Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

Know Your VPs: John C. Breckinridge

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

This month, we’re profiling a few of the many men who have sat around waiting for the President to die or quit so that he could have his own day in the sun.

Today we’re writing about John C. Breckinridge (1821-1875), the 14th, and, at 36, the youngest Vice President in American history. He had the honor of being VP to one of the worst presidents: James Buchanan.

After Buchanan’s term, Breckinridge unsuccessfully ran for president in 1860 as a Southern Democrat. He finished a distant third behind Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, an old friend who was married to Breckinridge’s cousin Mary Todd.

Breckinridge returned to the Senate, but joined the Confederate army once the Civil War started. Thus Breckinridge had the unique distinction of being the only U.S. Senator to be convicted of treason.

He also had the distinction of serving in administrations of both the USA and CSA. Breckinridge rose through the ranks of the Confederate government to become Jefferson Davis’ Secretary of War, and presided over the surrender of the Confederacy.

After years in exile, Breckinridge returned to his native Kentucky, where he resisted calls from many, many people – including Ulysses S. Grant – to return to public life. From his retirement, he did use his lingering political influence to publicly denounce the KKK and support passage of a Kentucky statute allowing black people to testify against white people in court. That kind of makes up for the treason.

Civil War Generals Week 2: Horsies of the Fighting People

Friday, April 19th, 2013

[Note: this entry was originally posted on April 12, but mysteriously disappeared.]

Over 1,000,000 horses were killed in the Civil War.

Robert E. Lee’s horses included Lucy Long, Richmond, Brown-Roan, Ajax and, his favorite, Traveller. Traveller, who died in 1871, is buried next to the Lee crypt.


Ulysses S. Grant’s horses included Jack, Kangaroo, Cincinnati, Fox, Jeff Davis, Rondy, and Methuselah. Cincinnati, the son of the famous racehorse Lexington, was Grant’s favorite, and he rode him to Appomattox.

J.E.B. Stuart was one of the few generals who lost all his horses during the war.


1 Plug Ugly A Edward Porter Alexander
2 Dixie B William Tecumseh Sherman
3 Don Juan C David McMurtie Gregg
4 Rifle D Philip Sheridan
5 Pretty E Stonewall Jackson
6 Lookout F Philip Kearny
7 Little Sorrel G Joseph Hooker
8 Moscow H Alpheus S. Williams
9 Handsome Joe I Daniel Sickles
10 Winchester J Isaac R. Trimble
11 Duke, Dolly, Sam, & Lexington K Richard S. Ewell
12 My Maryland L John Sedgwick
13 Grand Old Canister M J.E.B. Stuart
14 Jinny N George Armstrong Custer
15 Fleetfoot O Walter H. Taylor


[Answers: 1) H, 2) A, 3) N, 4) K, 5) C, 6) G, 7) E, 8) F, 9) L, 10) D, 11) B, 12) M, 13) I, 14) J, 15) O]


Civil War Generals Week 2: The Band

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

It’s Civil War Generals Week 2!

Civil War Generals – they’re not just generals from history, they’re also a band.

We really hope that they sing songs about bivouacking.

It’s Civil War Generals Week!

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

In case you want to visit some Civil War generals today:

Civil War General’s Week – Lost Opportunity

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Lost Opportunity

Union General Winfield Scott Hancock had an identical twin.  This advantage was unfortunately not used by the Union.  If only they had foresight, the Union could have terrorized the rebels with a general who appeared to be everywhere – a general who could fight on two fronts at once!

Civil War Generals and YOU

Friday, January 20th, 2012

What Civil War General are YOU like?
Here’s a quiz we found online that will tell you:

Civil War Generals Week – Match the General to his Nickname

Thursday, January 19th, 2012


1 Winfield Scott Hancock A the Rock of Chickamauga
2 Thomas J. Jackson B “Curly”, “Fanny” & “Autie”
3 Richard S. Ewell C Grumble
4 John Magruder D Bobbin-Boy
5 William L. Jackson E Baldy Dick
6 George Armstrong Custer F Stonewall
7 James Ewell Brown Stuart G “Bad Old Man” & “Old Jube”
8 William E. Jones H Mudwall
9 George B. McClellan I Little Napoleon
10 George H. Thomas J Hancock the Superb
11 John Mosby K Prince John
12 Nathaniel Banks L Jeb
13 William Rosecrans M Gray Ghost
14 P.G.T. Beauregard N Old Rosy
15 Jubal A. Early O Little Creole
16 Joshua L. Chamberlain P Lion of the Round Top

[Answers: 1) J, 2) F, 3) E, 4) K, 5) H, 6) B, 7) L, 8 ) C, 9) I, 10) A, 11) M, 12) D, 13) N, 14) O, 15) G, 16) P]

Civil War Generals Week – Trivia

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

U.S. Brig. General Alexander Schimmelfennig had the longest name of any general in the war (14 letters).

George Custer was the youngest general in the Union army (age 23).

Ulysses S. Grant inherited a slave named William James.  Often in need of money. Grant could have sold him for cash, but instead he freed him.

On February 24, 1914, General Joshua Chamberlain, the “Lion of Little Round Top” died at the age of 85 in Portland, ME. His death was largely the result of complications of his wounds, making him the last Civil War veteran to die from wounds received in battle.

It’s Civil War Generals Week!

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

In honor of Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 19th), we’re posting about Civil War Generals this week.

Our first entry:

General Means Presidential

Being a Civil War General pretty much assured you a chance to run for President.

Besides Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, and Chester Arthur held the rank of General.  And lots of Generals ran and didn’t win.  Most notoriously, General George McClellan ran against Lincoln during the war in 1864!  Winfield Scott Hancock ran as a democrat in 1880 and lost to Garfield in the closest vote in U.S. history.

The one that got away was William Tecumseh Sherman.  He refused to run although the Republicans begged him over and over again. (He would probably have been better at the job than Grant.)  He resisted so vehemently that his type of unequivocal denial to run for the office has been termed “the Sherman pledge”.  In 1871 Sherman declared: “I hereby state, and mean all that I say, that I never have been and never will be a candidate for President; that if nominated by either party, I should peremptorily decline; and even if unanimously elected I should decline to serve.” In 1884, he was forced again to state: “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”