Symposium Spotlight: Leonidas Polk

Leonidas Polk

Welcome back to another installment of our 2020 Emerging Civil War Spotlight series. Each week we have introduced you to another preview of our outstanding presentations that will be shared at the Seventh Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium August 7-9, 2020. Today we look at Dave Powell’s topic in our Fallen Leaders theme, Leonidas Polk.

Braxton Bragg’s controversial tenure as head of the Army of Tennessee was marked by conflicts with a number of his subordinates. No relationship was more contentious than the one he had with Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk. Polk, however, who maintained a firm friendship with his old West Point classmate, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, remained largely immune from Bragg’s efforts to replace him. Even when Bragg managed to oust Polk in the fall of 1863, Polk returned to the army after Bragg’s own ignominious departure in December.

This presentation examines the impact of Polk’s influence on the army, up to his sudden demise in 1864 to Union artillery fire, and his legacy within the Army of Tennessee.

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2 Responses to Symposium Spotlight: Leonidas Polk

  1. Hubert Dilger did the Confederacy a favor by getting rid of Polk, who was quite possibly the worst Confederate senior commander in those western armies.

    1. Except that it probably wasn’t Dilger. It was either the Fifth Indiana or Battery E Pennsylvania Light.

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