In your opinion, who was the best general or officer at the Battle of Fredericksburg? Why?
All right! Question of the week, and it’s a good one! Yes I get very happy over ECW blog
My knee-jerk reaction with the question only up 2 minutes would be General Meade for the amazing bravery and skill he exhibited but I’m going to have to flip through a few things double check
I agree. Meade’s Division penetrated Jackson’s lines and if Reynolds had been a Corp Commander that day and spending time with his artillery, the 1st Corps might have gotten behind Jackson flank.
At infantry corps level…Longstreet, for his battle plan, and his light but careful supervision of McLaws.
At infantry division level, Early for his prompt counterattack to defeat Meade’s penetration of the Confederate line.
Otherwise, I’ll hand the laurels to the artillery commanders, especially LTC Porter of the 1st Army Corps artillery, and BG Hunt of the US Artillery Reserve.
If we’re only looking at the battle itself, then I give the nod to Johnny Pelham for that superb exhibition of mobile firepower on the morning of the 13th. Second goes to William Barksdale and his boys for the street fighting on the 11th.
On the Federal side, I agree with Meade. Norman J. Hall and his troops should also get consideration.
If we are dropping below generals let’s not forget Captain John Pelham’s masterful use of Stuart’s Horse Artillery in delaying the Union advance. Even Lee commented on this action “It is glorious to see such courage in one so young.”
P.S. Correction to above – LTC E. Porter Alexander
Best General for the Confederacy that day ? Burnside 🙂 What a terrible loss. Wish more of that field was saved . Thank Civil.War.T.rust for what we have now. and the donors of course !!
On the Union side: Meade for his breakthrough.
On the Confederate side: Early, who disobeyed orders to march to the sound of the guns and provide the reinforcements necessary to drive Meade out of the Confederate line. Saving the Confederate position spared Early the wrath of Jackson and tagged him in Lee’s eyes as someone worth cultivating for greater responsibilities.
Good point on Early – especially given that it was Stonewall the Mediocre (and Lee) who unpardonably created that gap in the Rebel front on the left. For sheer guts the image of Andrew A. Humphreys leading one of his brigades into the inferno on horseback has always stuck with me.
I’m gonna go with the obvious., RE Lee. He won. Period…
Gen. Longstreet. His strtegy was flawless.
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