanity, it was usually noted.

I've never read an account of the big guys using profanity, although the annals do recount some who could curse the ears off a mule. But they were considerably lesser in rank and tended to be in Division and Brigade command.

In fact, I can think of only one time when Grant lost his temper and that was when he caught a teamster abusing his animals. I don't recall a time when Lee lost it, or Sherman, or Longstreet, or Jackson, or Thomas. Now Sheridan was a fractious person, but it seems that public cursing was not in vogue. "You, sir, are a damned fool!" was simply not said.

Much has been said about Forrest's plain-speaking, but little evidence exists that he actually said those things. You might be sure that, in the field, some candid phrases were exchanged, but that sort of thing was not recorded. It might be said that the commander responded in "strong language," but that's about as far as it went.

So much so that when a commander was given to profanity, it was noted. Like, he was different. It's not like none of them ever uttered a profane curse, but they seem to be not recorded.

Bottom line: they were not all that much different emotionally than we are, so most of them most certainly said the equivalent of manure more than once. It just simply was not recorded.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 01:45 am
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susansweet3
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There is the story of Forrest and Cheatham turning the air blue over who was going to cross the ford first .  Cheatham was well know for his profanity.  There is also the story of Polk following behind Cheatham when he is telling the men to give them hell.  Polk the Episcopal Bishop is saying Do what he says behind Cheatham. 

 

I agree Ole both North and South the leading Generals were not known for be profane .  They were careful of their language. 

Some were know for being pretty fast with the ladies , Hooker and VanDorn are two . 

Interesting question Pam. 



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 01:47 am
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susansweet3
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Dixie Lee good , Sherman bad .  hmm very stereotypical  one demisional portrait of the two men.  Neither was perfect or all bad.  Both were men with faults . Both were doing their job. Both were good at their job.  After reading Sherman's Memiors  I have a better picture of who he was . 

Susan

 



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 02:06 am
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Dixie Girl
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susansweet3 wrote: Dixie Lee good , Sherman bad .  hmm very stereotypical  one demisional portrait of the two men.  Neither was perfect or all bad.  Both were men with faults . Both were doing their job. Both were good at their job.  After reading Sherman's Memiors  I have a better picture of who he was . 

Susan

 

very well said Miss Susan. as you said, i think i do have a one dimensional view of the two men. i was raised as you said, Lee good, Sherman bad. ive never read Shermans memoirs but i think if i did i MIGHT look at him differently. not a fan of Sherman but id be willing to give it a read



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 03:06 pm
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64thNYDrummer
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I have seen Hancock described as giftedly profane, O.O. Howard was probably as religious as Stonewall.
Dennis



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 03:22 pm
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Johan Steele
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Rosecrans was both very religious and on occccasion known to be quite profane; both Sickles and Butler as well as Sheriden had profane strreaks.

On the CS side Wheeler had a bit of a profane streak; apparently caused a prob between him & Wade Hampton. It was a bit more common than we might think.



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 03:53 pm
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David White
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Johan:

Welcome back, how are you feeling?



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 04:32 pm
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susansweet3
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Shane soooo glad to see you posting .  Keep it up as much as you are able

Susan



 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 06:15 pm
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ole
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very well said Miss Susan. as you said, i think i do have a one dimensional view of the two men. i was raised as you said, Lee good, Sherman bad. ive never read Shermans memoirs but i think if i did i MIGHT look at him differently. not a fan of Sherman but id be willing to give it a read

Very well received, Miss Dixie Girl. There are four sides to every story. You have to find the one that makes sense.

Home schooled? Hmmmmm. Give your mom my sincerest regards. When mine were your age, I would have cheerfully killed them. She deserves sainthood.

Even better than his memoires is "Sherman's Civil War." It's a BIG book with much of what he said and wrote while he was developing as a prime commander. In those letters, you get to watch him as he grows into his job.

A recommended read.

Ole



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 12:11 am
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Dixie Girl
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ole wrote: very well said Miss Susan. as you said, i think i do have a one dimensional view of the two men. i was raised as you said, Lee good, Sherman bad. ive never read Shermans memoirs but i think if i did i MIGHT look at him differently. not a fan of Sherman but id be willing to give it a read

Very well received, Miss Dixie Girl. There are four sides to every story. You have to find the one that makes sense.

Home schooled? Hmmmmm. Give your mom my sincerest regards. When mine were your age, I would have cheerfully killed them. She deserves sainthood.

Even better than his memoires is "Sherman's Civil War." It's a BIG book with much of what he said and wrote while he was developing as a prime commander. In those letters, you get to watch him as he grows into his job.

A recommended read.

Ole

thank you very much Ole. i said one of my New Years resolutions was to argue less and learn more, and i figured the best place to start was with Miss Susan, as i seem to be able to try to argue with her over anything, but i realized that she is older than me and knows a lot more than i give her credit for and its high time i just shut up and listened to what she has to say.

yes home schooled, it was her idea not mine. she also home schools my brother and cousin. i must say im not the problem child in school though. my cousin who is my age and my 10 year old brother act like two year olds and complain when it comes time to do their work, whereas i go ahead and do it and am several days ahead in my book and they never catch up.



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 01:04 am
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Crazy Delawares
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Most profane---Jubal Early

Most saintly---Father Corbi



 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 06:25 pm
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Devils Den
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Father Corbi! Very nice reply-the man was also the president of Notre Dame and gave them the name "Fighting Irish" if I am not mistaken.



 Posted: Wed Jan 21st, 2009 11:28 am
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Kentucky_Orphan
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A very interesting topic!

It has always been amusing to me that many generally refer to sotherners as being somehow more virtuous and pious than their northern counterparts. Even those who generally attempt to demean southerners and exhalt northerners who fought in the war tend to uphold this view-albeit they use words like archaic and rigid when refering to the southern virtues. None other than Porter Alaexander passes down to us his own beliefs when he talks about being "disturbed" by the idea that many southern commanders held in an "invisible being" that determined the outcome of battles.

Regardless of the propensity for virtue on either side, there can be found on both sides men who can be identified as saintly and/or profane. Two of the most profane can be found on the southern side. Nathan Bedford Forrest was profane-indeed, many of his contempararies were appalled at his behavior-though none seemingly had the courage to challenge him in this matter.

Jubal Early is the other that comes to mind. An example for his peerless profanity comes from none other than General Longstreet. At a reunion at west point, years after the civil war, Joe Wheeler approached some confederate veterans, including Pete Longstreet. Upon seeing Wheeler in a blue uniform, Longstreet pronounced "Joe, I hope Almighty God takes me before he does you, for I want to be within the gates of hell to hear Jubal Early cuss you in the blue uniform".

 

 



 Posted: Wed Jan 21st, 2009 04:19 pm
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The Iron Duke
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That's a very interesting quote by Alexander. Thanks for sharing.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2009 02:16 am
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CleburneFan
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General William Nelson Pendleton, Lee's chief of artillery, was an Episcopal priest. It is said he led his men with a swodd in one hand and a Bible in the other. Rumors also have him praying for the Yankees his men were about to shoot in battle.

Last edited on Fri Feb 20th, 2009 02:17 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 12:54 am
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The Iron Duke
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What about Sheridan?



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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2011 05:22 pm
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Braggcom19
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All but the "devout" used profanity to get their point across in the CW... even occasionally the devout would use profamity in a left handed manner. I forget which battle and can't take time to research cuz have been incarcerated in Hospital so "gotta get back in the traces"; one of the Generals Smith was leading the first wave of a charge and shouted "Give 'em hell boys", Bishop Polk led next wave and waved his sword and shouted; "Give 'em what Smith said boys!"

Without doubt Hancock's use of the profance along with his physical presence combined to make him the one that I would be most the uncomfortable if I came under his "cuss". (Anyone know where Hancock got the starched white shirts every day, damfino!) General Humphries of III Corps agreed, although adept at "the cuss" himself he said he had come under Hancock's once and did not wish to so do so again". I simply cannot get my mind around Hancock getting wouneded, where he was wounded and saying; "Gosh Gibbon, I've been shot". I am not an overtly profane man, especially when in the company of children or "wimmen" but when I was "chot" I most certainly did not say "Gosh"... not even close.

Ambrose Bierce could have melted a man into his shoes and never used a word unfit for use in a Church. It was a little off putting to read Corgi's statement that any troops that turned their backs to the enemy would not be allowed to be buried in a Catholic Cemetery (words to that affect). I'd rather be soundly "cussed" than to have a man presume to tell me what God says or wants; I read and comprehend very well... Usually the Seventh dayers begin to look at their watches after we talk for 10 minutes or so. Read that one every day, in context.

Hava Civil War day, I will!

Michael Bragg

Last edited on Tue May 24th, 2011 05:24 pm by Braggcom19



 Posted: Wed May 25th, 2011 05:57 am
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susansweet2
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Interesting I read that same story only it was Polk and Cheatham . 

That Polk followed Cheatham who was a good friend of Polk and very colorful in his language.

 



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