Question of the Week: 2/18-2/24/19

Happy Presidents’ Day! Though originally established to celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays, it is now sometimes enlarged to remember all U.S. Presidents.

So…who is your favorite Civil War veteran who served as U.S. President? Why?

(Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, or William McKinley)

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8 Responses to Question of the Week: 2/18-2/24/19

  1. David Corbett says:

    Officially (U.S. government), it’s Washington’s Birthday.

    • Mike Maxwell says:

      Abraham Lincoln of Illinois: Commander in Chief of the Union Army (who made frequent visits to the field) and rivalled only by George Washington as Greatest American President.

  2. geneofva says:

    Good point about Lincoln. Just wanted to note that all five of the presidents you listed were born in Ohio, underlining the growing importance of that state in the late 19th century.

  3. Jack says:

    Interesting information. Would that make Ohio the “Virginia” of the nineteenth century in regards to the number of presidents elected?

  4. Either Garfield or Hayes. Garfield was fascinating man and his role in the war is controversial as to whether or not he betrayed Rosecrans. He also played an out-sized role in undermining Grant’s attempt to out-do Washington with a third term (Grant was not a modest man, only good at appearing to be modest).

    Hayes was a superb brigade commander. If not for serving in a relative backwater, he very well might have become a major Union war hero. As it was, his record was good enough to run on. Indeed, all of the presidents had generally good war records. his might be why Banks and Butler had trouble becoming president after the shooting stopped.

  5. Stephen Restelli says:

    My vote goes to General U. S. Grant for his leadership commanding the Union army to victory in the CW. He served as the POTUS for two terms and helped to reconstruct the South after the war.

  6. garfieldnps says:

    We may be a little biased, but we’re partial to James A. Garfield. He acquitted himself pretty well during the war for a so-called “political general,” and he was also a loud and important voice for abolition of slavery. Later, as an elected official, he continued to emphasize the need for the government to guarantee and protect the civil rights and physical safety of the formerly enslaved.

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