Which Civil War fallen leader is of greatest interest to you? Why?
Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson. I feel that his death at Chancellorsville was the actual turn of the Civil War instead of Gettysburg, even as major as the Battle of Gettysburg was.
Currently I’d say A. P. Hill. I would like to know the whole story behind him catching his illness while a cadet at West Point. It’s probably pretty entertaining. I’ve also often wondered how long he would’ve lived after the war, due to his illness, had he survived it.
Albert Sidney johnson. As the only leader out west who might have been able to control the mess that was the army of Tennessee’s command structure
Lt. Col. Thomas Higginbotham, who fell while leading the 65th NY at Cedar Creek on Oct. 19th, 1864. This was my great-great grandfather’s regiment. He was wounded at Cedar Creek. I wrote a book about the regiment called No Flinching From Fire.
Gen. James Birdseye McPherson’s death at age 35 outside Altanta because of his potential as Sherman’s protege. Would he have succeeded Grant as President, since Sherman would not accept it? Yet Sherman’s strategy and tactics changed not one iota. Stonewall Jackson’s death was much more consequential for the rebels, probably changing the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg and many more.
I agree with Albert Sydney Johnston. What would the western Confederacy been like with a qualified leader.
I’ll go with James McPherson and John Reynolds. They both had weaknesses as commanders; timidity with McPherson and micromanaging on the battlefield with Reynolds, but I was interested in both of them when I was a kid. I still am now which I guess proves the adage “the child is father to the man.”
John Sedgwick – much more than those (in)famous last words.
John Reynolds. I’d like to know what he and John Buford discussed at the Seminary.
Here’s one – Israel B.Richardson. A very solid, aggressive division commander with strong Republican connections in Michigan and Old Army experience.. He was MW at Antietam. Lincoln supposedly had a discussion with him own his sickbed about taking command off the Army of the Potomac.
He is one of the tragic deaths and great what-ifs of the war. C.F. Smith is another.
Agree. Those are two officers who had a lot of higher leadership promise and never got the chance to show it.
The death of Jeb Stuart was a turning point in my opinion. Lee had lost his best cavalry leader and had he lived maybe he would have been able to play a leading role at North Anna.
Gen. Isaac P. Rodman, division commander, 9th Corps. Killed during A.P. Hill’s counterattack at Antietam. He was steadily rising through the ranks and showed promise, we’ll never know what he could have achieved.
I’m going to take some liberty with the term “fallen” here. Seeing how it is not presented as meaning actual death, I’m going to apply it as “depriving the services” of a leader. And in so doing, I will mention Longstreet. At the time of his wounding, his Corps was having success in their attack against Hancock at The Wilderness. The attack would lose momentum with his wounding, and subsequent efforts launched hours later to renew it failed. Longstreet was also not available for the rest of the Overland Campaign. Seeing how “what ifs” are often discussed on here, “what if” Longstreet hadn’t been wounded, and had been available to the AoNV throughout that time?
C. F. Smith-if Smith had lived the team that the war would have been Grant and Smith.
Albert Sydney Johnston. The south could have given up after Vicksburg. If anyone could have prevented that defeat it would most likely have been ASJ.
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.After I gave this question some thought, though the Confederacy lost an incredible leader in Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville, it would have been interesting to see if Patrick Cleburne’s efforts to recruit black slaves to the Confederate army on condition of their freedom could have been a game-changer for the South.
Unfortunately, Cleburne died at Franklin in November of 1864, and no one will ever know if his potential as a new Confederate leader could have changed the racist attitudes of that time. The Confederacy, partially due to Cleburnce’s efforts, did enact a law to do exactly that, but Appomattox was just days away.
JEB Stuart because I’ve been studying him since I was 12.
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