Civil War Personalities

Civil War personalities were a diverse group of individuals who showed that perseverance and determination were needed for success. Some people were famous, some unusual, and some were distinguished leaders. Although differing in methodology, they were achievers with principles. They were on both sides of the conflict. For some, their persistence was recognized and rewarded immediately, but for others, recognition came later after they died. They remind us that through determination, grit, and a bit of luck anyone can overcome their circumstances and achieve extraordinary success.

From the first shots on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the war was a life-changing experience.

Follow up on these notable individuals...

Abraham Lincoln
—from log cabin to the White House!

Jefferson Davis
—from U.S.Congress to president of the Confederate States of America!

Andrew Carnegie
—from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC and back as a business entrepreneur!

Clara Barton
—from office clerk to celebrated humanitarian!

Horace Greeley
—eminent newspaperman!

Matthew Brady
—from New York City to battle as war photographer!

Union Leaders

Anderson, Robert—Major; commander of Union forces at Ft. Sumter, South Carolina

Buell, Don Carlos—Brigadier General; Battle of Shiloh

Burnside, Ambrose—Brigadier General;

Chase, Salmon P. — Secretary of Treadury

Custer, George Armstrong—General;  

Douglas, Stephen A.—Illinois senator who first ran against Lincoln for the Senate and then as a presidential candidate.

DuPont, Samuel F.—Navy Flag Officer

Farragut, David G.—Navy Flag Officer; Battle of New Orleans

Foote, Andrew—Navy Flag Officer; Capture of Fort Henry, Tennessee, with General Grant

Grant, Ulysses S.—Brigadier General; Union Army leader 

Halleck, Henry W.—Major General; general in chief

Hancock, Winfield Scott—Major General; Battle of Chancellorsville; Battle of Gettysburg; Battle of Cold Harbor

Hooker, Joseph—Major General; Battle of Chancellorsville

Johnson, Andrew —

Lincoln, Abraham— president of United States

Meade, George G.—Major General; Battle of Gettysburg

McDowell, Irvin—Brigadier General; First Battle of Bull Run

McClellan, George B.—Major General; Battle of Antietam; Peninsula Campaign

Palmer, William Jackson—General

Pope, John—Major General; Second Battle of Bull Run

Rosecrans, William S.—Major General; Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee

Scott, Winfield—General; noted for his "Anaconda Plan" strategy 

Seward, William H.

Sheridan, Philip H.—Major General

Sherman—Brigadier General William T.; Battles in Tennessee and Georgia leading to his infamous "March to the Sea"

Stanton—Edward M.

Welles, Gideon

Confederate Leaders

Anderson, Robert—Major; Ft. Sumter commander of Union forces

Buell, Don Carlos—Brigadier General; Battle of Shiloh

Benjamin, Judah — Attorney General; then, Secretary of War

Beauregard, Pierre G. T. — Brigadier General; Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee

Bragg, Braxton — General; Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee

Davis, Jefferson — president of the Confederate States of America; former U.S. senator

Early, Jubal — Major General; Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Forest, Nathan Bedford — Brigadier General;founder of Ku Klux Klan after the war

Hill, A. P. — General; Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Jackson, Thomas J. "Stonewall" — Major General; Second Battle of Bull Run; Harpers Ferry; Battle at Antietam, Maryland; Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia

Johnston, Albert Sidney — General; Battle at Shiloh, Tennessee

Lee, Robert E. — General; Confederate army leader

Longstreet, James —Major General; Battle of Chickamauga, Tennessee

Morgan, John Hunt — Cavalry officer who invaded Ohio but was captured

Quantrill, William C. — Colonel most noted for his Kansas raids (called Quantrill's Raiders) and rode with the notorious James brother outlaws

Stephens, Alexander H. — Confederate vice president

Stuart, James Ewell Brown (J.E.B) — Brigadier General; Battle of Chancellorsville; Battle of Gettysburg

OF NOTE: Slang and Idioms

The term "cracked up" may refer to when ladies of this period applied beeswax as a facial mask makeup treatment. Women had to partially melt the beeswax beforehand, apply it to the face, then allow it to set up or harden. If the lady smiled or laughed though, the wax would crack up all over the face. Today, when we see someone laughing a lot, we mean that they are "cracking up."

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