Civil War Generals
Confederate and Union Generals of the American Civil War
For most of the American Civil War (1861-1865) the Union Army
assigned only two general ranks: brigadier general and major general. In 1864 the rank of lieutenant general was reactivated
and assigned to Ulysses Simpson Grant. The three grades were distinguished by their insignia: one star for brigadier general,
two for major general, and three for lieutenant general.
In 1862, there were four general grades in the Confederate
Army: brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general, and general being the highest attainable rank. All wore the
same insignia making it impossible to identify a general's rank. General Robert E. Lee, however, chose to wear the insignia of colonel*.
During informal communication, written or verbal, each
of the Union and Confederate general grades may be addressed as general. The general grades may also be abbreviated
in various written forms: Major General Jones, for example, may be abbreviated as Maj. Gen. Jones; Maj.
General Jones; Maj-Gen. Jones, etc. But in formal communication, it is Major General Jones.
*At the outbreak of war, Lee was appointed to command
all of Virginia's forces, but upon the formation of the Confederate States Army, he was named one of its first full generals.
Lee did not wear the insignia of a Confederate general, but only the three stars of a Confederate colonel, equivalent to his
last U.S. Army rank. He did not intend to wear a general's insignia until the Civil War had been won and he could be promoted,
in peacetime, to general in the Confederate Army.
Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Description: When
Generals in Gray was published in 1959, scholars and critics immediately hailed it as one of the few indispensable books on
the American Civil War. Historian Stanley Horn, for example, wrote, "It is difficult for a reviewer to restrain his enthusiasm
in recommending a monumental book of this high quality and value." Here at last is the paperback edition of Ezra J. Warner’s
magnum opus with its concise, detailed biographical sketches and—in an amazing feat of research—photographs
of all 425 Confederate generals. Continued below...
The only exhaustive
guide to the South’s command, Generals in Gray belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the Civil War. RATED 5 STARS!
Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders (Hardcover). Description: More than forty years after its original
publication, Ezra J. Warner’s Generals in Blue is now available in paperback for the first time. Warner’s classic
reference work includes intriguing biographical sketches and a rare collection of photos of all 583 men who attained the
rank of general in the Union Army. Here are the West Point graduates and the political appointees; the gifted, the mediocre,
and the inexcusably bad; those of impeccable virtue and those who abused their position; the northern-born, the foreign-born,
and the southerners who remained loyal to the Union. Continued below...
Warner’s valuable introduction discusses the criteria
for appointment and compares the civilian careers of both Union and Confederate generals, revealing striking differences in the two groups. A rare
picture or photograph is priceless...Generals in Blue is that rare book—an essential volume for scholars, a prized item
for buffs, and a biographical dictionary that the casual reader will find absorbing.
Civil War High Commands (1040 pages) (Hardcover). Description: Based on nearly five decades
of research, this magisterial work is a biographical register and analysis of the people who most directly influenced the
course of the Civil War, its high commanders. Numbering 3,396, they include the presidents and their cabinet members, state
governors, general officers of the Union and Confederate armies (regular, provisional, volunteers,
and militia), and admirals and commodores of the two navies. Civil War High Commands will become a cornerstone
reference work on these personalities and the meaning of their commands, and on the Civil War itself. Continued below...
Errors of fact and interpretation concerning the high commanders are legion in the Civil War literature,
in reference works as well as in narrative accounts. The present work brings together for the first time in one volume the
most reliable facts available, drawn from more than 1,000 sources and including the most recent research. The biographical
entries include complete names, birthplaces, important relatives, education, vocations, publications, military grades, wartime
assignments, wounds, captures, exchanges, paroles, honors, and place of death and interment. In addition to its main component, the biographies, the volume also includes a number of
essays, tables, and synopses designed to clarify previously obscure matters such as the definition of grades and ranks; the
difference between commissions in regular, provisional, volunteer, and militia services; the chronology of military laws and
executive decisions before, during, and after the war; and the geographical breakdown of command structures. The book is illustrated
with 84 new diagrams of all the insignias used throughout the war and with 129 portraits of the most important high commanders.
It is the most comprehensive volume to date...name any Union or Confederate general--and it can be found in here. [T]he
photos alone are worth the purchase. RATED FIVE STARS by americancivilwarhistory.org
Recommended Reading: Rebels
and Yankees: Commanders of the Civil War (Hardcover), by William C. Davis (Author), Russ A. Pritchard (Author). Description:
Davis and Pritchard have created a wonderful work that is sure to become a hit with anyone who studies the Civil War. This
book uses words and a generous amount of pictures and photographs to tell the story of the leaders, both talented
and flawed, that held together the two struggling armies in a time of chaos and devastating loss. Continued below...
of the stories have been told in one form or another.... Commanders compiles this study in a single book that makes
it very easy to compare and contrast the styles and techniques employed by officers of both armies. I thoroughly enjoyed the
book and highly recommend it.
Recommended Reading: Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume
6 (Battles & Leaders of the Civil War) (632 pages) (University of Illinois Press) (May 30, 2007). Description: Sifting
carefully through reports from newspapers, magazines, personal memoirs, and letters, Peter Cozzens' Volume 6 brings readers
more of the best first-person accounts of marches, encampments, skirmishes, and full-blown battles, as seen by participants
on both sides of the conflict. Continued below...
Alongside the experiences of lower-ranking officers and enlisted men are
accounts from key personalities including General John Gibbon, General John C. Lee, and seven prominent generals from both
sides offering views on "why the Confederacy failed." This volume includes one hundred and twenty illustrations, including
sixteen previously uncollected maps of battlefields, troop movements, and fortifications.
Recommended Reading: Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command (912 pages). Description: Hailed as one of the greatest Civil War books, this exhaustive study
is an abridgement of the original three-volume version. It is a history of the Army of Northern Virginia from the first
shot fired to the surrender at Appomattox - but what makes
this book unique is that it incorporates a series of biographies of more than 150 Confederate officers. The book discusses
in depth all the tradeoffs that were being made politically and militarily by the South. Continued below...
The book does an excellent job describing the battles, then
at a critical decision point in the battle, the book focuses on an officer - the book stops and tells the biography of that
person, and then goes back to the battle and tells what information the officer had at that point and the decision he made.
At the end of the battle, the officers decisions are critiqued based on what he "could have known and what he should have
known" given his experience, and that is compared with 20/20 hindsight. "It is an incredibly well written book!"
Generals in Bronze: Interviewing the Commanders of the Civil War (Hardcover).
Description: Generals in Bronze: Revealing interviews with the commanders of the Civil War. In the decades that followed the
American Civil War, Artist James E. Kelly (1855-1933) conducted in-depth interviews with over forty Union Generals in an effort
to accurately portray them in their greatest moment of glory. Kelly explained: "I had always felt a great lack of certain
personal details. I made up my mind to ask from living officers every question I would have asked Washington or his generals
had they posed for me, such as: What they considered the principal incidents in their career and particulars about costumes
and surroundings." Continued below…
During one interview session with
Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Kelly asked about the charge at Fort Damnation.
Gen. Chamberlain acquiesced, but then added, "I don't see how you can show this in a picture." "Just tell me the facts," Kelly
responded, "and I'll attend to the picture." And by recording those stirring facts, Kelly left us not only his wonderful art,
but a truly unique picture of the lives of the great figures of the American Civil War. About the Author: William B. Styple
has edited, co-authored, and authored several works on the Civil War. His book: "The Little Bugler" won the Young Readers'
Award from the Civil War Round Table of New York. He is currently writing the biography of Gen. Phil Kearny.
Recommended Reading: Staff Officers in Gray: A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern
(360 pages) (The University of North Carolina Press) (September 3, 2008). Description: This indispensable Civil War reference profiles 2,300
staff officers in Robert E. Lee's famous Army of Northern Virginia. A typical
entry includes the officer's full name, the date and place of his birth and death, details of his education and occupation,
and a synopsis of his military record. Continued below...
provide a list of more than 3,000 staff officers who served in other armies of the Confederacy and complete rosters of known
staff officers of each general in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Recommended Reading: The Gallant Dead: Union and Confederate Generals
Killed in the Civil War (Hardcover). Description:
More than 400 Confederate and 580 Union soldiers advanced to the rank of general during the course of the Civil War. (More
than 1 in 10 would die.) A total of 124 generals died--78 for the South and 46 for the North. Continued below...
stories into a seamless narrative of the entire conflict, Derek Smith paints a fascinating and often moving portrait of the
final moments of some of the finest American warriors in history, including Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, Jeb
Stuart, James B. McPherson, John Reynolds, and numerous others.
Each page offers additional information, including: Civil War
Generals, List of Union and Confederate Generals, Details of American Civil War Generals (Photos, Photo, Pictures, Photographs),
History, Generals Killed, Wounded, Summary, Facts, General Biography, and Diary.